If you recently quit using smokeless tobacco or snuff, you may have dark stains on your bottom teeth. Although snuff doesn't produce smoke when you use it, snuff does contain tar and other ingredients that stain teeth enamel. These ingredients not only cause mouth cancer, they also create bad breath, gum disease and tooth decay. But there are several things you can do to remove the stains at home. Here's how you whiten your teeth after you've had enough of snuff.
Eat Plenty of Celery
Crunchy foods, such as celery sticks, can get rid of tooth stains on your bottom teeth. Celery contains thin fibers that act as magnets as they slide between your teeth to polish away tar and nicotine stains. The water inside celery washes away bacteria and plaque, which can discolor your teeth over time.
For the most tooth-whitening benefits, try to eat three celery sticks with your lunch or right before you brush your teeth at night. Avoid adding peanut butter or other condiments that can cause tooth decay. They have sugars or carbohydrates that may increase plaque in the mouth.
Try Carrot Sticks
Don't like the taste of celery? You can substitute it with carrots. Carrots contain phosphorus, which is a key nutrient for healthy teeth enamel. Strong enamel may rebuild or remineralize better when your body receives enough phosphorus each day. Remineralization helps reduce tooth stains by adding new enamel to your teeth. Adult males and females over age 18 require at least 700 milligrams of phosphorus a day to maintain healthy tooth enamel.
Carrots and celery both increase the saliva content in your mouth. Smokeless tobacco soaks up the saliva in your mouth. It uses saliva to stay moist, as well as activate the tar and other chemicals inside it. Chewing on whole or sliced carrots stimulates your mouth to make more saliva.
You should eat carrot sticks at least twice a day for the best results. However, avoid baking, boiling or stir-frying your vegetables. Raw vegetables retain their crunchy textures better than cooked vegetables. Cooked carrots lose most of their nutritional benefits once you expose them to heat.
Tips to Keep In Mind
While a number of sources recommend rubbing mashed strawberries on your teeth to remove stains, some sources don't advocate using the fruit. Although strawberries have the potential to remove food stains and plaque when combined with other ingredients, such as baking soda, they may not work well against the discolorations produced by tobacco or snuff. The soft textures of strawberries can't remove tough tobacco stains like tar. Also, strawberries produce acids that can damage your tooth enamel over time.
Strawberries also contain small amounts of caffeine, which may keep you from sleeping at night. If you choose to use strawberries as a whitener for your stained teeth, eat two or three berries at least four hours before bedtime. Be sure to brush your teeth after you eat the fruit to reduce your chances of enamel erosion and tooth decay.
If none of the above whitening options work for you, consult with a professional dentist. Tobacco stains can lead to serious complications with your oral health, including severe bad breath and mouth cancer. In some cases, you can lose your teeth to periodontal or gum disease. Gum disease may create a host of other problems, such as poor jawbone functions and infections of the nasal cavity, if bacteria spread to these areas.
Have your dentist examine your stained teeth during a dental appointment. The dentist can offer you better solutions, such as laser teeth whitening, for faster results. For more information, contact a local dental clinic, like Willowdaile Family Dentistry.