Having healthy white teeth is very important in our culture these days. Most people are reported to be concealing their teeth in photographs due to being embarrassed about their dingy teeth. Your teeth are the first thing people notice about you. Having stained yellow teeth could cost an entrepreneur his business deal, and a model, his career. A good smile is important not just for a model or a business person, but for everyone. Good teeth imply good confidence and good health. Bad teeth imply that you do not care about yourself and make you look less appealing. Hence, a number of people have been resorting to professional whitening treatments.
Discoloring of teeth often happens as we age. This is generally due to wear and tear of enamel over years. But some foods and habits can contribute to it as well. The primary cause of discolored teeth is the staining of enamel due to certain food. Enamel is the outer most layer of your teeth. Moreover, plague build-up on your teeth can make them look yellow. Another cause could be erosion of enamel, thereby exposing the yellow tissue underneath, called dentin.
Who does not want to have a breathtaking smile?
People resort to numerous ways to whiten their discolored teeth, and also to prevent themselves from this agony. Some people do not hesitate to invest thousands of dollars in professional teeth whitening regimes. Homemade remedies, most scientifically unconfirmed have also become popular. Are your pearly whites losing their white shine too? This article will help you restore your beautiful smile back.
1. Brushing and Flossing
The best, but not the easiest way to keep your teeth white and clean naturally is by flossing and brushing them thoroughly and regularly. Experts advise that you must brush your teeth and floss them at least twice a day. Brushing your teeth is the most basic step towards owning a set of perfectly white, sparkling teeth.
Moreover, it advised to brush your teeth and floss them after every time you eat or drink a beverage. This may be difficult, depending on where you are at the time of eating. It is said that regular and excessive consumption of beverages like soda and coffee can hamper the health of your teeth and gums. Some other harmful habits like smoking cigarettes are also harmful, specifically for your teeth.
Also note that all the remedies mentioned below do not alone help to maintain the color and health of your teeth. They must be paired with regular flossing and brushing to see better results.
2. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient Indian remedy to improve oral hygiene. It involves putting a tablespoon of oil in your mouth, and pulling and pushing it through your teeth continuously for 15-20 minutes. Although this method is not scientifically proven, it is noted to kill the bacteria inside your mouth, thereby preventing plague and consequently avoiding discoloring.
Traditionally, coconut oil and sesame oil are used for oil pulling. Many prefer coconut oil due to its pleasant taste, and other anti-bacterial properties. However, any oil will do the job.
Unlike other teeth whitening methods, this method does not expose your teeth to harmful chemicals that could cause side effects. Hence this method is completely safe to try.
3. Baking Soda
If you ever paid attention to the ingredients used in some commercial toothpastes, you must have noticed that baking soda is an active ingredient in many of them. This is because of its natural whitening properties.
Baking soda is a mild abrasive that removes stains from your teeth. In addition, it creates an alkaline environment in your mouth that prevents the bacteria from growing.
It has been observed during various studies that the toothpastes that contain baking soda have a better whitening effect on teeth than those that do not contain it. Additionally, baking soda also gets rid of the plague from your teeth, and gives you healthier and whiter teeth with regular use. Higher the concentration of baking soda, better it is.
To use baking soda as a remedy, you must add one teaspoon of it to two teaspoons of water and make a paste. Brush your teeth with this paste. Over a course of a few weeks’ usage, you will begin to notice whiter teeth.
4. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent and also kills the bacteria in your mouth. Just like baking soda, even hydrogen peroxide is used in commercial toothpastes.
The safety of this remedy however, is a big concern. If used in quantities larger than required, it can cause irritation in gums, tooth sensitivity and also erode your enamel.
To use this remedy at home, you can use hydrogen peroxide as a mouth wash after you brush your teeth. Make sure that you use 1.5% solution in order to prevent any side effects. The solution available in drug stores is usually 3%. You can mix equal parts of hydrogen peroxide and water. This will dilute your solution to 1.5% hydrogen peroxide.
Another way to use hydrogen peroxide is by combining two teaspoons of it with a teaspoon of baking powder and making a paste. Gently brush your teeth with this paste regularly. Your teeth will show significant improvement not just in color, but also their health. However, limit the use of this paste to only a few times a week. Excessive and daily use of this remedy could cause undesired side effects.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been used as a disinfectant for centuries. Owing to its anti-bacterial properties, it is known to kill bacteria, and hence prevent the formation of plague in your teeth. Therefore, it is a good remedy for maintaining your oral hygiene.
A study showed that apple cider vinegar has whitening effects on teeth due to its active ingredient acetic acid. This ingredient helps to maintain the acidity of your mouth and acts as a disinfectant. However, a study also showed that vinegar may have softening effects on your teeth. Hence it is strongly advised to limit the use of this remedy to just a few times a week.
To use apple cider vinegar as a whitening agent for your teeth, mix a little amount of it with water and swish it around in your mouth for several minutes. However, make sure to rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards. This will make sure that any remains of apple cider vinegar are washed off.
It is true that regular cleaning and brushing has no substitute to maintain oral hygiene. However, eating vegetables regularly can help to maintain your oral hygiene along with your general body health.
This remedy is mainly a step to prevent you from any agony due to adverse health of your body, mainly your teeth.
However, it is advised by experts that eating crunchy vegetables is beneficial for teeth because the constant chewing can rub the plague off your teeth.
It is a famous rumor that celebrities use strawberries to whiten their teeth. Strawberries have natural antioxidant properties that prevent your teeth from succumbing to oral hygiene problems. However, strawberries alone do not contribute to the whitening of your teeth. It is your complete balanced diet that plays a major role.
A direct way to use strawberries such that you do not have to expose your body to chemicals internally, is by pairing them up with baking soda. Smash up some fresh strawberries and mix them up with baking soda to form a paste. Gently brush your teeth with this paste for whitening properties. However, due to effects of overuse of baking soda, limit this practice to just a few times a week.
Even consumption of other healthy foods like yogurt, sweet potatoes, carrots, mushrooms, celery, etc. can help maintain the health of your teeth and gums.
8. Lemon and Orange Peels
Just like apple cider vinegar, lemon and orange peels are said to have bleaching properties. Citrus fruits, or even lemon essential oil contain the beneficial acids that do the trick for whitening teeth. They can be used in the same way as mentioned above for apple cider vinegar.
You can rub your teeth with the peel powder, or use diluted lemon juice as a mouth wash after brushing your teeth. You could also pair it up with baking soda and form a paste. However, make sure to rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards, because citrus fruits are said to erode your enamel off if used in excessive amount. Also make sure to limit the practice of this method to a few times a week.
9. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is known to have great absorbing abilities. It has gained immense popularity for its ability to produce beautiful flawless skin. However, it is capable of absorbing impurities not just off your skin, but also your teeth. It helps whiten your teeth by absorbing the bacteria off your teeth, along with other microscopic substances that cause plague and discoloring of teeth.
To practice this remedy, dip your damp toothbrush in activated charcoal powder and gently brush your teeth with it for a few minutes. Then rinse your mouth thoroughly in order to remove any black marks left by the charcoal powder. While brushing, focus on the parts of your teeth that have more staining and discoloring.
For best results, repeat these steps two to three times a week. It is advised to avoid this method if you have caps, crowns or veneers.
10. Seek Professional Help
When all home remedies fail to do their job, people tend to seek to professional teeth whitening practices. Many individuals are known to have chipped off a large amount of their earnings in order to get a bright white smile. It is not infamous of many celebrities and other individuals to incline to professional teeth whitening regimes for the sake of their career and a camera friendly smile.
Professional and clinical methods of teeth whitening consist mainly of teeth bleaching with numerous chemicals and techniques. Apart from being a very expensive practice that can be hard on your pocket, this clinical method can be harmful for your body health due to the number of harmful chemicals your body is exposed to.
Even after getting your teeth bleached, experts often advise their patients to take good care of their teeth and follow a strict routine of oral care in order to maintain the whitening effect. Otherwise, the patients would end up back to square one.
This sums up that no matter how many treatments you put yourself through, you have to brush and floss regularly to make sure that those treatments ultimately pay off.
11. Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Crying over spilled milk can gain you nothing. Hence it is always better to prevent a problem before it is too late. The same goes for oral hygiene.
As mentioned earlier, there can be many reasons for discoloring of teeth, like plague, wear and tear of enamel, and bacterial growth. There can be many contributing factors to it. Ageing often causes erosion of enamel. Sometimes, the color of your teeth could be governed by genes, in which case you do not have many options available to alter your situation.
However, the major cause of discoloration of teeth and poor oral hygiene is poor eating habits and oral hygiene regime. As mentioned, brushing and flossing regularly with patience is the key to impeccable oral hygiene. It is the major path towards having shiny white teeth and a beautiful smile.
On the other hand, consuming foods like coffee and soda can discolor and erode your enamel. Junk food consumption can damage the health of your teeth and gums, and can cause decay and plague. Also other habits like smoking cigarettes regularly can hamper your oral hygiene.
In order to have happy teeth and gums, it is very important to cultivate the right eating habits, and a very strong oral hygiene regime.