A set of white sparkling teeth is surely an asset many wishes for. But unfortunately, with advancing age, they tend to lose their bright side and begin to yellow. Not only age, but several other factors can be responsible for the change. To reverse the effects or slow down the process, many tooth-whitening kits are available over the counter. However, there are a number of home remedies that can also help.
Remedies To Teeth Turn Yellow
Teeth usually turn yellow for two major reasons:
Thinning of enamel– The tooth is protected from the outside by a hard white-colored coating of enamel. Beneath this layer is a yellow-brown tissue called dentine. As the outer enamel layer wears out the inner layers are exposed making the teeth look yellow or darker. Aging, acid-containing food, and gum disease can cause the thinning of the enamel. Some people might have thinner enamel by nature.
Staining substances– Certain food and beverages like coffee and wine is said to stain the teeth. They might also wear away the enamel layer causing yellowing. Sources like tobacco products and a few antibiotics can also stain teeth. Smoking can make the teeth look yellow.
Teeth also look yellow at times for improper cleaning, leading to plaque formation that causes yellowing of teeth.
Ways To Keep Teeth Clean At Home
Keeping the teeth clean at home is possible by following a few simple steps.
The usefulness of oil pulling
It is an Indian traditional folk method of improving one’s oral hygiene by removing toxins from the body. The practice requires swishing of desired oil in the mouth. This will help kill the plaque-casing bacteria and prevent the teeth from losing its whiteness. Usually, sunflower or sesame oil is used but other oils like coconut oil can also be used, as it has a pleasant taste and other health benefits. Coconut oil also has a high content of lauric acid that is capable of reducing inflammation and anti-bacterial properties.
The most common type of bacteria that causes plaques in the mouth is Streptococcus mutans. Studies show that daily oil pulling can help in reducing the concentration of these bacteria in the mouth protecting them from plaque and even gingivitis in as little as 1 week. Although no scientific evidence proves the efficacy of teeth whitening through this practice, many do claim that it does help in brightening the teeth.
Use of baking soda
Baking soda can be used as a natural abrasive to scrub the surfaces mildly and make the teeth white. It has a natural whitening property for which it is commercially used in toothpaste. It also creates an alkaline environment inside the mouth that retards the growth of bacteria preventing plaque and yellowing of teeth. Although there is a lack of scientific data to prove its caliber alone, studies do suggest that toothpaste containing baking soda can whiten teeth by removing the plaques effectively.
Hydrogen peroxide has been used for ages as a bleaching agent and also as an anti-bacterial product. Research supports that commercial toothpaste containing 1 % hydrogen peroxide and baking soda has a whitening property. Another study said that by using such toothpaste for 6 weeks led to 62% whiter teeth. However, the recommended concentration of 1.5% or 3% solution should be used to avoid issues of gum irritation or tooth sensitivity.
Fruits and vegetables
It is advised to include crunchy raw fruits and vegetables in the diet as they are capable of removing the plaque from the surfaces while chewing. Fruits like strawberries, pineapples, and apples contain acids and enzymes (malic acid in strawberries and bromelain in pineapples) that are thought to remove the yellow stains. Also, the papain in papayas is considered good for white teeth.
While it is quite natural for the teeth to become yellow with age, few habits can prevent it to some extent.
- Limit intake of coffee, red wine, soda and dark berries
- Limit the amount of sugar intake
- Include calcium rich food in diet
- Inculcate a healthy brushing and flossing habit
- Go for regular dental cleanings
Whitening teeth with home remedies is definitely a way out. They are safe and usually work by removing the stains from the surface of the teeth. But if one wants a professional clean and strong smile, one needs to visit the dentist for whitening treatments. It is always a dentist’s job at the end to decide the best option for you. Just put forward your brightest smile.
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