Teeth Whitening 101 — How to Remove Tobacco Stains From Teeth
If you’re a smoker, you probably already know all the risks you’re exposing yourself to by lighting a cigarette. Nicotine negatively affects your lungs, heart, blood vessels, and even your brain. Next to all that, smoking stains on teeth may not seem like such a big deal, but they certainly don’t look good. What’s more, nicotine staining can easily turn into cavities, gum issues, and other oral problems.
So, what should you do about it? Well, teeth whitening is certainly a good option. However, there are many ways to go about it, and you might not be sure what the right one is for you. If that’s the case, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll take a look at how to get rid of smoking stains on teeth, and in no time at all, you’ll be smiling as confidently as ever!
Professional Teeth Whitening
Chain-smoking can often lead to stains that can’t be removed with over-the-counter or DIY products. Even if you do succeed in getting rid of them by yourself, that’s unlikely to last very long. For effective and long-lasting teeth whitening, you’ll need to pay a visit to a dentist’s office.
Typically, a dentist will coat your teeth with a gel containing peroxide and then expose them to strong light. Depending on the condition of your teeth, this process can last from 15 minutes to an hour. And, of course, it’s completely painless!
If nicotine staining on your teeth is quite prominent, your dentist will probably recommend some at-home treatments too. One of the most common ones is wearing a custom-fit tray of 10% carbamide peroxide solution. To make the most of it, put it on your teeth overnight, and let it bleach the stains and condition the tissue.
And remember — you shouldn’t visit the dentist only to get your teeth whitened. Even if you’re just thinking of trying a new product on your own, a consultation might be in order. After all, a dentist is bound to know whether a certain product will help and how to use it for the best results.
Over-the-Counter Whitening Products
Nowadays, pharmacies are full of over-the-counter whitening products, ranging from gels and strips to bleaches. Some are more effective, some less, but ultimately, you’re sure to find a product that works for you.
Still, you should be mindful of how often you use different whitening products. For instance, strips can be used daily, as long as you stick to the instructions. On the other hand, less is more when it comes to gels and bleaches — if you aren’t careful, they can cause chemical burn and irritation.
DIY Products and Methods
If the nicotine staining on your teeth isn’t too bad, you might be able to remove it using some simple at-home methods. Instagram is full of techniques and products you can use, but we’ll list a few of our favorites here too.
Brush Teeth Regularly After Smoking
Now, it might not sound fun to brush your teeth after every cigarette, especially if you smoke a lot. But if you want to avoid tar buildup and keep it from seeping into the enamel, you don’t have much of a choice. Besides, frequent brushing will keep other stain-causing bacteria and microbes off the surface too.
Teeth Whitening With Peroxide and Baking Soda
Instead of using commercial toothpaste, you can make your own whitening paste from baking soda and peroxide. Don’t worry — it will take you only a few minutes, and the results are usually excellent. All you have to do is add some peroxide into baking soda and mix it until you make a paste.
Then, apply the paste to your teeth and rub it in for around 30 seconds. Though you’ll use it much like any other toothpaste, you need to be careful — it’s a little more abrasive. Still, it shouldn’t cause any damage if you follow these instructions.
Rinse Your Mouth With Hydrogen Peroxide
As you can see, peroxide is the one ingredient that all teeth whitening products contain. So, if you use it as mouthwash, you’re bound to see some improvements in the appearance of your teeth.
Of course, you won’t use pure peroxide for this. Instead, get some hydrogen peroxide and dilute a small amount with water. Then, rinse your mouth for a few seconds and spit it out. After you try this method a few times, you’ll notice that yellow nicotine staining is much less visible.
Brush Your Teeth With Mouthwash
If you want your teeth to appear shiny and healthy, try brushing them with mouthwash. Take some, and then start brushing with your mouth closed, spreading the mouthwash evenly across your teeth. Most mouthwashes have antibacterial properties too, protecting your teeth from cavities.
But remember — brushing your teeth with mouthwash isn’t enough. You still need to brush regularly with toothpaste, which contains fluoride and is better at removing plaque. So, combine both of these brushing methods, and your teeth will both look and be healthy.
Protect Your Teeth From Nicotine Staining
All these teeth whitening methods that we’ve mentioned won’t protect your teeth from staining. In fact, you’ll have to repeat them regularly to keep your teeth looking healthy, especially if you’re an active smoker. That takes time and money, and you may not be willing to do it all the time.
Luckily, there is an alternative. You could, for instance, get veneers and protect your teeth from all staining.
Veneers are thin shells that are placed on top of your teeth, usually made of porcelain. Thanks to this protective layer, tar and microbes can’t reach your teeth enamel and thus can’t stain it. Veneers themselves can get stained, but they typically aren’t as susceptible to it as teeth.
To get veneers, you’ll need to visit an experienced dentist, preferably one who’s done a similar procedure before. That way, you’ll be sure you’re getting the best possible treatment.
Now you know how to remove tobacco stains from teeth, so you can finally have the smile you’ve always wanted. Try out different methods, and don’t be discouraged if something doesn’t work right away. And of course, don’t forget to visit your dentist for teeth whitening or a consultation about nicotine stains!