Many people say that the key to beauty lies in a beautiful smile. But what if your smile reveals discolored, brown or stained teeth? Luckily, there are some simple natural ways to whiten your teeth that you can use to make your smile shine bright as ever. Different reasons may result in tooth discoloration in baby teeth or adult teeth or both. Teeth are naturally composed of different shades – the part of your tooth near the gums appears darker because of a reduced enamel layer (outer hard tooth covering).
So what causes your teeth to stain or discolor?
There can be a number of causes of tooth staining. This tooth staining may be extrinsic, due to food or drink that we consume. Other reasons of tooth staining may be intrinsic, or due to particular dental diseases. Read on for more information-
- Food items such as coffee, tea, wine or colas.
- Certain habits such as smoking, tobacco chewing or betel nut chewing can cause tooth stains.
- Certain diseases such as enamel (outer hard covering of teeth) or dentin (second layer of tooth, just inside the enamel) defects, which have a genetic origin, may result in yellow, brown or gray tooth discoloration.
- Certain medications can cause tooth discoloration such as tetracycline or doxycycline (antibiotics), iron syrups or mouth rinses containing chlorhexidine may cause tooth discoloration or iron containing syrups.
- Cetain diseases such as congenital hyperbilirubinemia (a birth condition where there is excess of a pigment called bilirubin in the blood) causes yellow green tooth staining, porphyria causes reddish – brown staining (porphyria is excess of a chemical called porphyrin in the blood) or alkaptonuria (a condition in which the body cannot process certain amino acids) causes brown colored tooth staining.
- Tooth injury or trauma can discolor a tooth as it blood pigments accumulate in the tooth, resulting in a grayish – black discoloration.
- Finally, some age related changes in tooth color are inevitable.
Are you looking for solutions to make your smile brighter and whiter?
Here’s how you can naturally whiten your teeth-
11 Natural Ways to Whiten Your Teeth
1. Baking soda
A pinch of baking soda mixed with water can be used to help achieve whiter teeth at home. A bit of lemon may also be added. Only small amounts should be used because of its potential to cause erosion of the teeth and burn the gums.
2. Oil pulling
Oil pulling is the Ayurvedic practice where a tablespoon of oil is swished in the mouth for an average of 20 minutes, on an empty stomach. The oil swishing washes away dental plaque from tooth surfaces may contribute to the cleaned and whiter look of teeth after oil pulling. At the end of the procedure, the oil becomes milky white and thinner in viscosity. Care must be taken not to swallow the oil. Organic oils such as sesame oil, coconut oil or sunflower oil can be used for this purpose.
3. Charcoal toothpaste
You can try a charcoal containing toothpaste to remove outer tooth stains. This will not help more tough intrinsic stains, but can reduce external stains caused by food and drink to some extent.
4. Tooth whitening chewing gums
Tooth whitening gums generally contain sodium bicarbonate, sodium carbonate and/or calcium carbonate. Sodium bicarbonate and carbonate act as buffers while calcium carbonate is an abrasive that scrapes away tooth stains. Chewing action used for chewing gums itself stimulates saliva production and washes away tooth adherent food debris. These chewing gums are available commercially, over the counter. So chew your way to whiter teeth!
5. Strawberry mash
Crush a few strawberries in the blender, add a bit of sea salt and use the paste as a whitening paste. Rub the mixture gently on your teeth to avoid scratches on the gums. You can also add a pinch of baking soda to this mixture.
6. Banana peel scrub
Rub the inside of a peel of a banana on your teeth for a few minutes, to get a whiter appearance of your teeth. Banana contains high levels of potassium which possible helps the tooth whitening process.
7. Apple cider vinegar
A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed in cup or half a glass of water, may be used to whiten teeth. But it must be used cautiously, because of high acidic content, which can erode teeth.
8. Orange peel scrub
You can rub the rind of an orange peel on your teeth to whiten them. Again since orange is a citrus fruit, it may contain high acidic levels, so do so cautiously.
9. Eating fibrous fruits and vegetables
Eating lots of fibrous and crisp fruits and vegetables such as carrot, apples or sprouts can help in keeping teeth clean and white. These wash off surface debris and stimulate saliva.
10. Brushing and flossing daily
One of the simplest ways to keep teeth white and sparkling is by brushing and flossing twice a day. Brushing removes plaque and food debris from tooth surfaces while flossing cleans inaccessible areas of teeth.
11. Use a straw
An easy method to prevent tooth staining when drinking potentially discoloring food or drinks is to use a straw to decrease the contact of the offending drink with teeth.
Maintaining a lovely white smile is everyone’s dream. And it is a dream you can easily achieve at home, in natural ways.
So smile and reveal that precious white smile!