Yellow-stained teeth can be an embarrassment. If you have them, you probably avoid smiling for cameras or are self-conscious when talking to friends. Fortunately, the natural whiteness of your teeth can be restored.
What Causes Stained Teeth
Teeth become yellow mainly by the things that are put in the mouth. Smoking or chewing tobacco can easily stain teeth. Drinking excessive amounts of coffee, tea, red wine, or sports drinks can also cause discoloration as can a lack of proper dental hygiene. Along with these usual suspects, your teeth could have turned yellow if you have experienced dental trauma or overuse mouthwash or fluoride.
How You Can Whiten At Home
There are some steps you can take in your home to try to get rid of the staining on your teeth.
Scrub your teeth with the inner portion of a banana peel. The potassium, magnesium, and manganese will penetrate and whiten teeth.
Eat lots of strawberries. They contain vitamin C (good for whitening) and bleaching properties.
Get your apple a day. The malic acid in them is a natural tooth bleaching agent.
Chew gum with Xylitol. It prevents plaque build up and enhances the restoration of teeth.
Brush your teeth with a mixture of baking soda, salt and water.
Use whitening toothpaste or strips that contain between 10 to 20 carbamide peroxide strength.
When purchasing over-the-counter whitening products, be careful to avoid anything that claims it "polishes" your teeth. These products contain chemicals that will wear down enamel. It is best to stick with products that are approved by the America Dental Association.
What the Dentist Can Do
If you have limited success with the at-home treatments, or simply want to skip that step, make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist, like George S Cochran DDS. The dentist can use teeth bleaching or teeth whitening to restore the whiteness to your teeth. Teeth whitening will bring back the natural whiteness to your teeth while teeth bleaching can whiten your teeth beyond their natural color.
Bleaching methods generally use carbamide peroxide, which can penetrate the enamel on your teeth and break down stains in the dentin. Most dentists will then use power bleaching to accelerate the whitening process. During this step, your teeth are exposed to a halogen light that excites the peroxide molecules, increasing their reaction time. The whole process usually takes under an hour.
How to Take Care of Your Teeth Post-Whitening
After having your teeth whitened, you will want to maintain the whiteness as long as possible. To do this, avoid regularly consuming foods and drinks that could stain them again. These include red wine, coffee, tea, cranberry juice, dark sodas, berries, and anything that contains pigments or dyes. Also discontinue the use of tobacco. Start chewing gum that contains Xylitol and take advantage of some of the at-home whitening tricks listed above.
Regular tooth care is important for your health, but tooth bleaching or whitening can enhance your self-confidence. Take the necessary steps to remove the stains from your teeth and you'll find yourself smiling for the camera.