Tooth discoloration can be a sign of aging, but it is most commonly caused by a plaque and bacteria buildup. Teeth can appear yellow or beige, and in some cases, brushing and flossing alone are not enough to help eliminate the staining. Fortunately, the modern market has plenty of teeth whitening options available.
There are natural treatments, home treatments, and clinics that offer affordable teeth whitening options.
Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Preventing stains is easier than getting rid of them. While it is true that our teeth yellow with age, the process is exacerbated if our teeth come into contact with products like coffee, berries, and red wine. Avoid smoking and chewing tobacco because there are well-known for staining teeth, and if you do consume anything like coffee, try to limit its contact with your teeth and brush soon after consumption.
You should also limit sugar in your diet, to prevent the accumulation of bacteria, and increase your intake of calcium rich foods, because these have been shown to protect your teeth from enamel erosion.
Good Oral Hygiene
Another way of ensuring that you prevent stains is to adopt and follow good oral hygiene rules. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes at a time. This helps remove food and control plaque buildup. Plaque contains bacteria that is very damaging to the enamel of teeth.
Flossing further helps remove plaque, especially in between teeth, where we struggle to reach with brushing alone. It is recommended that we floss once a day. Although many people prefer to floss at night so that they sleep with a clean mouth, you can also choose to floss in the morning.
Eat More Fruit And Veg
Fruit and vegetables could help you to rub plaque away as you eat. This should not be considered a substitute for brushing or flossing, but consuming vegetables with your main course, or a piece of fruit as a snack, not only helps keep your body healthy, but it could also prevent tooth staining.
One home whitening technique that has gained a lot of exposure is rubbing a combination of strawberry and baking soda onto your teeth several times a week. Research suggests that the benefits of this are minimal, but it won’t harm your teeth.
Use Baking Soda
Baking soda is a common ingredient in whitening toothpastes. It has mild abrasive properties which means that it will rub the plaque and tartar off your teeth. Studies suggest that brushing with baking soda alone might have minimal benefits, but some research shows that toothpastes that contain this ingredient are more effective at whitening than those that do not.
Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent. It is used for cleaning a host of items, and is regularly used to lighten hair. The theory behind its use for teeth whitening is that it cleans away stains. Hydrogen peroxide is commonly found in supermarket teeth whitening products and is combined with baking soda in some whitening toothpastes.
Regular brushing, even with a low 1% concentration of hydrogen peroxide, has shown beneficial results. However, there are reports that the use of too high a concentration can lead to sensitivity of the teeth, and even to stomach aches.
Hydrogen peroxide based toothpastes and whiteners are available from supermarkets and chemists, but these use a peroxide concentration of between 1% and 10%, with most supermarket iterations coming in at 3%. A professional service can use a peroxide mix of up to 38% and the substance is applied to your teeth for periods of 15 minutes per session.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has a great many uses. It is used for washing hair, for cleaning, and even for preserving food. It has also found use to improve the appearance of the skin. The vinegar contains acetic acid, which kills bacteria. This means that it is a beneficial ingredient for cleaning the mouth and whitening teeth.
Unfortunately, the acetic acid is known to be strong and it could lead to corrosion of the enamel on the teeth. If you do intend to try this technique at home, you should dilute the vinegar before swilling it around the mouth. Ensure that you wash your rinse your mouth out effectively afterwards to prevent any undue damage to your teeth.
Zoom whitening popularized professional teeth whitening. It uses an ultraviolet light to spread gel into the structure of the tooth. This removes stains and whitens the teeth. The gum is protected by the use of a protective gel.