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Naturally our teeth is composed of an outer layer of enamel, beneath it dentin is there surrounding the pulp and cementum is there on the root portion. Enamel is the hardest biological tissue and it wears down very slowly. This layer can undergo neither repair nor replacement. Enamel is usually white in colour and transmits the colour of underlying dentin which is usually pale yellow in colour. So, basically these two are responsible for the colour of our teeth. In some conditions, either the enamel or the dentin formation is defective and the colour of the teeth may range from yellow to yellowish brown to dark brown. The enamel may also appear chalky white. These conditions make the teeth unaesthetic and they are only preventable to some extent. In these conditions, natural ways at home do not help to whiten the teeth. They require proper dental treatment.
Natural ways of whitening helps where the teeth are naturally white in colour and due to improper oral hygiene or stains they look unaesthetic. Some of the natural ways are also helpful in proper formation of teeth. There are so many whitening options available for teeth. One need to decide what and which method is best for their teeth. Let’s take a look at various natural ways of teeth whitening at home.
10 Natural Ways of Teeth Whitening
1. Brushing Gently & Regularly
There is a misconception among some people that vigorously brushing and tooth brush with hard bristles help to keep the teeth white and bright. In fact it is harmful for our teeth. This increases the wear of enamel and causes the teeth to look more yellow. Also with advancing age, the enamel wears slowly and transmits the color of dentin so the teeth look yellowish. Wearing of enamel also makes the teeth more sensitive. So, to keep the teeth white just do brushing gently and firmly. Gentle and firm brushing regularly easily removes the plaque and help to maintain the natural whiteness and brightness of the teeth. Along with maintaining the brightness gentle brushing also keeps the teeth healthy.
2. Activated Charcoal containing Toothpaste
Various types of toothpastes are available commercially. Some of them give freshness to the mouth, some provide whiteness, some relieve sensitivity of the teeth etc. Charcoal has been used for centuries for its adsorption and healing properties. It is also known as “black magic”. Earlier it was used to purify drinking water, to treat stomach ailments etc. Activated charcoal is widely used for industrial purposes such as purify drinking water and industrial waste, remove toxic gases, cleaning winery tanks etc.
The purification properties of activated charcoal have been adopted by health and beauty industries in making face cleansers, charcoal soaps, deodorants, toothpastes etc. Activated charcoal containing toothpaste usually contain micro- charcoal particles which help in deep cleaning of the teeth. Use this toothpaste two- three times in a week, don’t use it regularly. For regular brushing, normal toothpaste are best as they contain smaller abrasive particles which are less likely to cause enamel wear. If you have veneers or restorations in your mouth, then avoid using activated charcoal containing toothpaste.
3. Whitening Toothpaste
Commercially available whitening toothpastes may help to remove the surface stains present on the teeth and make the teeth look white and bright. Whitening toothpaste usually contains small amount of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which has bleaching effects. These toothpastes also contain larger sized abrasive particles. They help in removing the surface stains caused due to tea, coffee, plaque accumulation and polish the teeth. Optic whitening toothbrush and whitening pens are also available over the counter, which help in teeth whitening. Whitening toothpaste, toothbrushes and pens do not change the color of teeth. They just remove the stains and deeply clean the teeth. Regular use of these whitening agents are not recommended as they can cause sensitivity to hot and cold stuffs.
4. Baking Soda
Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda has alkaline pH, cleansing and tooth whitening effects. Baking soda in toothpaste removes the plaque effectively and it also has abrasive properties. It works as both chemical and mechanical cleanser. Baking soda, being alkaline in nature it neutralizes the acid produced in the mouth by bacteria. Thereby it also reduces decay of teeth. One can try toothpastes with baking soda to whiten the teeth.
One can try a simple mixture of equal parts of baking soda and water to remove plaque deposits and reduce yellow color of teeth. But this simple mixture does not contain fluoride, which strengthens the teeth and prevents sensitivity. They can cause damage to the enamel. So, regular use of such a mixture is not recommended as it may weaken your teeth and can make them more sensitive for hot and cold stuffs.
Crunchy fruits such as Apples, Pineapple, and Strawberries increase the salivation and have cleansing effects on the teeth. The vitamins present in them keep the gums healthy. It is just a rumour that mixture of these fruits and rubbing them over the teeth make the teeth white. There is no magic pill or medicine which can change the natural colour of the teeth. All these natural ways help in maintaining the hygiene and keeps the gums and teeth healthy. Thereby maintains the natural brightness and colour of the teeth. One can add these fruits to their diet to keep themselves, their teeth and gums healthy and have a bright smile.
6. Oil Pulling with Edible Oil
This technique is popular in Ayurveda. It involves swishing edible oil such as coconut, olive, sunflower or sesame etc throughout the mouth for 5- 10 minutes. Oil pulling usually remove plaque and bacteria from the mouth and it also helps to reduce the plaque build- up. By maintaining the oral hygiene it helps to make the teeth look white and bright. As there is only little research available to provide scientific data that oil pulling has beneficial effects in tooth whitening, it should not be used regularly.
7. Hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide containing toothpaste and mouthwash are available commercially. It acts as a bleaching agent and cleanses the teeth. Hydrogen peroxide releases oxygen and cause foaming. It also has mild antiseptic properties, so it also reduce the bacterial load in the mouth and helps in maintaining the hygiene. Regular use of this may cause tooth sensitivity, so don’t use it regularly.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Although no scientifically proven data regarding the effects of apple cider vinegar on teeth whitening is available but it is said to have natural whitening effects. It helps to remove surface stains and make the teeth look white. One should not use apple cider vinegar regularly for teeth whitening because it causes erosion of the enamel and makes the teeth sensitive.
9. Minerals and Vitamins
Minerals such as calcium and vitamins eg- A, D etc are required for the formation of the teeth. In deficiency states, the tooth formation does not occur properly and the formed teeth are not so strong. They are also beneficial for overall health. So, everyone, especially children and pregnant ladies, should include calcium containing foods to their diet. Vitamin C helps in maintaining gum health. It also increases the saliva production and helps in cleaning the teeth. Thereby, helps in maintaining the natural whiteness of the teeth.
10. Avoid Tea, Coffee, and Tobacco
Stains from consumption of tea, coffee, and tobacco cause discoloration of the teeth. So to make the teeth whiten one must avoid excess consumption of tea and coffee. One must also say no to tobacco and tobacco products because they not only cause staining but also are carcinogens and can cause cancer. Use of sugar free chewing gums after having tea or coffee also helps to reduce the staining. Brushing or gargling also helps to reduce the staining and maintains the whiteness of teeth.
Shade of the teeth is different in different individuals and also it differs from tooth to tooth. Shade of canine teeth is darker than the incisor teeth. The natural color of the teeth cannot be changed so easily at home by any means. It can be possible by bleaching agents but that is again harmful for our teeth. They just provide temporary whiteness but later on can cause sensitivity because they cause erosion of the enamel, which is the protective layer of our teeth. So, do brushing gently and regularly to maintain the oral hygiene and make your teeth look their natural white colour and shining. Avoid excess use of tea, coffee and say no to tobacco for reducing the stains and maintain overall health.