Teeth whitening treatments you can try at home
Every year, billions are spent on teeth whitening products, whether it is professionally done or at-home whitening products. The product choice is so vast that unfortunately many of these products have unsafe, possibly lethal chemical bleach as an ingredient.
Fortunately, there are teeth whitening options available that are both natural and safe to use. You can reclaim your bright, white sparkle without putting your health at risk.
Why are my teeth turning yellow?
There are many different factors that cause teeth to discolour. Knowing the exact cause of your teeth turning yellow, blue, or in some cases, grey can help you to use the correct remedy to fix it. Not all discolouration is superficial. Foods can stain your teeth, and the build-up of plaque can cause your teeth to look yellow. Yellow and orange stains are usually on the tooth’s surface. But, if you notice brown or black spots, make an appointment with your dentist.
This condition is called Fluorosis. It usually occurs for an excessive intake of fluoride, says Bright Smile.
Sufferers notice black or brown pits appearing on teeth. When there are a lot of fluorides, particularly on teeth forming in your gum, it is also a cosmetic condition, but it can cause excessive corrosion and decay if not addressed by your dentist. Affinity Dental gives you access to a network of accredited dental health professionals.
There are also occasions when the erosion of the enamel, which reveals the bony tissue beneath the enamel, causes the teeth to look yellow.
Oil pulling is a traditional Indian remedy that involves swishing oil in your mouth to remove bacteria.
The traditional oils used were sunflower and sesame oil, but lately coconut oils are the most popular choice because they offer many health benefits.
Studies have shown that daily oil pulling reduces bacteria, plaque and gingivitis. Although no scientific studies have proven that oil pulling works, it is safe to practice.
To do oil pulling, put one tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and push and pull the oil through your teeth. You will have to wait for a few seconds for the coconut oil to melt, as it is solid at room temperature. Continue the oil pulling for 15–20 minutes.
This is the preferred remedy by most as coconut oil does not expose your teeth to ingredients that erode the enamel.
Brush with baking soda
Baking soda has natural whitening properties, which is why it is also an active ingredient in most commercial toothpastes. Baking soda not only scrubs away the surface of the stains on the teeth but also prevents bacteria from growing in your mouth.
Although it has not been proven that brushing with plain baking soda whitens your teeth, there is evidence that toothpastes containing baking soda are more effective at removing stains from teeth.
Make a paste consisting of one teaspoon of baking soda and two teaspoons of water and brush your teeth.
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that kills bacteria in your mouth. You can use it as a mouthwash or mix it with baking soda to form a whitening agent. There are no studies to support the effectiveness of using hydrogen peroxide as all reviews have been analysed with commercial toothpaste.
There are questions regarding the safety of hydrogen peroxide as it may cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. Although it has not been proven, there are concerns that it might cause cancer.
Mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda and use toothpaste to brush your teeth. Limit the use of this as it can erode your tooth enamel.
A popular remedy made famous by celebrities is whitening your teeth with a strawberry and baking soda mixture. A recent study found that this mixture produces little colour change.
Combine baking soda with pulped strawberries and brush the mixture on your teeth. Although this is a natural product, usage must be limited as the strawberry paste can erode the enamel.
While these methods are available, there are preventative methods that should be used as well.
Limit staining foods and beverages
There are many teeth-staining foods and beverages that don’t necessarily need to be avoided but undoubtedly limited. Take care to rinse teeth after consumption. When it comes to beverages, try drinking from a straw. This limits contact between the beverage and your teeth.
Also, avoid smoking and consuming alcohol. These stain the teeth pretty quickly.
Calcium-rich foods, such as milk, cheese, and broccoli, may help protect and strengthen your teeth enamel and can avoid enamel erosion.
Although there are so many alternatives, teeth whitening remedies available, do not underestimate the importance of brushing and flossing daily.
Regular dental cleaning also helps, and dentists offer whitening treatments, which are much more robust. These professional cleanings involve bleaching under supervision and may be more effective.
Whatever you decide, always check with your dentist about the treatments that suit you best.