Whitening your teeth: remedies at dentist’s and home

Anna Francisconi

Don’t you just hate it when your teeth look stained while your friends’ teeth are pearly white? But don’t worry as the solution is simple. You can now use whitening procedures by visiting a dentist, or better, by addressing to home remedies. Before digging a little deeper on how to perform both procedures, let’s first learn why teeth change their color.

1. Diet

Some people believe that only brushing their teeth can maintain their sparkle. However, brushing is not the only determinant when it comes to retaining white color of teeth. In fact, to ensure you have a bright smile, you must watch what you consume. For instance, the chromogens present in some foods and beverages can make your teeth yellowish. These foods with color pigments include red wine, tea, and coffee among others. In addition, citrus fruits and tomatoes have acidic nature. Consuming these products in big amount destroy enamel. Moreover, such foods, as cookies, sodas and sweets harm teeth and change the color of your teeth.

Smiling face of a boy
S.B. Vonlanthen

2. Aging

In most cases, aged people are the ones with stained teeth. But do you know why? The more years you brush your teeth, the more the outer part of your teeth becomes thin. And remember, the dentin, which is the layer below the outer enamel is yellowish. That’s why some older adults have colored teeth.

3. Taking some medicines

It’s a known story that one of the side effects of drugs is darkening the teeth. For that reason, some adults exposed to various drugs have stained teeth. This doesn’t only happen to grown-ups. In fact, medications can also discolor children’s teeth both born and unborn.

4. Hygiene

Most people don’t understand that observing the cleanliness of their teeth is essential. Actually, many youths, as well as aged people, forget to brush their teeth regularly. For this reason, their teeth stain hence losing their sparkle.

However, even if your teeth change color due to the above causes, you can still brighten your smile. And as said earlier, you can get help by visiting a dentist. Let’s see how it works.

How teeth whitening at dentist’s work

The dentist isn’t aware that you need his/her help to brighten your teeth. Therefore, the first step that you take is to consult him/her. Remember that not every dentist is a professional in whitening the teeth. That’s why you seek advice first to know the expert in the procedure. When in the hands of the right professional, he/she will guide you on the best procedure. Don’t forget that not all patients undergo through the same treatment due to differences in gums.

When sure of the right method, the dentist will then give you an appointment. This is when the expert performs the actual whitening. What happens first, the dentist inserts a plastic instrument known as a retractor in your lips. This tool ensures that he/she can access your teeth easily. After, the dentist applies some gel to cover your front gums fully. Next, he/she hardens them to ensure they’re safe from teeth bleaching agents during the procedure.

After that, the whitening expert applies hydrogen peroxide enriched gel to your teeth. Through the oxidation process, hydrogen peroxide removes some stains from your teeth. Subsequently, the dentist applies some high-powered light to accelerate the process. The professional then rinse the gel from your teeth and apply it again severally. This procedure ensures that you get pearly white teeth.

View of chair and instruments at dentist's
Daniel Frank

Advantages of whitening at dentist’s

They’re professionals, hence do thorough whitening. They’re reliable, since the whitening process is quicker than other methods. Besides, the procedure is safer with a dentist because he/she is an expert in the field.

Disadvantage

The bleaching agents that dentists use to whiten the teeth can result in sour gums. This is primarily to people who may be allergic to chemicals.

Home remedies for whitening teeth

1. Making use of baking soda when brushing

It’s a myth that baking soda can damage the enamel. However, if you mix baking soda with citrus fruits or any other abrasive product will harm your enamel. As we mentioned earlier, acidic foods erode the enamel. According to research, brushing regularly with baking soda can help remove stains safely. Even better, it prevents tooth decay by fighting the bacteria present in the teeth. There are some tips on using baking soda:

  • For increasing the effectiveness of baking soda, add water (in proportion of 2/1 accordingly). Brush your teeth with this mixture not more than once a day. Stop the procedure after 2 weeks of daily use.
  • The same way you can mix baking soda with ordinary toothpaste. Brush your teeth for 2 minutes with gentle movements. Additionally, you can make a sort of mask on your teeth using this mixture. First, take 2 pieces of parchment paper, which are suitable to the size of your jaws. Then, apply some toothpaste with baking soda on the paper pieces. After, spread this all over the pieces and cover your teeth for 5 minutes. The parchment paper must cover front and back of your teeth.

However, be gentle while brushing teeth with baking soda. The process must take about 1-2 minutes.

2. Using whitening strips

Today, there is also possibility to use ready products for whitening teeth at home. One of such are whitening strips. They contain hydrogen peroxide as a main ingredient. Notably, this ingredient is present in many whitening products. The more there is hydrogen peroxide, the faster the result. However, take into account that such products harm sensitive teeth and gums. Such strips are easy to use. Apply them once or twice a day for particular time, as defined in instructions. However, you should note that strips might not have effect on fillings, crowns, and other dental work.

3. Consuming vegetables and fruits regularly

It’s always advisable to consume enough fruits if you want to brighten your teeth. Some of the fruits that contain whitening effect include pawpaw, strawberries, and pineapples. In addition, don’t forget to consume carrots, celery, and apples. These not only when teeth, but also improve blood circulation in your gums. But some fruits and vegetables are acidic. Some of them are strawberries and tomatoes. As we mentioned, big amount of these foods harm the enamel. Accordingly, keep the balance.

4. Whitening by changing diet

Some foods especially those which are acidic can discolor your teeth. Likewise, some drinks like coffee and juices may leave some stains in your teeth. Therefore, avoiding them can be a great way of restoring your teeth’s sparkle.

Artificial teeth holding donut
Rawpixel

Advantages of using home remedies

They’re cost effective as you do the procedure at home using available products. Additionally, you save your time, as you don’t have to make endless trips to the whitening expert. It’s more convenient as the patient does it from the comfort of his/her home.

Disadvantages

The process is slow and unreliable as it can take years to brighten the teeth. Moreover, some home remedies can damage gum tissue. This can make it challenging to consume some foods and drinks.

Bottom line

As seen above, giving your stained teeth a bright look is not complicated. You can always plan to seek help from a dentist or do it from home. Even though there are some cons in using both professional and home remedies, the teeth whitening process is vital. However, you can always prevent discoloring your teeth by keeping hygiene and watching your diet.

Recommended article: Tips for Healthy Teeth

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