Our teeth play a major role in our confidence. When we are ashamed of our teeth it can hinder our everyday life, making use feel embarrassed to talk or smile. The fact is, naturally our teeth yellow with age, even with good oral hygiene. Luckily, here are ways to slow down or reverse the yellowing process.
The harsh components of whitening products can wear down the enamel (the protective outer layer of the tooth) or cause sensitivity with extended use. Natural alternatives to whitening products may not be able to provide fast results, but overtime can gradually whiten the teeth.
- Baking soda: The real question is: what is baking soda NOT used for? Even commercial toothpastes commonly list it as an ingredient. The abrasive qualities remove surface level stains from teeth.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Hydrogen peroxide is used to disinfect wounds, and also disinfects bacteria in the mouth. The inexpensive product also whitens teeth, but should not be used daily. Swishing diluted hydrogen peroxide or brushing with it mixed with baking soda is a cheap alternative to drug-store whitening products.
- Coconut oil pulling: Oil pulling is a natural oral health practice many people swear by. Swishing coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes possibly removes toxins and bacteria, and some people report a whiter smile. Coconut oil start off as a solid, and can take time to adjust to the texture before it melts into a liquid in the mouth. Also, spit out the oil in the toilet or garbage because it can harden back into a solid and clog sink drains. This is also not intended for everyday use.
And Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
Whitening products and professional treatments are expensive; simply being mindful of our teeth can help save both time and money on whitening treatments. Maintaining good oral hygiene and watching what we eat and drink can prevent any further discolouration.
- Stick to an oral hygiene routine: We are all well aware we should brush our teeth twice a day. Using a mechanical, soft-bristle toothbrush for at least two minutes is the most effective way to brush teeth. Also, failure to floss at least once a day can lead to stains in-between teeth. If you are not already using mouthwash a whitening mouthwash can be the missing piece to seeing the results you want.
- Avoid coffee, wine, and sodas: It is not always realistic to wean off of your morning coffee or nightly glass of wine for the sake of your teeth. Swishing water after drinking staining beverages can help prevent yellowing. Also, try switching out dark sodas with sparking water.
- Go for your cleanings: Going for cleanings twice a year isn’t a cash grab for dental offices. There is a good reason behind the recommendation. A dental hygienist can remove tartar, a hardened staining substance on the teeth. Also, cleanings are followed up by a dentist exam, where they can catch gum disease and provide recommendations for keeping your smile white and healthy.
When teeth are stained beyond what at home remedies and products can fix, a professional whitening treatment may be the best option. Experts from Valley Ridge Dental Centre recommend professional whitening only after treatments such as fillings, root canals, and gum therapy are taken care of. Without a healthy foundation there is no point to whitening teeth that have the potential of decaying or falling out.
There are many options out there for tooth whitening, but what is best for you depends on your lifestyle and level of staining. It is always a good idea to consult with your dentist before trying any new treatments. A whiter smile can lead to more confidence in your appearance, but having a healthy mouth is what ultimately matters the most!