• Dr Krystyna


By @Dr Krystyna Wilczynski – London's top cosmetic dentist at White & Co Dental

Near enough all of my patients come to me wanting to have a pearly white smile and asking how and what they can do. There are many things you can do from home to prevent tooth staining, however, it is firstly important to note that your teeth are not naturally white.

The bulk of your teeth is made up of dentine, which is light yellow in colour. The hard outer coating of your teeth is called enamel, which is naturally white, however over time, this cracks and erodes to expose the yellow dentine. This is why it is extremely important to be wary when using abrasive products that promise a "white smile" (e.g. charcoal toothpastes,) which actually damages your teeth and causes them to look yellow in the long run.

In terms of what can stain your teeth, this is caused by lifestyle habits. These include coffee, tea, fizzy drinks, smoking, acidic juices, certain medications and highly pigmented foods / starchy foods (pasta, potatoes etc,) which can all take a dingy toll on pearly whites.

The dentine of your teeth can also absorb food colouring, with stains latching onto plaque and tartar build-up, on, and in between the teeth, as it finds anchorage in crevices. This is why it is important to regularly brush your teeth and have frequent hygienist visits.

Tips To Avoid Staining

To prevent staining and re-staining your teeth after you have had them whitened, I would recommend drinking beverages such as coffee, soda and tea through a straw to minimise their contact with your teeth surfaces.

Crunchy foods such as apples, celery and carrots can also act like little toothbrushes when you chew them, helping to scrub away stubborn stains over time, (this does not mean you do not need to brush your teeth at least twice a day – this is still a must!)

You can also brush your teeth after every meal, as by cleaning them regularly and conscientiously, you have less chance of those stains remaining on your teeth. It's recommended you wait between 30-60 minutes after eating before you brush, especially after having acidic foods. Always brush in a circular motion (not back and forth,) and preferably with an electric toothbrush, floss and mouthwash.

A trend I have seen recently, particularly through the likes of TikTok, is people attempting to whiten their teeth from home using ingredients such as baking soda. Do not attempt to do this, as this will only damage your teeth! Only opt for professional teeth whitening options and those which are FDA approved.

If you want a quick boost of whitening from home, as you are unable to visit your dentist, whitening strips can be a good option. Again, be cautious about which ones you purchase and check that they are approved. I would recommend the likes of Polished London teeth whitening strips, which follow the guidelines and are also vegan, PETA-approved cruelty-free and safe to use on the enamel.