The Secrets to Whitening Your Teeth at Home

teeth whitening

You’re pouring over your most recent photos and suddenly, you realized that your teeth look a little yellowish in most of the photos. How come you didn’t notice it before? What happened to your pearly white teeth? You’ve always been careful about brushing and flossing your teeth, so what did you do wrong?

It should not come as a surprise to you that teeth discoloration is common as you age. You will notice that in your grandparents. They still brush their teeth and floss them once a day, but their teeth aren’t as white as they used to be. Even a regular trip to the dentist sometimes doesn’t solve this problem. Some other things that you should be careful about if you want to make sure your teeth remain lustrously white are the food and drinks you consume.

DIY Teeth Whitening

Thankfully, you don’t always have to go to the dentist to have your teeth whitened. There are a lot of do-it-yourself teeth whitening kits, strips, toothpaste, and rinses that will solve the discoloration of your teeth. You can use these products to replace your regular toothpaste. There are also LED devices that you can use on your teeth. Just make sure to know how long to leave the LED light on your teeth as too much of this can cause your teeth to go brittle.

Drugstores carry most brands of teeth whitening products. A quick trip to the drugstore will introduce you to many of these home remedies. But for deep stains, you might need the help of a dentist.

Dietary Changes

A lot of the food in your house can cause stains on your teeth. Wine, coffee, tea, dark sodas, and juices are common pantry items that cause discoloration of the teeth. While you can enjoy a few sips here and there, drinking these regularly will stain your teeth.

Similarly, acidic fruits can cause the teeth to yellow. You might want to stay away from citrus fruits because they can damage the teeth’s enamel. The same goes for smoking because tobacco cause nicotine stains. If you have to drink sodas or coffee, you need to brush your teeth after 30 minutes. Why do you have to wait 30 minutes? Acids weaken the enamel of the teeth, so brushing your teeth too soon will cause more damage than protection.

Medication Care

Be careful with the medications that you take. For children whose teeth are still developing, the antibiotic tetracycline can cause their teeth to look grayish. Other medications can also cause discoloration of the teeth. Antihistamines, blood pressure medications, and antipsychotic drugs usually have ingredients that can affect the color of your teeth. Make sure to talk with your doctors regarding these medications if you have to take them.

Mouthwashes can also cause teeth discoloration. Although they make your mouth smell and feel fresh, they contain chlorhexidine or cetylpyridinium chloride that can stain the teeth. Read the labels before buying a mouthwash product.

person smiling

Teeth-whitening Fruits

A 2012 study found that papain and bromelain can help whiten teeth. These enzymes are found in both papaya and pineapple, so eating these fruits are not only going to be good for your health but for your dental health as well. Although the effect on your teeth is pretty modest, it will not do you any bad to eat as much papaya and pineapple as you can.

Oral Hygiene

To reduce the chances of your teeth discoloring, you need to practice excellent oral hygiene. There are three tenets to good dental hygiene. First, brush your teeth at least twice to thrice a day. Too much brushing can also damage the teeth, but make sure that you will clean around the gums and the backs of the teeth.

Second, use the right toothpaste in the form of fluoride toothpaste. Fluoride can fight against tooth decay. Dentists believe that fluoride is good for dental health, though some oppose its use because it can cause skin allergies. And third, make a habit out of flossing your teeth at least once a day to remove plaque between teeth. Make sure you use the floss correctly because it can hurt your gums.

To maintain the whiteness of your teeth, it’s important to understand why it gets discolored in the first place. From the food you eat to your dental hygiene, there are many factors to teeth discoloration. Making sure to address these issues will keep your teeth looking white, bright, and lustrous. Similarly, a regular visit to the dentist is always the best way to prevent dental problems from exacerbating.

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