All of us wish to know the secret tricks of brightening their teeth. People get to know the tricks too late, long after the damage has been done to the teeth. Teeth begin to turn yellow with age, but range strategies can slow the process and even reverse it. Most of the pharmacies sell tooth-whitening kits but there are many natural remedies which can help remove stains and protect tooth enamel.
Americans in 2015, spent over $11 billion on teeth whitening which includes over $1.4 billion on at-home whitening products. When it comes to whitening or brightening of teeth, there are plenty of products available in the market.
Causes of teeth to look Yellow
There are various factors that cause teeth to become dull and lose their bright and white sparkle. Some foods stain the enamel which is the outermost layer of your teeth. Besides teeth also looks yellow due to the plague build up in them. Such discoloration of teeth can be easily treated with regular cleaning and brightening remedies.
Teeth can look yellow in color when the hard enamel has eroded away thus revealing the dentin underneath. Dentin is naturally yellow in color and bony tissue which lies underneath the enamel. Use of commercial dental brightening product comes with its own set of problems-
Mentioned below are some of the ways in which you can brighten your teeth naturally:
One of the traditional Indian folk remedies is oil pulling which helps in improving oral hygiene and remove toxins from the body. IN this method oil is swished around in the mouth to remove bacteria which can turn into plaque and cause your teeth to look yellow. In India, people mainly use sunflower or sesame oil pulling but any oil can be used.
Coconut oil can also be used as it has a pleasant taste and offers many additional health benefits. IT is high in lauric acid and is well known for its ability to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria.
Recently studies have been conducted and it has been proved that daily oil pulling helps in reducing the bacteria in the mouth along with plaque and gingivitis. There has been no scientific study in the regard that oil pulling whitens the teeth. Of course, is it safe? People have claimed that their teeth are whiter and brighter after regular oil pulling.
Take 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and push and pull the oil through your teeth. At room temperature coconut oil is solid and hence you need to wait for a few minutes. Continue to do so for 15-20 minutes. Pulling of coconut oil does not expose your teeth to acid or other ingredients that erode the enamel-like any other tooth whitening methods.
One of the popular ingredients in commercial toothpaste is Baking soda as it has natural whitening properties. The soda creates an alkaline environment in the mouth which prevents the bacteria from growing. Soda is a mild abrasive which enables to scrub away surface stains on teeth.
Brightening of teeth with baking soda will not happen in a day or two but the difference will be noticed over a period of time. Scientifically use of baking soda for brightening the teeth has not been proven but studies have shown that toothpaste with baking soda has a significant whitening effect.
A recent study has proved that toothpaste containing baking soda is effective in removing yellow stain from teeth than standard toothpaste without baking soda. Effect of brightening the teeth will be more if the concentration of baking soda is higher. It has also been proved that paste containing baking soda will help in removing plaque from teeth effectively than non-baking soda toothpaste.
Take a bowl and mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water and brush your teeth with the paste. Continue doing this few times a week.
One of the natural bleaching agent, Hydrogen peroxide helps in killing bacteria in the mouth. Since years, people have been using hydrogen peroxide to disinfect wounds as it has the ability to kill bacteria. ‘Commercial brightening products contain hydrogen peroxide at a higher concentration. The effect of rinsing or brushing alone with hydrogen peroxide is not shown in any of the studies conducted so far but studies have proved the presence of hydrogen peroxide in commercial toothpaste.
The study has found that toothpaste containing baking soda and 1% hydrogen peroxide led to significantly whiter teeth. The study has proved that you can get 62% brighter teeth when you brush teeth twice a day with a commercial toothpaste containing baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
Strong concentration or overuse of hydrogen peroxide can cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. High dosage can also lead to cancer and hence it is preferable to make use of heavily diluted concentrations. Before brushing your teeth, make use of hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash. Use only 1.5% or 3% solution to avoid side effects. At the drugstore, you can find the most common concentration of hydrogen peroxide at 3% solution. Dilute this concentration easily to 1.5% by mixing equal parts of peroxide and water.
You can also make toothpaste by mixing hydrogen peroxide with baking soda. Make a mixture by combining 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and brush your teeth gently. Try to make use of this homemade paste two or three times in a week so as to avoid the overuse which can wear away your tooth enamel.
Since centuries, apple cider vinegar has been used as a disinfectant and natural cleaning product. Presence of Acetic acid in apple cider vinegar kills bacteria. The antibacterial property of vinegar helps in cleaning your mouth and brightening your teeth. The study was conducted on cow teeth found that apple cider vinegar does have a bleaching effect on teeth. It was also found that vinegar may soften the teeth.
Presence of acetic acid in vinegar has the capability to remove the enamel on your teeth. Hence apple cider vinegar should not be used every day. Also, limit the amount of time vinegar is in contact with your teeth.
Dilute vinegar in water and swish it around in your mouth for a few minutes to use it as a mouthwash. Do not forget to rinse your mouth with plain water later.
Diet rich in vegetables and fruits are good for your body health and teeth. There is no substitute for brushing your teeth, crunchy raw vegetables and fruits help to rub the plaque away as you chew. Strawberries and pineapple are the two fruits that claim to brighten your teeth.
Mixture of strawberry and baking soda brightens your teeth. This is a natural remedy used by celebrities all over the world. Presence of malic acid in strawberries helps in the removal of discoloration on your teeth while the baking soda will buff away stains. This remedy has not so far been backed up by science.
Strawberries help in making the teeth stronger and make the teeth appear whiter but do not penetrate the stains on your teeth. A study conducted recently found that mixture of strawberry and baking soda produced very little color change in teeth as compared to commercial whitening products. Try this only a few times in a week as studies have proved that excessive use can damage the tooth enamel. To use this remedy, smash up a fresh strawberry with baking soda and with this mixture brush your teeth.
Some people claim that pineapple can whiten teeth. Toothpaste contains bromelain, and this enzyme can be found in pineapples also which is effective in removing tooth stains than standard toothpaste. But there is no evidence to prove that eating of pineapples also has the same effect.
Prevention is always better than cure, so it is adviceable that you start taking care of your teeth at the right time.
Other Unproven methods of whitening teeth
Some of the natural teeth whitening methods, but there is no scientific evidence to prove that they are effective and safe. Some of the unproven methods are:
These methods have not been tested so far and hence nothing can be evaluated to confirm their effectiveness. They have also not been tested for side effects on the teeth.
Take-home message – You can whiten your teeth with some natural methods. The remedies work by gently removing the surface stains on your teeth. Some of the dentists offer whitening treatments which are stronger than the natural remedies. Bleaching the teeth is more effective for severe tooth discoloration.