Sparkling white teeth are appealing and hard to miss. They enhance social and even career opportunities due to the confidence, enthusiasm, and energy that they portray. As people age, the teeth become discolored due to many factors, and the once courageous, stunning, and contagious smile slowly fades away.
The push to regain a brighter smile kicks in, causing many people to use different teeth whitening methods. The various ways of teeth whitening range from professional, home remedies, and over-the-counter. Professional whitening of teeth certifies dentists and rarely takes more than an hour, producing instant results.
The dentist can use strong bleaching agents or laser light with high precision and care not to damage or harm the gum. These methods have strong scientific backing and are normally highly recommended. Home remedies of teeth whitening are the methods that people use at home to remove the discolor from their teeth.
Most of these methods lack scientific evidence to support their claim for teeth whitening. Many people who opt for these methods cannot afford the professional or over the counter teeth whitening techniques.
Over the counter teeth whitening methods entails the purchase of teeth whitening products at pharmacies or chemists. These methods have scientific research to support their claim for teeth whitening.
5 Common Causes of Yellow teeth
i. Drinks – We are often tempted to buy coffee or tea drinks to keep us awake or afresh. Such beverages contain tannins that have a strong color, which stains the color of the enamel. Fizzy drinks also contain high acid levels, just like acidic fruits that can turn your teeth color to yellow.
When taking these drinks, use a straw to avoid much contact. It is also important for you to consider the content of the drinks you purchase before consumption.
ii. Age – As we age, the enamel, just like any other part of the body, grows week. It begins to become thin, exposing the dentine. The dentine has a natural yellow color within it that shows as the enamel wears out.
The weaker the enamel, the more easily coloring agents are absorbed, causing the teeth to discolor.
iii. Smoking and Chewing Tobacco – Teeth, just like teeth, have pores that make it for substances to be absorbed. Tobacco contains nicotine, a substance that reacts with oxygen to form a yellow to brown color. Chewing tobacco causes the drug to mix with saliva forming a dark brown substance that is very staining. Over time, the yellow stain penetrates the enamel and goes deep into the dentine causing permanent discoloration.
iv. Poor Oral Hygiene – One of the most common causes of yellow teeth is Poor dental hygiene. When we neglect our teeth by not brushing and flossing after meals, the teeth lose their white color.
v. Effects of Some Medicines – Certain medicines and medical procedures such as chemotherapy and radiation tamper with the lining of the mouth. They also change the balance of bacteria, thus changing the appearance of teeth.
10 Ways to Make Yellow Teeth White
Most people have lost hope of having their teeth white again. There is evidence that yellow teeth can be white and here are some of the ways how.
A veneer is an overlay of composite porcelain on the teeth. It is done to protect teeth surface from damage, whiten teeth, and improve smiles. This procedure requires several trips to the dentist.
During these visits, ensure that you get the information that will help you choose the right veneers. It is also essential to let the dentist know your expectations since veneers are preferred as a whitening method because they give the teeth a natural appearance. They are friendly to the gums and highly resistant to stain.
Veneers are healthy and a permanent solution to yellow teeth which with proper care, can last for many years. While veneers are a good option, there are several risks involved. It is, therefore, essential to acquaint yourself with these risks.
The process cannot be undone; it is generally costly and cannot be covered by insurance. A repair cannot be done on a cracked or chipped veneer, and they are not suitable for patients with weak enamel, gum disease, and tooth decays.
2. Use of baking soda and lemon juice
Baking soda is a compound that forms an alkaline solution when mixed with water. Baking soda is mildly abrasive, making it a preferred substance to clean teeth. On the other hand, Lemon juice is acidic and contains mild bleaching elements that can whiten teeth.
Combining baking soda with lemon juice creates paste that you can use as a hack to remove stains on the teeth surfaces. The procedure involves brushing your teeth to remove any food debris.
You will then be required to mix baking soda and lemon juice to form a paste. Apply the paste on your toothbrush, brush your teeth for the second time, and rinse off using water. With time, you will begin to notice a change. The two substances are readily available and inexpensive.
However, the standard quantity to use is not provided, posing two risks: excessive use of the mixture, which may cause the elements to corrode and deplete the calcium, hence destroying the enamel. The other risk is applying, which will delay the results.
3. Use of hydrogen peroxide
Popular for its use as an antiseptic and bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide works by producing water and oxygen, forming and eliminating dirt from the applied area. When using hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening, you could use it as a mouth rinse or combine it with baking soda to form a thick paste. If you choose to use it as a mouthwash to rinse, put equal amounts of hydrogen peroxide and water.
That means, if you use one cup of hydrogen peroxide, you should add one cup of water to it. Swish it around your mouth and rinse off with plain water or apply the paste on your teeth and leave it for some minutes before rinsing with a lot of water.
4. Whitening gel trays
Use of gel trays is a procedure that involves wearing a tray that ideally fits your teeth. This tray contains a bleaching gel, such as opalescence and carbamide peroxide. The procedure involves brushing and flossing before fitting the trays.
The whitening gel works well and produces excellent results with clean teeth. Also, make sure that the bleaching trays are well cleaned and dry as any moisture will lower the whitening gel’s efficiency and further slow down the whitening process. Be sure to fit the trays before filling them with the gel to test if they fit and how comfortable you are in them.
Apply the bleaching gel halfway on the inner front surface and insert the tray in the mouth, fitting them to the teeth. Ensure that the tray holds firmly and wipe off any gel that pours over, then let it sit for two hours and rinse your mouth. In the case of sensitivity, reduce the wearing time to an hour or have it as a routine every day.
Avoid eating while having trays or one hour after the routine to avoid staining the teeth. The use of whitening gels trays should be done alongside oral hygiene practices.
You may experience sensitivity that will disappear within three days of completing the procedure. Also, note that if the whitening trays are not properly fitted, you may experience irritations.
5. Coconut Oil Pulling Practice
Coconut oil pulling, also known as “Kavala” or “gundusha,” is an ancient Indian folk remedy associated with Ayurveda traditional medicine dating back to thousands of years. Oil pulling is claimed to draw out bacteria called “ama” from the mouth, improving dental health. Oil pulling has several benefits: prevention of cavities, reduced bad breath, reduced gum inflammation, and whitening of teeth.
The process involves using one tablespoon of the coconut oil and moving it back and forth in your mouth on an empty stomach for twenty minutes. The swashing action causes the oil to double in size as it draws saliva and bacteria from your mouth. It should be done slowly to avoid the jaws from aching, and one should avoid ingestion of the form due to the toxic bacteria.
This procedure may have side effects such as detox headaches and stomach upsets. Coconut oil pulling helps teeth whitening, but there is no scientific evidence to back this claim and should not be used as a substitute for regular brushing and floss in oral hygiene.
6. Use of Whitening Strips
It is one of the most common over the counter teeth whitening products. The strips contain mild gel used for whitening, and it comes as a set enough for fourteen days of treatment. First, clean your teeth, then apply the strips with the gel directly facing your teeth.
Firmly but gently rub along the strip and ensure that it is properly attached. Remove the strip after two hours and safely dispose of it. Due to the many companies that manufacture whitening strips, you should consider several factors before settling for a strip.
• How fast will you get the desired results? The number of days it takes to get results to vary depending on the product and the brands. Some take hours or weeks, while others take up to a month to produce results.
• How long you will have to wear the strip?
• If the strips fit your teeth
• How long will the effects last?
While whitening strips are effective, frequent use cause attacks to the teeth layer and dentine. It fragments the collagen affecting the health of your teeth.
7. In-Office Whitening
In-office whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure that is conducted under controlled conditions by medically certified dentists. The dentist will first clean the surfaces and crevices of the teeth to remove food particles and plaques. To establish whether any irritation is expected, the dentist will check for tooth decay or gum disease.
Next is to measure the color of the teeth and assess them against the shade guide. Once the doctor is done establishing these factors, the areas to be worked on are exposed. A hardening resin is applied to prevent irritation.
A bleaching gel is then carefully applied and left to sit for some minutes before it is washed off. The procedure is done for a second time. The light is then focused on the teeth to activate the bleaching process. This process is fast, safe, and it is easy to control tooth sensitivity although it is expensive and does not offer a permanent solution.
8. Use of Teeth Whitening Pen
There are arguments on whether whitening pen scans whiten teeth or maintain the teeth’ whiteness. A tooth whitening pen is a portable tube containing bleaching gel, usually hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. An example of a whitening pen is the Auraglow pen.
Users twist the back end of the pen until the gel comes out, rubs it against their teeth in circular motions, and lets it dry, which usually takes less than thirty seconds. Glutathione enzyme found in the saliva on the teeth surfaces breaks down the peroxide into water and oxygen. The result is a bubbling experience that removes the stains from the teeth.
For the whitening pen’s effectiveness, there is an urgency to apply the gel after brushing your teeth. It can also be done immediately after meals to clean stains before getting absorbed into the enamel. The teeth whitening pen also requires prolonged use, especially for people with tartar teeth, for noticeable impact.
9. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is said to have properties that can absorb and remove toxins from the body. The activated charcoal once applied to the teeth, traps plaque and stains, and yellow substances. When left for a while, these substances bind to the activated charcoal and come when removing the charcoal.
The first step when beginning the process is to grind the tablet charcoal to fine particles and add water. Using your finger, apply the paste to your teeth by gently rubbing it. Leave the charcoal for some minutes before rinsing it off and then brushing your teeth. Activated charcoal does not have an odor or taste and causes no harm when ingested.
It is one of the cheapest whitening methods to use. Nonetheless, it does not provide immediate results and may require to be done for a long time to achieve results. If you have a bruise or cut in your mouth, it is not safe to use activated charcoal.
10. Laser- Teeth Whitening
Laser teeth whitening is a professional procedure in which a bleaching gel is light-activated and applied to the patient’s teeth. Afterward, a blue plasma light is directed to the teeth to activate the solution. Laser whitening makes teeth more sensitive to hot or cold temperatures and makes the teeth more susceptible to staining.
If sensations persist, use a soothing gel. The procedure’s effects do not last for a long time and may require you to use customized trays to maintain the new color of your teeth. That said, laser teeth whitening gives visible results immediately.