Although efforts to control and limit the consumption of tobacco began as early as the 1960s, a record 1.1 billion people still smoke regularly¹. As well as being linked to health problems including lung cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, smoking also has an impact on your oral health, including staining your teeth². This article will explore how to whiten your teeth if you have teeth smoking stains and how to prevent them in the first place.
What are teeth smoking stains?
Tobacco products often contain nicotine and tar which are easily absorbed into the pores in your teeth, causing a yellow or brown discoloration. Although nicotine is colourless, when combined with oxygen, it turns yellow. This means that even electronic cigarettes with nicotine infused "e-juice" can stain your teeth³. Teeth smoking stains may be darker in some people as smokers inhale in different ways.
How to whiten your teeth if you have teeth smoking stains?
If your teeth are yellowing or discoloured due to smoking, you may wish to whiten them to return your teeth to their original, healthy, white appearance. There are various at-home and professional options to choose from, including:
When it comes to teeth whitening for smokers, getting your teeth whitened by a dental-health professional is generally the safest and most effective way to whiten your teeth⁴. Your dentist will be able to provide a whitening service tailored to your dental needs and will have received professional training on how to whiten teeth.
At-home whitening methods
When removing tobacco stains from teeth, you may prefer to try DIY, at-home whitening methods. It is important to always consult a dental professional before trying out at-home whitening, as they will be able to recommend treatments suitable for your teeth. At home treatments include:
- Natural methods: When it comes to whitening your teeth at home, it’s important to find safe methods that won’t damage your teeth. This article explores a variety of natural methods to try at home.
- Whitening toothpastes: There are lots of different toothpastes available that promise to help whiten your teeth so it’s a good idea to speak to your dentist first to make sure you choose one that is right for your specific needs.
- Choosing enamel-supporting products: Your enamel is the white, hard outer layer of your teeth. Choosing products that help regenerate enamel and keep it strong is a great way to keep teeth white. REGENERATE™ Advanced Toothpaste contains exclusive NR-5™ technology which helps to regenerate enamel mineral* and restore natural whiteness while strengthening teeth against cavities.
After teeth whitening, smoking should be avoided, certainly for the first few days, in order to prevent further staining. Read on for more information on how to keep your teeth white.
How to prevent smoking stains on teeth
The first and most obvious way to prevent smoking stains on teeth is to stop smoking or using chewing tobacco, as this will stop the exposure of your teeth to nicotine and tar. This may be difficult for some people and so here are some other ways to prevent smoking stains:
- Rinse your mouth with mouthwash after smoking: Rinsing your mouth with water or, even better, mouthwash, will help keep the staining pigments from lingering. Regenerate™ Advanced Foaming Mouthwash is a great option as it contains specially created micro-bubbles to access hard to reach gaps in your teeth.
- Use a toothpaste designed to protect tooth enamel: Smoking stains occur when nicotine and tar are absorbed by small holes in the enamel. Using a toothpaste that helps to build up strong enamel, such as REGENERATE™ Advanced Toothpaste, will help to prevent this.
- Schedule regular dental check-ups and cleanings with your dentist: Not only will this help prevent discoloration but will also help identify any oral problems early.
This article has given an overview of the ways in which smoking can affect your oral health and the whiteness of your smile, and how you can combat this. As with any oral care matters, it is always best to speak to your dentist for any questions or concerns. They will be able to provide personalised recommendations that fit your specific needs.
*Acts on early invisible stages of enamel erosion by restoring its mineral content and micro hardness with regular use. Clinically proven.
The advice in this article does not constitute medical advice; it is solely available for information purposes. We recommend that you consult your dentist If you are experiencing any dental problems.