Unfortunately, what you eat and drink daily can end up slowly staining your teeth and one day, you will notice your bright smile lacking a bit of luster. A slight discoloration may be ignored but if the stains are more obvious, it might lead to a lack of confidence.
The fact is, simple daily food and drinks contribute to the staining of teeth, from that cup of coffee to a glass of red wine. The great news is, there are ways to whiten teeth again, either using natural or chemical solutions. These will be discussed in more detail in this article.
Natural Ways To Whiten Teeth
Avoid Tooth-staining Foods And Drinks
The best step to avoid the worsening of tooth discoloration is to know what actually causes it, then stop eating or drinking them. Some are quite obvious, like coffee, tea, and red wine. However, other culprits may be cola, dark juices, and even gravies. To make it easy, whatever is dark in color may possibly stain teeth. To be safe, brush your teeth immediately after eating or drinking these.
Another habit to stop is smoking cigarettes or cigars, as they can really make teeth black and unsightly.
Eat “Detergent“ Foods
Firm or crispy foods will actually help clean your teeth while you are eating. In fact, this is the reason why apples are so-called nature’s toothbrush. Other top choices are raw carrots, popcorn, and celery. If you are eating or drinking tooth-staining foods or if you are unable to brush your teeth after the meal, then make sure you eat these “detergent“ foods at the end of the meal.
Brush With Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural way to whiten teeth, using this very common home ingredient. Not only will it deal with stains, but it will also make teeth whiter. You just need to use it the same way you use toothpaste. If your gums feel raw, however, or if you want an alternative, then you can turn to salt.
Products That Help Whiten Teeth
Natural teeth whitening can be attempted if the discoloration is not as severe, but in many cases, the staining is extreme that other products made specifically to whiten teeth should be used.
While all kinds of toothpaste remove stains from the tooth’s surface thanks to the mild abrasives they contain that scrubs the tooth, whitening toothpaste products have another ingredient, like a chemical or a polishing agent that deal with stubborn stains. However, they do not have any bleaching agent, so they may only very slightly improve the color of teeth, at most by one shade.
Over-The-Counter Whitening Gels And Strips
For worse stains, there are products that can be easily purchased at the pharmacy that are peroxide-based. These whitening gels are then applied to the tooth’s surface using small brushes. Application of these products may, however, depend on how strong the peroxide is. It is important to read and follow the directions on the package because any form of misusing them can possibly damage teeth and affect oral health. These products should display noticeable results after some days and whiter teeth should be visible for a few months.
On the other hand, whitening strips are thin strips coated with a whitening gel that is also peroxide-based. Most products should be applied two times a day for 30 minutes, for a total of 2 weeks. Results last the same as whitening gel.
Newer products include whitening mouthwashes that also have hydrogen peroxide. The advantage is that they prevent bad breath and oral plaque while making teeth appear whiter. However, they have much less whitening agents than strips and gels, so results might be observed only after 12 weeks. It is also important to swish them 2 times a day for a full half-minute.
Tray-Based Whitening Systems
While they are also available over-the-counter, this kind of whitening product is also what your dentist uses. The kit contains a tray that looks like a mouth guard and a whitening solution containing peroxide. This tray is then worn for a few hours a day or during the night, for a total of 4 weeks or even longer.
Staining of teeth might happen without you noticing or might not be fully avoidable. This is why having both natural and chemical ways to reverse this is a positive thing, as it is now possible to always have shiny white teeth and a pearly white smile.