People having a bright and confident smile are generally perceived as more happy, intelligent, and trustworthy. Healthy teeth also support overlying tissue. When the teeth are missing, lips become thinner and cheeks can sink ruining the look of the face. There are many products available on the market from teeth whitening kits, whitening strips, toothpaste, or gels you can choose from. The best way you can get whitened teeth is from simpler ingredients that are available at home. Including them in your daily routine will save you from many teeth problems too in the long run.
What causes teeth discoloration?
Enamel, the outer covering of teeth is translucent bluish-white or slightly yellower and dentin underlying enamel is yellow. Stain can be over enamel ranging from white streak to yellow or brown spots. Sometimes the stain is due to dentin. Enamel stains can be removed with various whitening techniques however, staining due to dentin is more stubborn requiring cosmetic treatment.
Teeth can get discolored due to multiple factors including Aging, staining, chemical damage, diseases, or genetics. The most common causes of teeth staining are:
Food and beverages
Any food which has pigment like tomato sauce, tea and coffee, colored fruits, and juices can stain teeth. Acidic substances like carbonated drinks also erode enamel making it easier for the pigment to enter teeth. To avoid staining teeth straw can be used while taking beverages or brushing teeth afterward.
Smoking has a very bad effect on gums and teeth. Teeth are also porous-like skin. Yellow stains of nicotine seep in through the enamel causing yellow staining. Tar causes dark spots. These stains are very hard to remove by normal cleaning. It needs professional whitening treatment. Tartar ( hardened plaques) build up and nicotine and tar stain them more yellow. Gums recession and inflammation lead to teeth loss.
Poor dental hygiene
The mouth harbors a population of commensal micro-organisms which normally are controlled by keeping oral hygiene. If oral hygiene is neglected then they multiply in plaques (sticky deposits on teeth) and can cause orange or green discoloration.
Certain medicines can cause teeth discoloration as their side effects. Such as Tetracyclines associated with dentin discoloration, especially in children. Some drugs used for blood pressure and antipsychotics cause teeth discoloration.
Tooth decay can result in white, yellow, brown, or black stains.
With aging, enamel wears away displaying yellower dentin.
Some people are predisposed to teeth staining due to their genetic makeup.
Clipped, broken teeth can get discoloration.
Natural Home Remedies to whiten teeth.
Baking soda is a popular ingredient in commercial toothpaste. It is a mild abrasive so it removes plaques and stains. Additionally, baking soda is alkaline so it prevents bacteria from growing.
How to use baking soda
- Make a paste by mixing with one spoon of water and brush teeth. Brush twice a week and then every 1-2 weeks as frequent use can harm the gums. You can also mix baking soda with toothpaste.
- Add one teaspoon of baking soda to a cup of water and then rinse your mouth 2-3 times per day.
Salt had been utilized as an excellent cleaning agent for ages. Brush teeth with a little salt on the toothbrush or mix with little baking soda and brush. Use less frequently as too much use can harm gums and enamel.
Lemon has citric acid. Lemon juice and lemon peel both are good for teeth whitening. In lemon juice, you can add a little salt and baking soda too for good results.
Hydrogen peroxide has bleaching properties and it kills germs. Soak the toothbrush in the hydrogen peroxide solution and brush your teeth. You can mix it with toothpaste and then brush. Hydrogen peroxide available at drug stores comes in different concentrations. Use 1.5-3% solution. Strong concentration and overuse can cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. To make a 1.5 % solution mix with an equal amount of water. Use alternate days for 1-2 weeks. It can be mixed with an equal amount of water and used as a mouthwash.
Many commercial whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide. It is also used commonly as a disinfectant.
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Get plenty of calcium in your diet
Calcium-rich food such as milk and cheese protects teeth from enamel erosion.
Regular dental cleaning and flossing
Toothpaste gently rubs away stains and flossing removes plaques in difficult-to-reach areas between teeth.
Open a capsule of activated charcoal and brush your teeth with it twice daily or mix with toothpaste. Activated charcoal is utilized in purifying water.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix in an equal amount of water and then soak the toothbrush in it and brush. You can brush your teeth with apple cider vinegar daily. As it is an acid so always mixed with water. You can use it as a mouthwash. Store the remainder for later use. It will also help in the healing of inflammation of gums or mouth ulcers.
Fruits and vegetables
Certain fruits such as apple, pineapple, strawberries, and bananas are claimed to have whitened teeth. Because of their tannin content and astringent property.
Dried basil powder is good for cleaning teeth. Mix with toothpaste and brush your teeth.
Prevent tooth staining before it happens
Limit teeth-staining food and beverages such as tea, coffee, and soft drinks. Brush and floss daily. Use toothpaste and mouthwashes which have fluoride in them. Fluoride strengthens the enamel.
Decrease sugar intake
Cut back on your sugars. Brush teeth after sugary food. Frequent intake of sugar causes the proliferation of bacteria in the mouth which leads to dental decay.