In today’s society, a healthy white smile is important not only because of its obvious health benefits, it also increases one’s self-esteem. It’s been suggested that having unhealthy teeth can make your life troublesome since it deters other people from connecting with you. With that said, there are plenty of teeth whitening products available today that are both easy to access and affordable.
Before we dive in to the methods of teeth whitening, we should begin by understanding what the causes of teeth discoloration are and how to prevent it. Here are a few common agents for teeth discoloration and overall teeth degradation.
Common factors for teeth discoloration
Smoking is one of the most notorious agents for teeth discoloration. The Nicotine found in cigarettes causes discoloration in a very short time. Not only do cigarettes discolor your teeth, they also degrade your gum’s health. The tar in tobacco causes plaque and tartar build up which in turn causes your teeth to appear blackish in color.
Coffee is also a common agent for teeth discoloration. It only takes one cup of coffee to stain the enamels of your teeth (protective coating of your teeth). Fortunately for coffee lovers out there, the stains can be removed through regular cleaning or annual visits to your dentist.
Anti-biotics namely tetracycline and doxycycline are also known to cause teeth discoloration in children whose teeth are still developing. Mouth washes that contain chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium may also cause tooth discoloration.
Throughout your life, there’s really no way of avoiding teeth discoloration; old age causes your teeth to become yellowish as well. However, there is hope! There are ways to whiten your teeth, keep reading for a handful of natural home based solutions.
Teeth Whitening You Can Do At Home
There are a few methods you can do at home to retain or bring back the shine in your teeth. The following are some of these;
- Regular brushing and flossing- Regular brushing and flossing is one of the most proven ways to keep your teeth as white as ever.
- Eat Strawberries- This is arguably one of the best methods you can do to whiten your teeth. These fruits have an enzyme called Malic Acid and Vitamin C. The Malic Acid removes surface stains on your teeth while Vitamin C removes the plaque. There are two ways to perform this method; first one is mashing the strawberries brushing it twice a week or you can just eat the strawberries.
- Baking Soda and Lemon- This is one of the most popular teeth whitening methods out there. The chemical reaction that the baking soda and lemon produce makes a smile-brightening effect. This means that either one of these would work well in whitening your teeth but together they are super effective. You just need to brush the solution once a week since it can wear your teeth’s enamel.
- Coconut Oil Rinse- Rinsing your mouth with Coconut oil (more commonly known as “Oil Pulling”) is an old remedy for whitening your teeth. It may not sound like the most pleasant thing in the world but it’s a way of whitening your teeth that closely resembles “bleaching”. The lauric acid found in the coconut oil removes the bacteria in the plaque that causes your tooth to appear yellowish. It’s also suppose to keep your gums healthy and your breath fresh. Just scoop out a table spoon of coconut oil and brush your teeth with it in the morning. Think of it as a substitute for your toothpaste.
- Charcoal- This is a weird method of whitening one’s teeth but keep in mind that a holistic dentist will recommend this method. It may look unappealing at first but it is effective in whitening your teeth because activated charcoal is a highly absorbent substance that removes tannins that stain the teeth. Further research suggests that it also helps in changing the pH levels and overall health of the mouth. In turn, an effective way in killing off bacteria that causes tooth decay and gingivitis.
Professional Teeth Whitening
If you don’t have the luxury of doing the aforementioned methods, then there are places you can get your teeth professionally whitened. These places offer services such as bleaching without using harmful chemicals. The following is a rundown of some of these places;
- Dentist- Dentists offer their expertise in helping you get that bright white smile you’ve always wanted. All you need to do is schedule an appointment and you will be good to go.
1.) In-Office Whitening System- Your Dentist will apply a gel substance directly to your teeth and introduce a heat source (more or less a laser) to increase the bleaching action.
2.) Take-Home Whitening- This is a custom made whitening item that’s made onsite. It is flexible plastic that you fill up with a provided gel substance then you wear it for a prescribed period of time.
- Over the Counter Teeth Whitening- There are instances where the dentists may offer over-the-counter products that could help you get your pearly whites shining again. Some of these substances include the following;
1.) Whitening Strips- These strips look like bandages that adhere to your teeth and should be left there for 30 minutes at a time. These strips should be applied 2 times a day for 1 or 2 weeks.
2.) Brush-on whitening- These are gel like products that are directly brushed on your teeth and left overnight for maximum effect.
3.) Whitening Gum- If you enjoy chewing gum, then you might want to try this product. It’s a new form of teeth whitener that you need to chew. You might need to chew 8 pieces a day to see results.
4.) Whitening toothpaste- These types of tooth paste are available worldwide and made by various manufacturers. They are made with special ingredients and polishing agents to effectively remove surface stains and plaque. But, unlike bleaching, they won’t change the actual color of your teeth.
Risks concerning Teeth Whitening
The only risk worth mentioning about these methods are tooth sensitivity concerns due to the procedure or ingredients these methods use. If sensitivity does occur after your procedure, it generally only lasts 1 to 4 days max. There are also toothpastes to combat those sensitivity issues like Sensodyne. Other than sensitivity concerns, the procedures mentioned above are relatively safe.
Whatever method or product you prefer, know that they are all guaranteed to help you get that bright white smile that you have always wanted.
Since they are available anywhere and they are relatively cheap, anyone can get their teeth whitened. With that in mind, you now have the confidence to smile with no worries whatsoever.
*The information provided in this article is not meant to be dental advice of any kind and was composed from research of information provided on the world wide web. Always consult your dentist for dental advice.