When it comes to teeth bleaching, you can find a variety of ways featured in magazines and online, from striping to lemonade, oil pulling, and baking soda. It is no wonder that DIY teeth whitening is high on the list, too. Inexpensive home kits and over-the-counter products are available. The key is to find something that offers the results you want without harming your gums or teeth. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of different methods.
Wood ash has long been recommended as a natural home remedy for staining teeth. However, recent studies suggest that using wood ash in excess could result in dental discoloration or irritation. Because of this, the American Dental Association does not support the use of wood ash for bleaching purposes. However, toothpaste that contains wood ash can help brighten your smile, along with several other natural teeth-whitening foods may help.
Cinnamon is another inexpensive ingredient that may be applied topically to remove stains. However, repeated applications may leave a cinnamon scent, which may not be pleasant. Home whiteners for staining teeth may stain the gums as well as the teeth, so be sure to rinse prior to each application.
Coffee, tea, and chocolate are commonly known sources of caffeine, which works as a natural teeth whitener for some people. Others swear by plain boiled water, as it doesn’t contain caffeine. Spicy foods may stain the teeth, especially if they are baked, sauteed, or fried. For those who frequently consume these foods, brushing often can help keep staining foods from making their way into the enamel. However, if the staining is caused by plaque buildup, these foods will only exacerbate the problem, as bacteria will feed on the sugar in the foods.
Several natural teeth whitening methods include baking soda, lemon juice, and salt. To make a paste out of baking soda, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of salt. Brushing the paste over the teeth and leaving it on for about fifteen minutes before rinsing thoroughly is an effective method. Lemon juice is effective against both stains and plaque but applying the solution directly to the surface stains is usually not recommended. To make a natural teeth whitener solution out of lemon juice, mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with one tablespoon of salt.
Another effective natural remedy for staining the teeth is chewing celery. Chewing these products will help reduce the appearance of gum irritation, which makes a person’s smile brighter. Although chewing gum is not considered to be a true natural teeth whitener, it will help to alleviate the buildup of bacteria and tartar that can cause tooth decay and gum irritation. If a person cannot tolerate chewing foods such as celery, he or she may also choose to purchase commercially prepared chewing gums.
Drinking coffee is also an effective way to whiten one’s smile. However, coffee is made up of compounds that can permanently damage the enamel of a person’s teeth, even if the coffee is consumed through the first trimester of pregnancy. In addition, drinking coffee has a tendency to dehydrate the body, which can cause discoloration and other negative effects. In general, it is not recommended that pregnant women drink coffee due to its potential negative effects.
Teeth whiteners that are used to treat cavities tend to work by removing deposits of lime and calcium from the tooth enamel. Over time, the deposits build up and cause the surface of the tooth to become worn and bleached. These bleaching products work to strengthen tooth enamel and give people a whiter appearance. In general, it is not recommended that people use these types of products on a regular basis for this reason.