Tips for Teeth Whitening at Home
According to the recent statistics, about 18% of U.S. citizens report that they feel ashamed to show their teeth during a photo shoot. Today, having great white teeth, the so-called “Hollywood smile”, is an aim of most people. Nowadays, there are cosmetic dental procedures that are decreasing in price that can help give us a more standard smile. However, outside of dental procedures like crowns, teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures that Americans seek to do.
The causes of yellow teeth
One of the most widespread reasons of yellow teeth is thinning enamel. Each tooth is made of 4 layers of enamel. The first strong white covering layer that protects the tooth is called dentin. Underneath dentin, there is a hard, yellow layer. And when the dentin breaks down, the second, yellow layer is revealed. Aging, certain foods, and stress can cause the enamel’s destruction.
Besides the thinning enamel, the causes of yellow teeth may be:
- Bad diet habits when your meals include the processed foods, coffees, colas, products high in acid, sugar, and certain fruits;
- The intake of some supplements with certain acids;
- Dry mouth because the saliva naturally can protect the teeth from destruction caused by the food intake;
- Clogged nasal passages that can also lower the amount of saliva in a mouth;
- Excessive use of antibiotics;
- Excessive fluoride intake;
What are medical options for teeth whitening?
Nowadays, everyone can buy over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products in any pharmacy or supermarket. The most popular products applied for whitening the teeth are:
- A whitening toothpaste with the mild abrasives may remove the stains on the outer surface of a tooth;
- Whitening rinses with hydrogen peroxide working as a bleaching agent, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), that may whiten the teeth and also freshen the breath;
- Special sugarless chewing gums may be helpful for removing food leftovers after eating. Chewing gum can also stimulate saliva release for naturally moisturizing your mouth. The chewing gum whiteners may be also used for coating the teeth and preventing stains;
- Small plastic strips with a peroxide gel side may also provide a whitening effect. Health care specialists recommend using these strips daily for no more than 30 minutes.
In most cases, these products can be helpful. However, keep in mind that any teeth whitening procedure can’t help protect the gums or teeth from cavities or dental disease like gingivitis. If you have any of these issues, the use of teeth whitening products won’t help you until you deal with your more serious dental problems.
The recent statistics showed that U.S. citizens spend over $1.4 billion dollars in OTC teeth whitening products every year. However, these products may not be helpful for a number of reasons. That is why instead of spending a lot of money on teeth whitening products you can try to replace them with alternative, safe, affordable, and all-natural remedies.
Healthy teeth whitening methods
Homemade whitening toothpaste with baking soda and lemon juice
It is a well-known fact that baking soda for teeth whitening can actually help better than some cosmetic products. Sodium bicarbonate (that is the official name of baking soda) can work as a mild abrasive capable scrubbing away the stains from yellow or brown teeth. When combined with lemon juice, baking soda may reduce negative effects after eating acidic foods and bleach the teeth. To make a natural toothpaste with these ingredients you can:
- Take a few teaspoons of baking soda, enough lemon juice to make a paste, and a new toothbrush.
- Then mix baking soda with lemon juice (that can be replaced by distilled water) to form a paste;
- Wipe your teeth with a napkin to remove extra saliva;
- Put this paste onto a toothbrush and gently scrub the teeth;
- After scrubbing, leave the paste for 1 minute in your mouth;
- Rinse the residue with warm water;
- Repeat daily during 2 months.
Scrub with salt, baking soda, and strawberries
If you are wondering how to get white teeth with easy-to-find products, consider making a natural scrub with salt, baking soda, and strawberries. For this recipe, you can:
- Take 3 large strawberries, a pinch of sea salt and a ½ teaspoon of baking soda;
- Mash the berries into a pulp;
- Add salt and baking soda to the mashed berries;
- Remove the extra saliva off your teeth;
- Apply the mixture (a large portion) on a toothbrush;
- Gently brush the teeth;
- After brushing leave the mixture for 5 minutes;
- Rinse with warm water;
- Repeat every night before going to bed for a month.
Rinse with coconut oil
Lauric acid in coconut oil may fight against the bacteria that make the teeth yellow. It is also believed that coconut oil can strengthen the gums and keep the breath fresh. You may rinse your mouth with a tablespoon of coconut oil before brushing your teeth every morning. Rinse for 10-15 minutes, then spit out and gargle with warm water.
Foods that can help with teeth whitening
- Yogurt or raw milk as a natural source of calcium;
- Leafy green veggies, apples, pears, and other foods rich in magnesium and potassium;
- Walnuts, almonds or other nuts;
- Cage-free eggs;
- Any mushrooms;
- Sweet potatoes;
- Carrots or squash.
Tips for natural teeth whitening
- You may use any of the natural or medical teeth whitening methods described above daily to improve the color of your teeth. The main rule is to repeat a chosen method daily;
- You can try to rinse your mouth with a 3% hydrogen peroxide that may whiten your teeth because of the process of oxidation. This ingredient is commonly applied in many OTC whitening kits which cost much more than a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution;
- Consider removing any dark drinks, including coke, coffee, and black tea from your diet.
Teeth whitening at home may seem like a smart choice and in many cases the results turn to be satisfying. However, if you have serious dental problems, you may consider visiting a dentist before applying any natural remedies or OTC products.