Before I tell you how to get white teeth naturally, its important that you know some background information about your teeth. Our teeth are ordinarily covered with enamel, which is considered one of the hardest natural substances on earth. It is so strong, in fact, that it can protect your teeth from trauma and is resistant to acids. Over time, our enamel slowly erodes away, making it thinner and allowing the natural color of dentin, which is yellow, to be seen through. Dentin is found underneath the enamel. It is what comprises the tooth’s core.
Tooth discoloration can be classified into two types, according to the location. The first type is an intrinsic discoloration, which forms on the core of the tooth. Among the things that can cause intrinsic tooth discoloration are aging, exposure to medications, or excessive fluoride during infancy and childhood, when the teeth are forming. On the other hand, extrinsic tooth discolorations affect the surface of the tooth, and may be caused by staining beverages such as coffee, tea, or wine, certain foods, and smoking tobacco.
Discussed below are the causes of tooth discoloration, in more detail.
Aging: As previously described, the tooth’s enamel tends to wear out as time passes by, allowing the yellow dentin to be seen through. Also, stains from foods and beverages ingested accumulate with age.
Genetics: There are just some people lucky to be born with thick white enamel. Don’t blame your parents though; it wasn’t their fault they were born that way too.
Dietary habits: As mentioned above, there are some foods and beverages known to be staining agents for your teeth. Among these are coffee, tea, cola, and red wine. Additionally, vinegar and some citrus fruits like oranges and lemons can cause your enamel to erode, as these are somewhat acidic.
Drugs: Some medications, when taken during the period of tooth formation, can cause staining. Some examples are Tetracycline, an antibiotic, and Benadryl, an antihistamine. These types of stains are permanent and cannot be removed.
Trauma: Accidents and injuries can cause cracks in your teeth, allowing dirt and debris to accumulate.
Poor oral hygiene: Plaque builds up when we don’t brush and floss our teeth properly and regularly. Accumulated plaque can cause tooth discoloration.
Many of us may have discoloured or stained teeth due to one or a combination of these factors. We cannot simply refuse to age, or stay away from certain foods and drinks forever, but we also do want a healthy-looking dazzling white smile. The good thing is that teeth whitening is becoming more popular these days. But wait, not every one of us can afford to have our teeth whitened professionally by dentists. Professional whitening can cost so much, and most of us simply don’t have the luxury of a hefty bank account. Why not try some of these inexpensive, tried-and-tested home remedies?
Baking soda: Used alone or with toothpaste to spice up the flavor, baking soda is an effective teeth whitener. Also, it gets rid of bad breath.
Hydrogen peroxide: You can buy this cheap at your local drugstores. You can gargle it, but remember never to swallow it. You may experience a slight stinging sensation, but you can be sure that it’s working to cleanse your mouth. Another method to apply this is to dip a cotton bud into a solution of hydrogen peroxide and gently rub it against the surface of your teeth. Don’t forget to rinse afterwards with water.
Strawberries: Not many people know this, but strawberry seeds have natural teeth cleansing properties. You can rub them directly onto your teeth, or you can mash them to make a paste. After application, brush your teeth with your usual toothpaste, as strawberries have a high content of fructose which can cause tooth decay.
Wood ash: This contains potassium hydroxide, a bleaching agent. But be careful not to rub your teeth too vigorously or use it too frequently as this can cause your enamel to erode. You can use this alone or with a little bit of toothpaste.
Home-made toothpaste: You can make your own home-made toothpaste using ingredients that can normally be found in your home. Take some baking soda, salt, a bit of hydrogen peroxide, and a small amount of toothpaste and mix them all together to make your own special whitening toothpaste.
There are also some herbal remedies to help whiten your teeth.
Babul: The tanning found in this tree is useful for whitening the teeth.
Margosa or neem: Neem oil, aside from being an effective teeth whitener, works against bad breath as well. It has antiseptic properties, and can thus help fight bacteria and prevent cavities.
Bayan aerial roots: The roots are known to be an effective astringent. It can also make your gums healthier.
Basil: Dried basil leaves, crushed into a powder form, can be used for brushing the teeth. Aside from whitening your teeth, it can also help strengthen your gums and make them more resistant against bleeding.
There are many other natural methods to whiten your teeth, including walnut bark, apple-cider vinegar, and orange peels. A healthy diet that includes fresh vegetables also helps in whitening the teeth and maintaining your over-all health.
There are some people who just cannot avoid drinking coffee, chocolate, or other foods and beverages known to cause teeth staining. For these addicts, this can be remedied by drinking plenty of water after consuming those types of foods and drinks. Drinking water can keep the stains from building up. Additionally, you can chew on a piece of sugarless gum. This also helps to prevent teeth staining.
As we have been taught since we were children, we should brush our teeth three times a day, once after every meal. But this is not always possible for many of us. During those times when you simply are unable to brush your teeth, rinsing your mouth with water will do for the meantime.
Also, keep in mind that the element calcium, which is responsible for making our teeth strong and durable, is naturally yellow. This means that we can’t have purely white teeth, because this means that we would have to deplete our teeth of calcium. This is a useful thing to remember for those overzealous fanatics who are obsessed with whitening their teeth.
If you are considering undergoing a professional teeth whitening procedure, you must know about its potential side effects. This includes loss of enamel, teeth translucence, and increased sensitivity to heat and cold. Not to mention it can cost you a small fortune. Why go for the more expensive and riskier option, when there is a cheaper and safer alternative? Try these natural home remedies, they might just work for you.