Everyone, celebrities and average people alike, wants a pearly white smile. Social media platforms, graduation, and other special occasions usually involve photographs, which can reveal embarrassing extrinsic staining. Various factors, including the environmental and aging, contribute to the wearing down of enamel. Overtime, whether it be from coffee stains, smoking, or eating certain foods, the enamel wears down, giving the teeth a stained color. When the enamel begins to wear down, exposure to dentin, a layer underneath the enamel with a yellowish color, occurs. This also changes the color of the teeth’s appearance.
Many people use teeth whiteners to remedy tooth discoloration. Whether it’s a natural or commercial method, there are effective methods to getting healthy, whiter looking teeth. An effective and common method of whitening teeth are whitening strips. There are many commercial brands that offer whitening strips at an affordable price in comparison to going to a dentist’s office for whitening treatments.
Be sure to read and follow their specific whitening strip instructions. Prior to application, brushing is necessary to avoid trapping lingering bacteria. Brush at least 30 minutes before application. Lining up the proper strip, apply the whiteners and leave on for the instructed time before removing. Swallowing the whitening gel or saliva is dangerous in large amounts, so be careful with the strips while they are applied. If sensitivity occurs, remove the strips. Consulting a dental professional prior to application is also recommended.
Oil pulling, a natural method that involves oil extracting bacteria from teeth, is growing in teeth whitening and overall oral health popularity. Use coconut, sesame, or almond oil and swish it around for 10-20 minutes. The oil will break down bacteria and plaque, which is also responsible for tooth discoloration. Afterwards, be sure to spit into the toilet or the trash. Oil will solidify in a drain, which will back it up. Follow this process with a thorough brushing. Repeating this process daily is ideal for best results. It’s recommended to oil pull on an empty stomach.
Another whitening method that isn’t discussed as much as commercial products that also benefits oral and overall health is eating certain foods. Strawberries, for example, contain malic acid. Malic acid aids in whitening teeth without using harsh chemicals that are both expensive and damaging. Another oral superfood is the apple. Apples are great for producing saliva, which helps wash away bacteria. The crunchiness of the apple also works against existing plaque, which is a factor or discoloration.
Cheese and foods rich in calcium also work wonders for teeth. Calcium in cheese, paired with phosphorus and protein, helps rebuild and protect damaged enamel. Hard cheeses are especially great for saliva production.
Be sure to drink plenty of water. Water will soften and flush the bacteria and loose plaque. Water is great to sip throughout the day, however, before and after meals will give optimal whitening results, especially when brushing is inconvenient.
Being exposed to various elements and foods can be harsh on teeth. Maintaining healthy oral practices are ideal for discoloration prevention. Regularly brushing, especially after meals, is important to maintain white teeth. Eating crunchy, fibrous foods are also great for removing plaque and bacteria.
Toothpastes including whitening agents like hydrogen peroxide and malic acids are also great. Brushing teeth at least three times a day, in addition to avoiding enamel-eroding foods and beverages like soda, coffee, and sugar, will help keep teeth clean and white.
When using whitening strips, be sure to follow the instructions. Consulting an oral care professional about which commercial whiteners are safest is also recommended. For people dealing with serious oral issues, like sensitivity or cracked teeth, professional cleanings or procedures may be necessary in addition to a oral care routine.
While some elements, including aging enamel and everyday wear, are hard to avoid, consistently consuming enamel-building minerals and maintaining oral health practices will make a great difference.