Posted on: 16 October 2017Share
Admit it -- with Halloween coming up, you've had more than your share of treats. Some of these may have included a lot of candy with sugary shells that have stained your teeth. If you've just eaten a bag of goodies only to look at yourself in the mirror and see a blue, green, orange, or other-colored smile, don't worry. You can remove those stains, though it will take time and careful attention.
Flossing and Picking
It's important to distinguish between these candy shell stains and your average tooth stain. Normally, tooth staining is a slow process in which compounds in food (like in wine, berries, and tea) slowly sinks into the surface of your teeth. Candy shell staining is different. As you eat, the sugar from the candy tends to settle in the line between your teeth and gums and to form a film on your teeth. The shell coloring doesn't go away, so that film tends to be colored.
So, your first step is to floss and pick away the accumulated food particles. Yes, it's gross, but it's what you have to do. Carefully remove what you can with a toothpick -- be extremely cautious so that you don't hurt your gums! Brace your hand and arm against a wall so that you don't jab yourself if someone bumps into your arm.
Then, floss deliberately slowly. Get the floss around each tooth on both sides. Chances are the flossing and picking will remove a good deal of the stained food particles quickly.
Brushing Carefully but Extensively
Next, brush your teeth with your regular toothpaste. Make this an extensive brushing, being sure to cover all of your teeth. This is not the time to rush like you normally do in the morning.
There's a possibility that brushing once isn't going to remove everything. That's OK. Remember that this type of staining isn't permanent; just brush again. However, be careful not to irritate your gums. Do not switch to a hard-bristled brush, thinking it will scrape off more stain. Stick with a soft brush and slow movements. You may have to repeat this a few times.
Chewing Gum -- Really!
If there's any staining left after that, don't fret, because it will eventually come off. One step that may help is chewing sugarless gum. There's no straightforward evidence showing gum removes sugary films on teeth, but a study from 1997 did note that chewing gum regularly helped study subjects reduce the amount of regular food staining that they experienced. It can't hurt to try chewing a few pieces over the next couple of days to see if the gum grabs onto the remaining particles.
If any stain is left, then it's time to ask your dentist to clean your teeth. You're not the only one who has been through this, and the cleaning should help tremendously.