Have your teeth lost their luster? Different things can cause teeth to lose their brightness and become dull: food stains, an eroded enamel that reveals the dentin underneath (a yellow tissue underneath the enamel), age, and dental plaque (a sticky film that coats the teeth and hardens into yellow tartar).
Discolored teeth are extremely frustrating and upsetting because the teeth are a primary facial aesthetic. Here are 6 ways to whiten your teeth that work!
Brushing and Flossing
A significant amount of yellow teeth is caused by tartar. Tartar is the hard yellow film that coats teeth.
It is formed when bacteria naturally found in saliva mixes with food particles to become a slimy film commonly referred to as plague.
So brushing your teeth twice a day as recommended by dentists and flossing is not optional for beautiful bright teeth.
Still, brushing is not enough to reach all the cracks and crevices, which is why flossing is also essential for thoroughness.
Oil pulling is a popular ancient Ayurvedic oral hygiene practice that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes.
The oil is “pulled” between your teeth, stimulating saliva production, flushing out bacteria, toxins, and thus plaque.
The most popular oils for oil pulling include coconut oil, sunflower oil, and sesame oil.
One study showed that oil pulling with sesame oil is as effective as a mouthwash, as it reduces bacteria called Streptococcus mutans, which causes tooth decay and as a result discoloration.
Remember to use high-quality natural oil.
Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic that bleaches.
Because of its bleaching properties, it is found in most commercial teeth whitening products. Hydrogen peroxide has the added benefit of killing bacteria.
Studies show that teeth whitening products that contain hydrogen peroxide are very effective at whitening teeth. These products usually contain up to 10% hydrogen peroxide, which is fine because it is mixed with other products.
Using hydrogen peroxide at home, however, requires a much lower concentration. Failure to dilute pure hydrogen peroxide will cause gum irritation and sensitive teeth. Most pharmacies sell a 3% solution.
Here are ways to use hydrogen peroxide:
- As a mouthwash, mix 2 ounces of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 2 ounces of water in a cup. Swish this around in your mouth for 2 to 3 minutes, then spit it all out immediately.
- As a paste, add 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide to 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Brush your teeth gently with the mixture, then rinse your mouth.
Activated charcoal is regular charcoal that has been burned specifically for medical applications such as treating intestinal gas during pregnancy or managing cholesterol levels.
Activated charcoal removes stains and plaque from your teeth because it is absorbent, sticking to your teeth and taking the plaque with it when it is removed.
To whiten your teeth with activated charcoal:
- Add only enough water to make it a paste and apply this directly onto your teeth.
- Leave the paste for up to 3 minutes.
- Finally, rinse out your mouth completely, then brush your teeth.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables not only fix your body, but they also fix your teeth too!
Crunchy fruits and vegetables act like toothbrushes that rub away plaque, and some fruits and vegetables directly benefit your teeth.
For example, apples have fluoride in them and stop tooth decay and spinach is full of calcium.
Also, rubbing the peels of citrus for 1 to 2 minutes on your teeth can whiten your teeth, because they contain citric acid.
The teeth discoloration may require a stronger remedy.
Here, teeth whitening products have carbamide peroxide, a bleach that removes deep stains and changes the natural color of your teeth to a whiter shade.
There are different teeth whitening kits. Some kits are a peroxide-based gel you apply to your teeth with a small brush, or small whitening strips also with peroxide gel you place on your teeth.
Again, there are sugar-free chewing gums with ingredients that coat the teeth to protect them from stains and special kinds of toothpaste designed specifically to whiten teeth.
The professionals at Advanced Whitening caution that finding the right product is vital, so click here for advice on how to make the right choice for you.
There are a ton of options that will give you back your white Instagram-worthy smile. With natural home remedies and teeth whitening products, discolored teeth need no longer be a source of mental anxiety and shame.