Dental Health

A Guide to Teeth Whitening without breaking your bank

Guide to Teeth Whitening Posted On
Posted By Emma Aaron

Everyone wants pearly white and sparkling teeth. It is not easy to achieve these pearly whites, especially because they need meticulous care to keep them sparkling. The whiteness of teeth comes from the enamel, which is the outer layer of the tooth. Genetics can also influence the whiteness of teeth as people with a naturally thin enamel have their tooth structure show through and cause the teeth to appear darker.

Two types of teeth whitening options available in the market are professional dental cleaning and whitening options and store-bought whitening remedies, most of which can be done at home. The latter is usually in the form of pastes, strips, or a concoction that is meant to be used regularly to whiten teeth.

Oil pulling

Oil pulling is an Ayurveda practice that comprises rinsing the teeth and swishing oil around in your mouth, similar to how you would use any other mouthwash. Oil pulling is supposed to pull out any stubborn bacteria and prevent them from turning into plaque.

Studies have shown that the method results in a reduction of bacteria and plaque if practiced consistently. Use a tablespoon or two of coconut oil and swish it around in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. Brush your teeth after spitting out the oil.

Baking soda

Although you can brush your teeth with baking soda directly, studies suggest that it is most effective when used as a whitener and combined with toothpaste. Baking soda contains whitening properties and creates an alkaline environment in the mouth which slows down bacterial growth.

The use of baking soda will not result in instant whitening, but consistent use of this remedy will gradually whiten teeth. The mixture is easy to use. Combine 1 teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of water until it forms a paste, similar to toothpaste inconsistency. Simply brush your teeth with the concoction for sparkling white teeth!

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Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an excellent option as acetic acid, the main ingredient in apple cider vinegar kills the bacteria that cause discoloration of teeth. However, the acid in vinegar can also erode the enamel present on teeth.

This method should not be practiced daily, and be sure to rinse with water right after using this remedy. Combine 1 tablespoon of water and 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. Swish it around in your mouth just like mouthwash and rinse afterward.

Whitening toothpaste

Using whitening toothpaste is perhaps the easiest and most cost-effective method of whitening teeth. It is also easy to work it into your routine as all you need to do is replace your current toothpaste of choice with a whitening toothpaste.

Whitening toothpaste uses baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or other abrasives like silica, which effectively remove surface stains, allowing the teeth to appear whiter. However, results are only visible after consistent use and can take weeks to show up.

Strips

Teeth-whitening strips are readily available at drug stores and are a popular method of whitening teeth. The active ingredient in teeth whitening strips is hydrogen peroxide. They are priced between $50 and $100 and are typically preferred for ease of use.

It is essential not to exceed recommended usage on the label. Overuse can cause tooth sensitivity, dental issues, and enamel wear. There are various options available, but teeth whitening strips should only be used as recommended on the label.

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Tray whitening

Tray whitening is a more severe form of teeth whitening. The procedure involves a tray resembling a mouth guard molded to fit your mouth. This is done by a dentist. The patient can then take the tray home and use a syringe to fill it with peroxide-based bleaching paste. The tray is then placed over the teeth for several hours. This can be considered a professional dental cleaning and whitening method.

This process needs to be repeated for 2-4 weeks. This is a high-end method for whitening teeth and usually requires the consultation of a dentist. It is also more expensive than other options, being priced at upwards of $400.

Activated Charcoal

The use of activated charcoal for teeth whitening has recently seen a lot of popularity. The process includes a charcoal-derived black mixture smeared onto the teeth, similar to regular toothpaste.

The naturally occurring form of carbon binds with the compounds that cause staining and removes them efficiently. However, it is vital to use charcoal that has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA). Activated charcoal is abrasive and can damage the tooth enamel causing tooth erosion.

Lastly- A Healthy Diet

While it may sound weird, the food you consume affects the whiteness of your teeth. A diet that contains a healthy serving of fruits and vegetables is beneficial for your teeth, as well as your mind and your body.

Although this method is not a substitute for regular cleaning of teeth; having a healthy diet and abstaining from unhealthy habits such as smoking allows the teeth to appear whiter. Some fruits that have been known to help whiten teeth include strawberries and pineapples.

Teeth whitening can broadly be divided into two main categories: professional teeth whitening and shop-bought whitening options. While professional teeth whitening will provide more robust, more instant results, the consistent use of store-bought remedies can also provide positive results but will take time to show results.

Conclusion

It is essential to understand that not all whitening methods will have a similar result. The effectiveness of a teeth whitening method largely depends on the kind of discoloration you have. The discoloration can be extrinsic or intrinsic, and there are specific methods that are more suited to one or the other type of discoloration. Yellowing can often occur because of improved cleaning and maintenance of teeth. It is integral to brush twice a day and use mouthwash in addition to flossing regularly. Timely visits to the dentist as also important as regular checkups of your teeth will allow the dentist to identify any new problems and address them promptly.

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