Dentist reveals the two common brushing mistakes that turn your teeth yellow

A leading dentist has revealed the common mistakes that cause many of his patients' teeth to become discolored and yellow.

In a warning to the public, UK dentist Dr Ferakh Hamid, a dentist with more than 20 years' experience, urged people to ensure they moisturize their toothbrushes correctly.

Applying toothpaste directly to the teeth without enough water as a lubricant is a major cause of tooth staining, he said.

He also warns that another common cause of the problem is brushing too early after eating or drinking acidic foods, such as tomato and orange juice.

Dr Hamid, director of Aesthetique Dental Care UK, said: 'Brushing your teeth in certain ways, such as not drinking water or brushing after eating acidic foods, may actually make your teeth look less white over time.

Dr. Ferrah Hamid, a British dentist, said that brushing without water will

Dr. Ferrah Hamid, a British dentist, said that brushing without water will “dull” the teeth, and brushing after eating acidic foods will make the teeth more yellow.

“Dry brushing seems to help remove surface stains at first, but without water, toothpaste doesn't spread well.”

If you've just eaten an acidic food (such as citrus, tomatoes, or soda), your teeth may be too fragile to reap the benefits of brushing. Your teeth are covered with a protective layer called enamel.

Acidic foods can erode your enamel, Dr. Hamid says, so if you brush your teeth right after they weaken, you may be moving more of the acid around your mouth and not getting the benefits of brushing. Brushing your teeth immediately after eating acidic foods “will expose the yellow layer underneath and make your teeth look more yellow,” he says.

Other dentists, such as Dr. Izzard Rohr, an assistant professor of dental medicine at Columbia University, agree with Dr. Hamid.

“We absolutely recommend pausing from brushing after consuming anything acidic, whether it's fruit, soda, juice or sour candy,” he said in a university news release.

However, not everyone agrees with Dr. Hamid’s views on dry brushing.

Dubai-based dentist Dr. Michael Formenius wrote in an online Q&A that adding water to a toothbrush can soften the bristles too much, making them less effective at fighting plaque.

Therefore, Dr. Fomenius says he recommends dry brushing to his patients.

But Dr. Hamid says softening the bristles is actually good for dental health.

“When you wet the bristles, they soften. This means brushing is gentler on the gums and teeth, helping to avoid any irritation or damage,” he says.

Delta Dental, the largest dental insurance provider in the U.S., said in a Q&A that moistening your toothbrush before brushing can make the brushing experience more comfortable.

However, how well you brush your teeth is less important than how often and how well you brush, they write.

Dr Hamid says to keep your pearly whites flawless, you should make sure you brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time.

You should also clean your tongue daily and visit your dentist regularly.

“Adhering to these steps will help prevent dental problems and keep your mouth feeling good,” he says.

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