Archive for January, 2016
It is common for people to approach their dentist when they have a problem with their teeth. If you live in Dublin, there are several Dublin dentists, who can reduce the symptoms of the problem and take steps to prevent their recurrence. However, there are some problems that can be addressed without professional help. One of the problems that people commonly face is yellow or brown appearance of their teeth. In a study, it was found that more than 20 percent people conceal their teeth in their Facebook photos because they are embarrassed by the color of their teeth. Having white sparking teeth is important in our society today – hence the sharp increase in the number of people approaching professionals for whitening treatments.
The most difficult part about having yellow teeth is that no matter how many times you brush your teeth, the stubborn stains don’t go away easily. At times, having brown or yellow tinted teeth can point to a bigger problem such as thinning enamel, unhealthy gums, or poor oral hygiene. In such cases, you must address the root of the problem. For instance, if you have yellow or brown teeth because of some disease, you have to take steps to treat the disease. Simply whitening your teeth will not help.
Most people are under the impression that having white teeth are same as having strong and healthy teeth. This is a misnomer as the color of the teeth has little to do with the strength or the health of the teeth. There are several steps you can take to keep your teeth both white and healthy.
Why do teeth turn brown or yellow?
The color of your teeth changes to brown or yellow because stains develop on both the surface and the structure of your teeth. The outer surface of the tooth is known as the enamel and it protects the teeth from damage. Underneath the enamel is a substance known as dentin. This substance will become more visible when the enamel gets thinner. As you grow old, the enamel becomes thinner and dentin, which is pale brown in color, will become more visible. Loss of enamel may also be due to excessive exposure to chelation and acid. Some of the other reasons why teeth brown or yellow are:
- Excessive drinking of tea or coffee
- Thinning of enamel due to ageing or some other disease
- Smoking cigarettes
- Excessive use of antibiotics
- Eating acidic foods such as soda, cola, and candies
- Dry mouth can reduce the production of saliva. This can reduce enamel protection and cause thinning.
- Breathing through mouth when your nose is blocked, can reduce saliva and prevent enamel remoisturizing
- Excessive intake of fluorides
- Hereditary factors
Foods that can Damage your Teeth
Before we look into the steps you can take to whiten your teeth, here is a brief on some foods you should avoid eating.
One of the causes of yellow tinted teeth could be acidic foods such as tomatoes and certain fruits. Even though fruits and tomatoes are good for your body, they can erode the enamel and expose the dentin.
Tea and Coffee
Your favorite morning tea or coffee can be responsible for yellow teeth. Coffee and tea contain tannins, which can lead to discoloration and staining. Also, since it they are acidic, it alters the pH balance of the mouth, which can make any acidic food you eat after drinking tea or coffee, damage your teeth quickly.
The sugar in your sweets and chocolates can stick to your teeth and become the meal for harmful bacteria in your mouth. When these harmful bacteria feed on the sugar, they release acids that can lead to tooth decay. This will not only damage your teeth and can also lead to decolorization.
Sodas that contain sugar act the same as sweats which contain sugar. This gives bacteria plenty of food to feed off on. Sodas are more harmful than sugar-laden sweets because they contain acids that can damage the enamel. Even if the soda is sugar-free, it is best to avoid them for the health of your teeth.
Some fruits such as pomegranate, blueberries, and blackberries, are rich in antioxidants but also have pigments that can stain your teeth. The simple rule of thumb here is, if you cannot the stains left by these foods on your clothes, how you can possibly remove them from your teeth.
Red and White Wine
If your teeth are grey-tainted, the culprit could be red wine. Grey stains are harder to remove when compared to yellow stains. Red wine also contains tannins, which is responsible for staining and decolorization. Even though red wine cause staining, some amounts of red wine keep our teeth healthy by fighting cavity.
Recent studies have shown that drinking white wine can make the teeth stain darker. While white wine does not stain your teeth, the acid in the wine allow other foods seep deeper into the teeth, which causes staining.
How to Whiten your Teeth Naturally
Brush your Teeth
It may be hard for most people to believe, but brushing your teeth after your meals or after you drink something, is one of the easiest ways of whitening your teeth naturally. Brushing your teeth requires a lot of persistence and patience, as some people may have an erratic eating schedule due to work or school.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent anti-bacterial agent that acts as a gum cleaner by keeping the mouth free of bacteria and germs. You can keep your teeth healthy by using hydrogen peroxide or by mixing it with equal quantities of water, swishing around in the mouth for a minute. Studies have shown that rinsing your mouth with hydrogen peroxide can kill the bad bacteria in the mouth. By killing the bacteria, it prevents gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis.
You can also use hydrogen peroxide by mixing it with small quantities of baking soda. This helps in removing plaque from your teeth. In a study conducted on more than 270 subjects, it was found that using baking soda dentifrices helps in removing plaque significantly when compared to non-baking soda dentifrices.
Before you use these products, you must first brush your teeth normally. Since baking soda is a gritty substance that can act like sandpaper on your teeth, you must mix adequate quantities of soda to prevent the scrubbing of the enamel. Once the enamel is damaged, it will not grow back. So, be very careful when using baking soda on your teeth.
Coconut Oil Pulling
Most people might find it hard to believe, but coconut oil pulling acts a natural teeth whitener. When you use coconut oil after brushing, your teeth become whiter and healthier. Coconut oil has several antibacterial properties that protect your teeth and clean the gums.
Using coconut oil to keep your teeth clean is easy. All, you have to do is put a spoonful of refined coconut oil in your mouth and swish it between your teeth for amount 10 minutes. You option for those who want to avoid pulling, is applying coconut oil in the corners using a washcloth.
Studies undertaken to analyze the benefits of coconut pulling have found that coconut oil is one of the safest ways of whitening the teeth. It also prevents gum problems and keeps the teeth healthy.
Apple Cider Vinegar
One of the innumerable benefits of apple cider vinegar is that it acts as a natural antibiotic that keeps your gums healthy by killing the bad bacteria. Also, it removes stubborn stains from the teeth. Many people use apple cider vinegar to remove stains caused by smoking or drinking tea or coffee. In fact, people who use apple cider vinegar to whiten their teeth claim that it works as well as commercial whitening product.
Apple cider vinegar contains several compounds such as potassium, acetic acid, enzymes, magnesium, and probiotics, which kill the dangerous bad bacteria and promotes the growth of good bacteria. Since apple cider vinegar is naturally acidic, it helps to break down plaque and other substances that are stuck to the teeth. Also, the pH of apple cider vinegar removes yellow stains from the teeth, which cleans and whitens the teeth naturally.
To get the best results, you must use apple cider vinegar for at least one month. However, you must be very careful when using this product, as it is acidic and can damage the enamel. After you brush your teeth with apple cider vinegar, you must brush again with regular toothpaste, preferably non-fluoride toothpaste. If you want to avoid brushing your teeth with apple cider vinegar, you can take apple cider in your finger and gently apply it on your teeth. You should then rinse your teeth with warm water or hydrogen peroxide.
Orange or Lemon Peels
Just as apple cider vinegar helps in whitening your teeth, some people are of the opinion that lemon or orange peels has the same effect as apple cider vinegar. You could also use lemon or orange essential oils, as they have several beneficial acids that help in whitening teeth. However, avoid using these acidic products aggressively, as they can wear away the enamel. Also, you must rinse your mouth with warm water or hydrogen peroxide after using these products to prevent any possible side effects.
Other Health Foods
There are several other health foods that can help in whitening your teeth. For instance, strawberry is used by several well-known celebrities to whiten their teeth. Most health foods contain compounds and anti-oxidants that improve the overall health of your teeth. The products you apply on your teeth are not the only things that help in whitening your teeth. There are several food products you must include in your diet to improve the health of your teeth. These food products make your teeth strong and keep your gums free of disease. Some of these products are:
Some fruits such as apples and pear that have high fiber content can help in whitening your teeth. These fruits improve the saliva flow in the mouth and remove stains by scrubbing the surface of your teeth. However, you should brush your teeth after eating fruits that contain sugar, as you want it to stick to your teeth and damage it.
Using strawberry to whiten teeth is the easiest ways of whitening your teeth naturally. These red berries contain malic acid, which helps in whitening your teeth. Some people use a mix of strawberries and baking soda to whiten your teeth. However, the effects of this whitening may not last long, as strawberries don’t penetrate the enamel. Check out this video on how to make strawberry whitening paste at home.
If you love cheese, there is good news for you. Eating cheese can help in reducing cavities. When you eat cheese, it increases the pH level in your mouth, which reduces the risk of developing cavities.
Most of you must be aware of the innumerable benefits of drinking water. But did you know that drinking water helps in keeping your gums and teeth healthy. Fluoridated water is particularly helpful, as it helps in battling tooth decay. If you are unable to brush your teeth after your meals, just swish some water to clear the acids and sugar.
Some known benefits of nuts include fighting aging, booting weight loss, and several other benefits. Another important benefit of nuts is that they help in strengthening our teeth. Nuts are rich in proteins which help in strengthening our teeth. Also, chewing the nuts helps in stimulating saliva production, which helps in cleaning the mouth.
This product helps in absorbing the toxins from the body. It also helps in teeth whitening by absorbing plaque and other harmful bacteria that can cause staining. To use activated charcoal to whiten your teeth, dip your wet toothbrush into activated charcoal and brush your teeth normally. Pay special attention to areas that are most stained. After you complete your brushing, sip a little water, swish your mouth thoroughly, and spit the water. Repeat the process a few times until the spit is clear. For best results, you must brush your teeth with activated carbon at least twice a week. However, you must avoid using activated carbon if have porcelain veneers, crowns, or caps.
Limit Sugar Intake
One of ways of whitening your teeth is by reducing your sugar intake. When you increase the intake of sugar, it promotes the growth of plague and gingivitis causing bacteria Streptococcus Mutans. It is best to brush your teeth after consuming sugary foods to prevent the growth of Streptococcus Mutans.
Should you use Teeth Whitening Products?
There are many teeth whitening products available in market place. Should you use these products? Do these products have any side effects? The problem with using these whitening products is that most people tend to get obsessed with these products and overuse them. There have been instances in the past where people who have used these products had to undergo root canalling because they over bleached their teeth. When you overuse whitening products, the tissues and enamel can get damaged.
Studies have shown that prolonged use of teeth-whitening products can remove too much enamel which can damage your teeth. Regular use of whitening strops can erode the enamel and promote tooth sensitivity. This can be a huge problem when you eat or drink hot and cold products.
So what should you do? To get the best results without damaging your teeth, you should use these products in moderation. Also, you should use these products when all the natural approaches of solving the problem have failed. Always remember, tooth-whitening products must be used only after consulting your dentist. You must understand that the effect of most products is temporary but the damaged caused by them can be permanent. The best way of whitening your teeth is by eating healthy foods and brushing your teeth twice every day. Also, avoid eating products that can stain your teeth. Just take some simple steps to show that you love your teeth, they will be sparkling white and cavity-free.