Relax. We’ve all been there. We eat something a dark shade of purple, and the next time we look in the mirror, our teeth and tongue are coated in that colour.
While our teeth are not perfectly white, by nature, most people feel that they could improve their smile with brighter, whiter teeth. Over time, our teeth acquire extrinsic stains as a result of eating and drinking certain foods and beverages. They also yellow with age, as a result of acquiring pigmentation inside the teeth. The best prevention for stained/yellow teeth is paying attention to what you eat and drink, and not smoking. You should also practice good dental hygiene and visit a dental professional at least twice a year.
In the meantime, let's look at these home remedies:
↪️FOODS AND DRINKS FOR HEALTHIER, WHITER TEETH
Good news - substances found in cocoa appear to dampen inflammation and may help protect against erosion and decay. Despite chocolate containing sugar, it doesn’t seem to increase the risk of cavities compared to other snacks like cookies, crisps, and sweets. Dark chocolate is the best choice since it contains less sugar than milk chocolate.
Drink your milk for strong bones and strong teeth, your mom said. And she was right. Dairy products, such as cheese, yoghurt and milk, contain the enamel-fortifying mineral calcium, which strengthens teeth to protect the enamel from erosion. Chewing on cheese also prompts production of saliva, which washes away staining food particles.
- CHEWING GUM
Sugar-free of course. It’s one of those things that requires a lot of chewing – and that’s a good thing for your teeth! The more you chew the gum, the more saliva you produce. And saliva is a natural cleanser for your teeth by helping to neutralise acids in the mouth. Plus, chewing gums are cheap.
- CITRUS FRUIT
Despite being acidic, citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and grapefruit increase saliva flow. In fact, research shows that these foods tend to protect tooth enamel. Because citrus fruit contains a lot of water, it also helps wash away acid-producing bacteria.
The best thirst quencher is also the smartest choice for your teeth. Water helps wash acid-producing foods from the mouth, which may help reduce the risk of a cavity.
- USE BAKING SODA
Baking soda is a mild abrasive that can help scrub away surface stains on teeth. It has natural whitening properties, which is why it's a popular ingredient in commercial toothpaste. Using baking soda will not whiten your teeth overnight, but you should notice a difference in the appearance of your teeth over time. To use this remedy, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water and brush your teeth with the paste. You can do this a few times per week. Additionally, you can also mix some baking soda with your toothpaste. You can buy baking soda from almost every shop, or you can purchase it online.
✔️ SUMMARY: Brushing with a paste made with baking soda and water can reduce bacteria in your mouth and buff away surface stains.
- OIL PULLING
A few studies have shown that daily oil pulling reduces bacteria in the mouth, along with plaque and gingivitis along with helping to brighten your teeth. Oil pulling is a traditional Indian folk remedy meant to improve oral hygiene and remove toxins from the body. We recommend using coconut oil. To oil pull, put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and push and pull the oil through your teeth. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so you may need to wait a few seconds for it to melt. Continue the oil pulling for 15–20 minutes.
✔️ SUMMARY: Practising this daily can reduce plaque and may brighten your teeth.
- APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Acetic acid, which is the main active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, kills bacteria. The antibacterial property of vinegar is what makes it useful for cleaning your mouth and whitening your teeth and that why it has been used for centuries as a disinfectant and natural cleaning product.
✔️ SUMMARY: Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that may help whiten your teeth, but limit its use to a few times per week.
- FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Eating fruits and vegetables may be good for both your health and your teeth. Raw fruits and vegetables can help rub plaque away as you chew. Both pineapples and strawberries are fruits that have been claimed to help whiten your teeth. Whitening your teeth with a strawberry and baking soda mixture is a natural remedy that has been made popular by celebrities.
✔️ SUMMARY: Specific fruits may have properties that help whiten your teeth.
Brightening your smile is as easy as visiting your dentist for a whitening treatment, or purchasing one of the many at-home treatment options available. You don't necessarily have to change your habits to whiten your teeth. Simply replacing your regular toothpaste with whitening toothpaste is a great way to start whitening your smile gradually. Using a whitening mouthwash, trying whitening pens, strips or trays are all good ways to supplement your normal oral hygiene habits. If you regularly chew gum after meals, there are some brands of chewing gum that claim to whiten teeth.
Disclaimer: This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.