Tooth whitening helps build your everyday confidence so that you can relate with others and it provides you with a bright smile. However, discoloration of teeth can be caused by stains on your enamel or by changes that may occur inside of your teeth. Drinking coffee, tea, wine, smoking, and poor dental hygiene can cause your teeth to stain or discolor.
Causes for teeth discoloration
Although brushing after every meal removes particles that could easily damage your enamel and remove minor stains, it may not remove the entire discoloration from your teeth. For some people, avoiding certain foods or drinks, smoking, using a straw when drinking beverages and ensuring proper dental hygiene is enough to keep their teeth white.
However, stains can occur on the inside of your teeth as a result of taking certain medications. There is also the chance of trauma to a tooth causing internal bleeding. There are people born with a rare condition known as dentinogenesis imperfecta. With time, the enamel gets thinner and since the dentine below the enamel is naturally yellow, your teeth could eventually discolor with age. However, stains that occur on your enamel can be cleaned by a professional or you can easily do it at home.
Three good options for whitening your teeth at home
1. Using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda
Hydrogen peroxide can help whiten your teeth. It is a bleaching agent and removes stains, therefore restoring the white color of your teeth. Concentrated hydrogen peroxide can damage your enamel and therefore it is advised that you first dilute the peroxide with water. Swish the diluted mixture around your mouth for a minute and then spit it out and rinse properly with water. Since the diluted hydrogen peroxide is not as effective as the concentrated one, repeat the swish at least a few times every week but do not repeat this too often since it could damage your teeth.
Baking soda is abrasive and helps remove stains from the surface of your teeth which makes them appear whiter. However, baking soda does not help remove the old stains. Therefore mixing it with hydrogen peroxide helps whiten your teeth. The mixture forms a paste which stays on your teeth while brushing them. After thoroughly brushing with the paste, rinse properly with water and repeat the process regularly.
2. Change of diet
Tannin contained in coffee and tea stains your teeth by causing build up on the exterior of your teeth. Dyes contained in wine and beverages also stain your teeth. Therefore, avoiding these drinks and other foods that stain your teeth can help prevent further discoloration of teeth. Whenever you are drinking a beverage, using a straw is a good option to protect your teeth from getting into contact with the drink. Tobacco also causes teeth discoloration and refraining from smoking tobacco can also help protect your teeth from discoloration. However, eating fruits such as pineapples, apples, papayas, and strawberries whitens your teeth. Some of these fruits contain malic acid which helps in whitening your teeth naturally.
3. Ensuring a high level of dental hygiene
Brushing your teeth and flossing regularly could help prevent your teeth from staining. It is recommended to brush after every meal or at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste that helps prevent tooth decay and also strengthens your teeth. Flossing regularly helps remove plaque between teeth which prevents stains from appearing in the edges of your teeth. Although brushing your teeth does not entirely change the color of your teeth, it helps remove minor stains from your teeth which eventually make your teeth appear whiter.
Naturally, some people have white teeth and others have discolored teeth. Some stains may not be easy to remove using home remedies or it may not be safe for your teeth. Using a toothbrush and toothpaste is the safest and surest way to clean your teeth at home. The products used at home are not as strong as those used by a dentist, and therefore if you are not comfortable with how your teeth look, consider visiting a dentist to whiten your teeth.
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