One embarrassing thing for smokers or ex-smokers is the staining caused by smoking. It’s unsightly to have yellow teeth, or worse: decaying or missing teeth from smoking.
So we’re going to talk about why tobacco products stain teeth and what you can do about it.Creative Commons
Why Are Teeth Yellow From Smoking?
Smoking obviously discolors teeth — we see it time and time again. It’s scientifically shown that smokers are at a much higher risk of having discolored teeth than those who don’t smoke. But why does that happen?
Using tobacco leads to yellow stains on your teeth because the nicotine and tar in tobacco products literally gets into your teeth. It gets into the small openings of your enamel.
So if you’re looking to keep your teeth from staining while regularly smoking, you’ll have to put in some work.
Best Teeth Whitening Products For Smokers
If you’re a smoker but you want to have white teeth, there are some specific teeth-whitening products you should check out. Below are the best options on the market.
If you’d like to use whitening toothpaste, one that scores high when it comes to the best whitening toothpastes ranking, Opalescence Whitening Toothpaste is a good one.
It’s a desensitizing toothpaste that contains fluoride, which means it helps fight off cavities and remove tobacco stains. They make it with a slight abrasiveness so it can gently scrub off stains while still being safe for your enamel. This makes it great for sensitive teeth.
If you’d prefer an easy whitening option, strips are a good route to go. And Crest offers one that’s perfect for smokers: 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips.
Crest says you can have a professional-level whitening by using these whitening strips for just 30 minutes a day. Each strip molds to the shape of your teeth, meaning they stay put during whitening. Then they come off easily afterward. Although results can vary, you should start to see a difference after three days.
If you’re super serious about brightening your smile, you may want to go with a full whitening kit. And the Snow Teeth Whitening kit is a good one to start with.
This FDA-approved, award-winning whitening kit is used by “top celebrity dentists,” according to Snow, a Harvard science research company. And the good news is that you can do it all from home, so no need to spend tons of money on a professional whitening.
How To Whiten Smokers Teeth Naturally?
If you’d rather save some money, you can try to whiten your teeth naturally, using the things you have in your cupboards and fridge right now.
When you mix baking soda with water, it can make a powerful whitening paste. You’d simply put this mixture on your toothbrush and brush like you normally would.
Some people swear by the whitening effect of strawberries. Because of an enzyme present in strawberries called malic acid, you can brush your teeth with a mashed strawberry or rub the inside of one onto your teeth. Then directly afterward, brush your teeth with regular toothpaste.
Apples / Carrots / Celery
If you combine the power of apples, carrots, and celery, you can get something similar to organic stain removers. Together, they can increase saliva production — saliva is known to fight bacteria in the mouth. They’re also rich in vitamin C, which helps reduce periodontal issues.
Eating foods high in citrus, like oranges and limes, can actually helps more saliva generate, which then baths the teeth and washes away bacteria. Lemons especially can help brighten your teeth — just rinse your mouth with a solution of half lemon juice and half water.
Things like milk, cheese, and yogurt can actually help reduce teeth staining. They contain lactic acid, which can help reduce the risk of periodontal diseases. Plus, they have teeth-strengthening ingredients like calcium and vitamin D.
Professional Teeth Whitening For Smokers
Maybe you don’t want to mess around with at-home teeth whitening kits or natural whitening options. Maybe you want to be absolutely sure you have white teeth and you’re willing to pay good money. If that’s the case, you may want to get a professional teeth whitening.
The one big problem is that you won’t be able to smoke before or after the whitening treatment. The nicotine and tar in tobacco products absorb into the enamel faster than the whitening gel, so smoking after treatment will be counterproductive.
Because of this, a professional whitening is a good option for those who have given up smoking completely and want to get rid of the leftover stains.
How To Keep Teeth White While Smoking?
Simply put, it won’t be easy to keep your teeth white while smoking. It’s like pitting two enemy forces against each other and expecting the one to always win.
Whitening products undo staining, but smoking undoes any whitening you’ve done.
But there are things you can do to keep the staining to a minimum. Here’s how to whiten teeth with basic methods:
- Brush 2-3 times a day (preferably after meals)
- Use dental floss every single day
- Use mouthwash regularly (every day or every other day)
- See your dentist on a regular basis (twice a year is recommended)
Doing these things may not exactly whitening your teeth, but they will definitely help keep the staining at bay to some degree.
- Smoking causes yellow teeth because the nicotine and tar seep into the tiny openings of the enamel and cause discoloration.
- Whether you choose to use whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, or a whitening kit, you have plenty of options for fixing stains that developed from smoking.
- If you’d like to whiten your teeth naturally, you can use things like strawberries on your teeth or consume more citrus fruit, dairy products, and a combo of apples, carrots, and celery.
- If you want to ensure you get results from teeth whitening, the best option is to go to a professional. Just be ready to foot a fairly large bill.
- To lessen the staining effect of smoking, you should keep up with your oral hygiene, like brushing, flossing, using mouthwash, and visiting your dentist.