What is Teeth Whitening?Teeth whitening is largely known by the name of teeth bleaching or dental bleaching. Dental bleaching is a common procedure in general dentistry, but takes an important place in cosmetic dentistry. According to the Federation of Dental Association, bleaching whitens the teeth beyond the natural color. Generally, the deciduous teeth of a child are whiter than the ones that follow. With passage of time, adult teeth experience change in color because of changes in mineral structure, eating habits, food goods, tobacco, etc. Some medications can also cause tooth enamel to lose its brilliance, shine, and color. Dental bleaching is not recommended for children under the age of 16, as the process could irritate the pulp or cause it to become sensitive. The procedure is also not recommended in pregnant or lactating women. Usually, tooth whitening does not change the color of fillings and other restorative materials, which means it does not affect porcelain, dental gold, or other ceramics, but can show some effect on restorations made with composite materials, cements and dental amalgams.
Generally, whitening potential can be easily assessed holding a white printer paper next to the teeth. If teeth look yellow, the stains are like to be superficial, and can be removed using whitening procedures. In case the teeth look grayish, there are chances that the discoloration is inside the teeth and bleaching would not be able to help a great deal.
Why Teeth Whitening?
Change is inevitable. With passage of time, everything deteriorates. White color of your teeth is also prone to change, but depends a lot on your lifestyle and diet. With age, the enamel on teeth becomes thinner and more transparent. As a result of this, the inner layer, called dentin, looks darker. Your eating habits, brushing habits, and a lot more contributes to color of your teeth. Colored liquids that you consume throughout your life also play a vital role in color of your teeth. The most common agents that can push you to undergo a dental whitening procedure are tea, coffee, cola, red wine, cigarette, and tobacco. Chewing, smoking, and consuming tobacco products causes teeth to lose their normal shine, color, and even strength. Moreover, there are times when some fragments of certain colored foods get stuck in your mouth for a longer period of time. Such fragments can cause the teeth to get colored or yellow in long run. In addition to all this, improper brushing habits can result in teeth getting stained and yellow.
Therefore, to get whiter teeth, one has to undergo dental whitening procedure from time to time.
Different Types of Teeth Whitening Methods
Per ADA (American Dental Association), dental bleaching can be done in clinic by a professional dentist, at home by the patient using different bleaching methods, at home by patient using over-the-counter bleaching methods, and using non-dental options usually offered at kiosks, spas, salons, etc.
All in all, largely, these methods can be classified into two broad categories teeth whitening by a professional dentist and teeth whitening using various techniques at home.
Home Remedies for Teeth Whitening
Following are different home remedies for dental bleaching:
Baking soda is an excellent whitening agent. Its whitening properties make it an excellent dental bleaching agent. This natural acid neutralizer has been used since ages to get whiter teeth. One just needs to brush his/her teeth in a regular manner and get some toothpaste and baking soda on a cotton swab. Next, rub the mixture on your teeth and leave it for 5 minutes. Rinse and brush again in a regular manner. Repeating this on a regular basis can result in significant whitening of teeth. Not only white, you will also find your teeth to be smoother after this remedy.
White Truffle Oil
Truffle oil has properties to reduce yellowness present on the teeth, and make them whiter and shiny. All you need to do is just dip your toothbrush in white truffle oil and put some toothpaste on it. Brush your teeth in regular manner. Repeat the process at least three times a day after meals. You will notice considerable difference in color of your teeth with less of yellowness. Slowly and steadily, the yellowness disappears, resulting in white, shiny teeth.
This is one of the most common methods to get milky white teeth. Warm water does not let settle any impurities on the teeth. It washes away all the impurities, layers, leaving behind white, shiny teeth. Brush your teeth as in a regular manner using warm water. Also, rinse your mouth with warm water. Gradually, it will improve color of your teeth.
Hydrogen peroxide's cleansing nature makes it an excellent agent to whiten the teeth. Just dip your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide and brush your teeth in a regular manner. Make sure you do not swallow the peroxide. Once done, rise the mouth with warm water. It is one of the most common and largely used methods to get white teeth.
Olive oil has been known to have properties to reduce stains on the teeth. It is especially beneficial for people who have developed stains on their teeth because of excessive smoking and tea/coffee. All you need to do is to just put some olive oil on a washcloth and rub it on the stained teeth. The process will return a considerable shine and color in your tooth.
Using a whitening toothpaste on a daily basis can help a great deal in this case. Crest Weekly Clean is a good product because as contains heavy silica ingredients that work to brush the stains away pretty easily.
Most of the over-the-counter teeth whitening strips contain a peroxide-based whitening gel to brighten teeth. These whitening strips, if used on a regular basis, can make your teeth pearly white. Crest 2-Hour Express Whitestrips work excellently as they are made with an advanced-seal, no-slip technology that allows you to talk, drink water and go about your day while the strips are on.
Wood ash contains potassium hydroxide, which makes it an excellent agent to whiten teeth. As only hard wood ash contains significant concentrations of potassium hydroxide, one can find it difficult to use it on teeth. The method should be used within limits as harshness of the potassium hydroxide can damage teeth over time.
Sea salt combined with water or cider vinegar can do wonders with your teeth. The remedy will probably brighten teeth a bit, but no more so than a commercial application. Just make a mixture and apply on teeth for 5 minutes or so. Make sure you do not use this method repeatedly as it may cause you to experience tooth damage through decay or increased sensitivity.
Tulsi leaves when mixed with dried rind of orange can also help in whitening the teeth. The properties of tulsi and vitamin C make the mixture an excellent cleansing and whitening agent. Just take dry 15 to 20 leaves of tulsi and dry rind of one orange. Make a mixture and use as a tooth cleaner. You can mix it in your toothpaste and apply.
Crushed walnut can act as a natural whitener for teeth. In addition to this, the remedy can also prevent teeth yellowing and formation of bacteria. Just crush some walnut and rub it on the teeth gently using your finger. Do not rub it hard as it may damage the gums.
Strawberries are rich in nutrients that reduce yellowness of teeth. The fruit has been used since ages to get white teeth. Just take 2-3 strawberries and grind them to make a paste. Use this paste to brush your teeth on a regular basis. Result will appear in few days.
Orange rind has teeth whitening properties and is therefore an excellent agent to whiten teeth. Dry the rind of a single orange for a day and rub its inner portion on teeth. It is an effective remedy that shows results in first week.
Sage (salvia) Leaves
Sage leaves have properties that reduce yellowness and promote whitening of teeth. In addition to this, these provide shine and strength to the tooth enamel. Brush stained teeth using sage leaves on a regular basis. Regular application will result in sparkling white teeth.
Diet for Teeth Whitening
Strawberries can help whiten teeth as they contain an enzyme called malic acid. Malic acid dissolves yellow layer and impurities, resulting in white shiny teeth. Eating strawberries on a regular basis and rubbing it on teeth while eating can be a beneficial idea to whiten teeth. Just leave the juice on your teeth for one minute and then rinse with water. In addition to this, fiber in strawberries also behaves as a natural cleaner by removing bacteria from the teeth and mouth.
Raisins can help to keep teeth white by stimulating production of saliva, which, in turn, naturally helps to rinse away plaque and impurities. Make sure you do not let raisins stick in between teeth as it can help formation of cavities. Rinse your mouth immediately after having raisins.
Citrus fruits like oranges and pineapples can also stimulate the production of saliva, resulting in dissolving and rinsing plaque. These can be pretty useful in whitening of teeth in longer run. Rinsing teeth with 1:1 water and lemon juice solution once or twice a week can help. Remember, overdoing it can result in damage to the teeth.
Yogurt, Milk and Cheese
Dairy products contain lactic acid and calcium which has power to decrease gum diseases and maintain healthy development of teeth. Therefore, it is advised to consume more milk products to get strong, white, shiny teeth.
Following are some of the preventive measures to reduce staining or promote whitening of teeth:
- People who have painfully sensitive teeth to cold/hot beverages and sweet food should not do their own whitening. Also, people with crowns, fillings and enamel seems more gray than yellow should not resort to whitening measures on their own.
- Avoid excess of coffee, tea, and dyed beverages. These contribute to make your teeth yellow.
- Brush thoroughly after every meal, if possible. This prevents sticking of any food particle in mouth and formation of bacteria, which, in turn, cause yellowing of teeth.
- Avoid high-dosage antibiotics for long durations as they can lead to discoloration of teeth. Tetracycline, if taken for longer duration, can result in yellowing of teeth.
- Avoid excess sugar, tea, coffee, and deep colored soybean paste as they can give stain in the teeth.
- Do not scratch the stains using fingernails.
- Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol to prevent yellowing of teeth.
- Use a straw while sipping dark beverages; it allows the food dyes to bypass teeth altogether.
- Avoid chewing tobacco or tobacco-containing products.
Other Treatment Methods for Teeth Whitening
Regular brushing definitely helps in whitening the teeth. Regular and thorough brushing does not allow impurities to settle in mouth, which result in formation of yellow layer over the teeth. Regular and thorough brushing with a good-quality whitening toothpaste is one of the most effective methods to get white, shiny teeth.
Bleaching strips are again very helpful in providing white and shiny teeth. Bleaching strips are loaded with bleaching agents that act far more quickly than any home remedy or brushing technique. These strips show their effect in an hour of application, and can be used fortnightly or even monthly to maintain white and shiny teeth.
It is another method for teeth whitening. Bleaching pen, again, contains bleaching agent, generally carbamide peroxide which reacts with water to form hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a well-known teeth whitening agent that dissolves impurities and reduces yellowness of teeth, rendering them white and shiny.
Using a bleaching gel is another effective method to get white and shiny teeth. The gel (carbamide peroxide) reacts with water to form hydrogen peroxide, which reduces yellowness and helps teeth to give a whiter appearance.
Bonding can mask tooth stains go give a whiter appearance. In this, a thin coating of composite material is applied to the front of teeth and then cured with a blue light. A veneer can also mask tooth discoloration.