Everybody loves a beautiful white smile, but age, smoking, diet and poor oral hygiene can cause your teeth to become yellow over time. To help you achieve a pearly white smile, here are some tips on how to eliminate stains using at-home and dental remedies.
1. What Causes Yellow Teeth?
Poor Oral Hygiene
The leading cause of tooth discoloration is poor oral hygiene. When you do not brush and floss regularly, food particles and bacteria build up in your mouth and form a biofilm of plaque over your teeth. If plaque is not removed via brushing and flossing, it hardens into a yellow substance called tartar. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing alone and needs to be removed at a dental office during a professional hygiene cleaning.
Your diet has a significant impact on the health and appearance of your teeth. Dark foods and beverages contain color pigments that can stain your teeth. If these foods are also high in acid or sugar they can weaken tooth enamel allowing dark colored pigments to be absorbed more easily.
Some of these food and beverages including coffee, tea, berries and red wine also contain compounds called tannins which cause the pigments to adhere to your teeth more strongly.
Certain Medications or Medical Conditions
Some medications such as those used for treating asthma or high blood pressure can cause changes to the structure of the tooth, causing it to appear yellow. Some medical conditions including conditions that require treatments such as neck radiotherapy or chemotherapy can also cause yellow teeth.
2. Natural alternatives to teeth whitening
Baking soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
The combination of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide has been used for decades for teeth whitening. And while you can buy toothpaste containing these ingredients, there is also a simple DIY recipe you can try at home.
Combine two tablespoons of baking soda with one tablespoon of low concentration hydrogen peroxide. Mix until it forms a paste, then use the paste to brush your teeth gently. Before you spit and rinse, leave the paste on your teeth for up to one minute. Rinse thoroughly.
It is important not to overuse baking soda or hydrogen peroxide as this can cause the opposite effect and break down your tooth enamel due to its abrasive consistency. Limit this remedy to once or twice per week.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is useful for treating several conditions, and it can also whiten your teeth. Though the results won’t be instantaneous, if used regularly as part of your oral hygiene routine, apple cider vinegar can give you great results.
You can gargle it in place of mouthwash, or you can create a paste with baking soda to use 2 – 3 times per week.
Studies have shown that the enzymes from some types of fruit, including pineapple and papaya, can break down surface stains on your teeth helping to give them a whiter appearance.
Coconut Oil Pulling
One of the more recent home remedies to become popular is coconut oil pulling. Research suggests that coconut oil can help to reduce plaque build-up on the teeth due to high levels of lauric acid. While oil pulling will not have immediate effects, if used over time, this method can help to remove discoloration, and unlike baking soda and vinegar based remedies, coconut oil pulling can be done every day.
3. Dental Remedies
Good oral hygiene is the key to bright white teeth. Using the correct brushing technique with a soft bristled toothbrush twice daily will effectively remove food, bacteria and plaque before is can harden into tartar and stain your teeth.
Whitening toothpaste usually contains abrasive particles to remove surface stains for the enamel. However, to achieve the best results, you need to use the whitening toothpaste twice per day for a few weeks.
Tray-based Teeth Whiteners
At-home teeth whitening kits are a great alternative to professional cleaning. Tray-based teeth whiteners use a molded mouth tray filled with bleaching gel that is applied to your teeth for a set amount of time. In some cases, a special light is also included to activate the gel and accelerate the whitening process.
It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using at-home bleaching kits and if your experience any tooth or gum sensitivity, stop immediately and consult your dentist at St Albans Dental Practice.
Whitening strips are another type of bleaching tool to lighten your teeth. The strips are coated in a special bleaching agent and are applied to the outside of your teeth. Leave the strips for up to 30 minutes, and then remove. In some cases, the whitening strips dissolve.
Dental products containing activated charcoal have been suggested to remove surface stains from your teeth by bonding with the mineral deposits in the plaque. You can find tooth powder, toothpaste and rinses containing activated charcoal, but brush and rinse thoroughly after use as the charcoal itself may stain your teeth.
Whitening rinses contain compounds that react with the plaque on your teeth to remove the stains. You can use whitening rinses 1-2 times per week as part of your oral health regime and can expect to see results within a few weeks.
High Oaks Dental Practice is a Private and NHS Dentist in St Albans. Using the latest technologies, High Oaks Dental provides wide range of dental treatments with all the comfort and caring manner. To achieve a confident smile, visit our website or call us on 01727 893 430.