Teeth Whitening for Smokers: 3 Easy Steps

Make 2022 your year, with a brighter and healthier smile, free from nicotine stains! If quitting smoking isn’t in the cards, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have the smile you dream about.

In this article, we provide some useful tips about how to rid yourself of your nicotine smile and feel more confident, while maintaining positive oral health.

1. Basic Dental Hygiene - Don’t Skip your Regular Dental Cleaning

The benefits that observing good dental hygiene brings to dental health and teeth colour has been well documented. It’s amazing to read how many cases of teeth discolouration stem from simply not brushing or flossing regularly.  

Regular brushing and flossing should be done multiple times daily, more so if one is still smoking. Nicotine, when mixed with oxygen, creates a dull yellow colour that clings to the teeth. That dull yellow is exasperated even further with the addition of an ugly brown colour that will mix with your teeth. This brown shade comes from the natural colour of tobacco and tar.

Brushing and flossing are still commonly misunderstood. They are vital to keeping our teeth clean and healthy, which is a major step, but does very little in actually lifting existing nicotine and tar stains. There is very little cosmetic whitening of smoker’s teeth from just adhering to good dental hygiene. But it’s important to remember that there will be no whitening at all if this first important step of teeth whitening is overlooked.

As effective as do-it-yourself (DIY) or take home dental hygiene kits are, regular deep cleans from professionals is still a “must do”. The gap between dentist visits will of course vary from patient to patient but should never be skipped, as these visits will catch any serious potential long-term health risks to the teeth.

2. Teeth Whitening Products: Hydrogen Peroxide

Smokers who research DIY teeth whitening will undoubtedly stumble upon the much searched term “hydrogen peroxide”. Let’s immediately address the elephant in the room.  For some reason, there still seems to be some ambiguity and confusion about the safety and efficacy of hydrogen peroxide. There should not be.

Much of the uncertainty might be due to the fact that search results for “hydrogen peroxide” often pop up with results such as “bleaching” or “active ingredient”. These might sound some alarm bells to the unwary or to those who are just starting to research teeth whitening for smokers.

Hydrogen peroxide is completely safe. There are some insightful articles that really dive into the benefits of hydrogen peroxide. The articles also go into detail about any risks that smokers who are considering using hydrogen peroxide to whiten their teeth might face.

A quick overview on hydrogen peroxide. It is a safe “bleaching agent” or “active bleaching ingredient” that most effective teeth whitening brands use to whiten teeth. Hydrogen peroxide is usually applied in a gel form, directly to the enamel on the teeth. Best results for whitening or lifting stains from smoker’s teeth is when hydrogen peroxide is applied directly to already brushed and flossed teeth.

The most effective teeth whitening products are teeth whitening strips. Best results from ex-smokers occur when the teeth whitening process combines the use of teeth whitening strips with regular brushing with a good tooth whitening paste.

Bliss Whitening products are a fantastic line of tools that all ex-smokers and potential ex-smokers need to look into. Check out their amazing range of teeth whitening products here. This Australian-owned dental hygiene company uses cruelty-free products that are clinically proven to lighten teeth, with positive results in as little as 5 days!

The existing “dangers” from hydrogen peroxide use are teeth sensitivity and gum irritation. These side effects usually occur when there is too much exposure to the hydrogen peroxide. Always read and follow product instructions to avoid this.

3. Watch what You Eat and Drink (and Smoke)!

Everything that passes through the mouth usually comes in contact with the teeth. Try gulping water with the mouth fully open. Yes, you can avoid liquid touching your teeth but the experience is more to make a point than finding alternative ways in which to drink liquids and have it spill all over your shirt. The point being that everything that we eat, drink, and yes, smoke, touches our teeth and affects the colour of them.

It’s well documented that certain foods and drinks stain the enamel in our teeth. Here are 7 easy foods and drinks to avoid. Acidic or staining food and drink should be avoided, but of course some are more difficult to cut out entirely.  Coffee, fizzy drinks, sweets, and cigarettes seem to be the hardest to quit.

Smokers who are looking to quit understand the term “weaning”. Weaning off nicotine is a vital step many use to quit smoking combustible or traditional cigarettes. One can also wean oneself off eating and drinking certain staining food and drink. As you reduce and wean off those bad staining foods, drinks, and cigarettes, make sure to brush immediately after consumption. This keeps the enamel clean as well as lifts much of the offending food particles and staining liquids off the teeth.

Conclusion

Aside from the obvious health risks smokers live with, they also can experience stigma, judgement, and self esteem issues stemming from severely discoloured smoker’s teeth. Nobody wants to leave their smoker’s smile as a first impression.

Today’s DIY culture has created a space that allows for amazing tooth colour recovery and teeth whitening. It is now realistic for smokers to dream of having healthy and whiter smiles. DIY and take-home dental health kits facilitate this evolution.  

Following the 3 simple steps of following good dental hygiene, choosing quality teeth whitening products, and reducing stain-inducing food and drink contacting the teeth are the basics that smokers need to understand and adhere to. Make 2022 the year to get rid of that smoker’s smile. Whiten your smoke-stained teeth in 3 easy steps!