If you drink coffee or tea, you know how those drinks and other foods can gradually stain your teeth over time. What you might not have known before, and what you may have just found out the hard way, is that some brightly colored foods can immediately leave stains all over your teeth, too. This is the case with a lot of candies. It can be a shock to look at yourself in a mirror and realize that your teeth now have bright blue streaks on them.
Most people have had the experience of eating, say, a lollipop and ending up with a streak of color on their tongue. This color can also transfer onto the teeth when you chew the food, namely through staining any plaque on the teeth and at the edges of the gums. And it doesn't always come off with a quick brushing session. So, how do you get that color off your teeth? Try a couple of basic remedies first, and if those don't work, contact a dentist for some cosmetic help.
Floss and Brush Immediately and Very Carefully
Before you protest that you've already tried brushing, do something a little different. Floss first, very carefully, to remove any loose food debris that's caught between your teeth. Try to run the floss up and down the surface of the tooth, too, to remove any thin layers of debris. That will likely remove a lot of the color then and there. However, you may still have some, and that's OK. You'll brush next, very carefully, trying to get at the border between your teeth and gums. You may even want to very gingerly scrape the bristles right at the border, but be very careful doing this. Bristles can be more abrasive than you realize, and you don't want to cause bleeding.
When you've gotten as much color off as you can through flossing and brushing, start drinking water. You can also simply use water as a mouth rinse if you don't want to swallow the water. Swish it around your teeth, and repeat this a few times. It will help loosen and sweep away more food debris and color.
Turn to Your Dentist for Help
If some of the stains just won't come off, it likely means that the food coloring is stuck in food debris or plaque that you haven't been able to remove – the layer is just thin enough that the coloring looks like it's on your tooth enamel. If you've flossed and brushed and rinsed to no avail, it's time to call the dentist. It may just take a basic teeth-cleaning procedure to get rid of the stain, or there could be whitening processes that might work if this is a rare occurrence when the food stain has actually reached into the enamel or if the stain has made it into a craze line and won't come out.
Your dentist will evaluate the stain and why it might still be on your teeth and go from there. For example, you may be asked to have your teeth cleaned and then to consider bonding the tooth with the stained craze lines; the bonding material can be matched to the natural shade of your teeth. This problem with food stains is nothing new to your dentist, so you can rest assured, there is a solution that will remove the stain and let you have those pearly white teeth again.
Contact a local cosmetic dentistry clinic to learn more.