William Arthur Ward said, 'A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.' That indeed is true, but what if you are ashamed to show people the kindness that lies within your heart just because you are ashamed to smile openly? Or your heartfelt warm smile is the reason that people make a spectacle of you? A bright smile creates an immediate visual impact on the subconscious of everyone you meet. A brilliant set of shining teeth add an extra oomph to your attractive smile, a set of dull and yellow teeth, on the contrary, make your smile lose its impact.
With time and busy schedules, we tend to neglect common yet essential routines which if kept and followed properly will only benefit us. Unhealthy lifestyle, unhealthy food habits, and hampered daily routines make way for not just diseases; they also have a grave impact on our body - from how it looks to how it works.
There are many reasons as to how our pearly whites get discolored with time. Your teeth get discoloured due to internal as well as external reasons, some of the causes of teeth discoloration due to internal reasons are changes in the enamel of the dentin and the tooth, exposure to high levels of fluoride, use of antibiotic medicines as a child, tetracycline, developmental disorders, tooth decay, root canal issues, restorations, and trauma. On the other hand the main external causes of teeth discoloration or the external factors due to which your teeth lose their sheen (apart from the fact that our teeth darken with age) are antibiotic medications, genetics, smoking, tobacco, carrots, oranges, foods with tannins, coffee, tea, and other foods items.
Whatever may be the reasons for the discolouration of your pearly whites, the good news is that in most cases you can restore back the sheen with a little bit of patience and following some simple daily routines.
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a treasure for your entire oral health, so it comes as no surprise that it can also be helpful in whitening your teeth. It gently scrubs away the yellow surface from your teeth making it return to a whiter shade. It is not acidic, in fact, it's alkaline, the exact opposite of acidic so if you have an acidic mouth due to the consumption a lot of acidic food, baking soda could help balance out your mouth's Ph levels.
Lemon juice, on the other hand, is acidic in nature and behaves like a natural bleach. Baking soda's alkaline and lemon juice's acidic nature goes well hand in hand, the mixture will neither make your mouth too acidic not kill off all the acids. If you are doubtful about lemon juice and baking soda working together then you can substitute lemon juice with water.
Here's what you'll need
Two to three teaspoons of baking soda, enough lemon juice (or water) to form a paste and a toothbrush.
Now, mix the baking soda and lemon juice or water (whatever you wish to use) till you get a paste like texture. Wipe away any extra saliva off of your teeth using a paper towel. Put a gracious amount of baking soda & lemon juice paste onto your toothbrush and apply on your teeth.
Let the paste stay on your teeth for about a minute (to avoid the acid effect on the enamel) then rinse. If you decide to use just water with baking soda then you can easily leave it on your teeth for up to three minutes.
Vitamin C, which can assist in breaking down the plaque layer that is causing your teeth to look dull and yellow, can be found abundantly in strawberries. So that makes strawberries not just yummy but also a good teeth whitening agent. They also consist of an enzyme known as malic acid, which is believed to help in removing surface stains on the teeth.
Salt will act as an abrasive portion of this paste, by scrubbing away physically all the stain causing gunk, and baking soda is an extra element which will benefit your entire oral health, you can choose to leave it out if you like.
Here's what you'll need
Two to three large strawberries, a pinch of sea salt, half teaspoon of baking soda (optional) and a toothbrush.
Now, mash the strawberries into a pulp and add a pinch of sea salt to it (along with half teaspoon of baking soda, if you decide to use it). Wipe away any extra saliva off of your teeth using a paper towel and then apply a good amount of the mixture to a toothbrush and apply on your teeth. Let the mixture sit on your teeth for about five minutes (without baking soda) and about two minutes if you're using baking soda, then rinse. Practice this every other night.
Apple cider vinegar works exceptionally well in cleaning out impurities from your mouth so it only makes sense that it works on cleaning the yellow layer from your teeth making them a shade lighter. It helps in getting rid of the stubborn stains on your teeth caused by tea, coffee, and nicotine. I'm not speaking out of speculation; apple cider vinegar has been tested and proven to work as a natural remedy to whiten the teeth. The only catch with it is that you have to use it for at least a month to start noticing results - honestly, it seems fair, it takes us years to destroy the natural shine of our teeth by constant and rampant intake of coffee and nicotine so it does seem fair that to get rid of its effects you must be patient for at least a month and let the remedy work. Some people who have tried this say that their teeth looked like they had been professionally cleaned. Sounds good, right?
Here's what you can do
Take some apple cider vinegar in a cup (you can dilute it with a little bit of water if you wish) and rinse your mouth thoroughly. Alternatively, you can dip your brush in ACV and clean your teeth using your brush. Remember to brush your teeth after doing the ACV rinse/brush routine, because of all the acids present in your mouth as well as apple cider vinegar you might face a risk of causing damage to the enamel. End your routine by brushing your teeth with your usual toothpaste (preferably a nonfluoride paste) and rinsing your mouth properly.
Oil pulling is an amazing oral detoxification method that has gained considerable popularity in the United States in the last several years. Oil pulling has been used in ancient ayurvedic medicine since ages. You can simply do it by swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes. This extremely simple oral detoxification method has been praised for healing almost everything from headaches to gingivitis systemic diseases such as diabetes.
If you find 20 minutes too long and you feel like you cannot do it, then four to five minutes would be good enough.
Try using coconut oil and add a drop or two of tea tree and/or clove essential oils for maximum antifungal and antiseptic power. The presence of lauric acid in coconut oil can be beneficial in getting rid of bacteria found in plaque that can make your teeth yellow. The best time to try oil pulling is by making it the first thing in the morning immediately after you get out of bed.
Right after swishing the oil mix for as long as you can, rinse your mouth with warm water. You can use salt water for added antimicrobial benefits. Don't worry if the oil mixture that you spit out is slightly milky white or yellow in color. Lastly, brush your teeth normally.
Keep in mind that this process should be somewhat relaxing and is not to be done in a hurry. So don't feel compelled to swish the oil vigorously in your mouth for the entire time, this might tire you making it impossible to keep going on for 20 minutes, also, you would be bound to get sore jaw muscles. Gently move the oil all over your mouth and through your teeth without swallowing any of it.
Here are a few tips that can help you in maintaining your pearly whites.
There is clear evidence that strawberries can aid greatly in whitening your teeth. And its credit goes to an enzyme called malic acid which is present in strawberries along with vitamin C. The astringent property found in strawberries helps in removing surface stains, while vitamin C assists in washing away plaque. That is precisely the reason why I have suggested above the strawberry, salt and baking soda scrub - but if you're unable to routinely practice it you could always just eat strawberries! Make sure that you chew really well, allowing them to do the brushing for you on their own.
Apples, carrots, and celery are carry benefits for your teeth. Crunchy fruits and vegetables are basically nature's toothbrush. Isn't that great? By simply chewing crunchy fruits and veggies you're able to remove excess bacteria and food (that sticks on your teeth) from your mouth. It also helps to scrub off surface stains that appear on your teeth. Not only does the texture of such fruits n veggies remove excess food particles and bacteria - the acids present in the fruits and vegetables provide double the benefit by actually keeping your teeth white. Apples especially contain malic acid, the chemical which is also found in teeth whitening products (and strawberries) that remove surface stains.
Beverages such as tea, soda, coffee, and wine can all cause grave damage to the enamel of your teeth. So whenever it seems possible, use a straw while drinking such beverages. It will help in reducing direct exposure of the harmful components of these drinks to your teeth. Now I don't propose the idea that you should start drinking wine with a straw! In situations where it isn't practical or possible to sip these drinks with a straw then do make sure that you brush your teeth once you're done drinking.
I agree, it doesn't seem practical all the time but if you manage to brush your teeth after meals and after drinking soda, coffee, wine and teas I promise you will be able to guard your teeth against dullness and plaque. Most foods do not stain your teeth but if you're a smoker or an avid coffee or black tea drinker then I'm sure you already have discolored teeth or discolouration and staining have started affecting your teeth. If this is the case then I would suggest getting your teeth cleaned once in every three months to prevent unnecessary damage to it. Having said that, I would again suggest you to brush your teeth after meals whenever possible.
There have been certain reports which suggest that lemon and/or orange peels are beneficial in whitening your teeth. You won't know until you try it, as I have said there have been reports and the rest is speculation on my part. What I'm sure of is that lemons and oranges are pretty healthy and great for your stomach but the presence of acid might eventually wear away the enamel on your teeth so use them with caution. If you use orange or lemon peels always rinse your mouth afterward to be on the safe side.
Great news for all the dairy lovers - eating foods with high calcium content (such as cheese and yogurt) can help in keeping your teeth white. Not only do dairy products equip your teeth with the calcium content they need to keep the enamel strong, but cheeses which are harder in texture can actually eliminate food particles which stick on your teeth and stain them.
In conclusion, seeing your dentist for professional treatments such as scaling or whitening teeth at home are both viable ways to get rid of dullness and stains. To maintain keeping your teeth that way between visits, you can use the above-mentioned teeth whitening tips.
Hi! I’m Gunjan, a self-proclaimed tea fanatic and intrigued with alternative ways to lead a healthy life. I firmly believe that we should take care of our bodies because it’s the only place we live in.