Maybe you like to indulge in a drink of coffee or tea on a regular basis, or maybe you are a smoker, who just cannot seem to shake the habit. No matter the case, perhaps you worry about the fact your teeth are not as white as you want them to be.
It is possible to whiten your teeth at home by using various methods. There are different whitening products that you can try out in the comfort of your home. More importantly, you can even use products from the grocery store for this task.
At-Home Vs In-Office Teeth whitening
There are two main teeth whitening procedures: use home whitening products or do a teeth whitening treatment with your dentist. There are some benefits and drawbacks to both methods that you will do well to consider if you wish to have the best result. Let's compare some of the main strengths and weaknesses of the two methods.
You may be interested in reading our after care tips to maintain the results from your teeth whitening treatment.
At-home teeth whitening
There are various ways to whiten teeth naturally, from using various products like apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, and baking soda paste to commercial products like a whitening pen or a whitening kit. Obviously, the science behind using some of the natural options is uncertain, and you should approach the task carefully.
- You can do it in the comfort of your own home - you don't have to make appointments with a dentist or worry about getting there on time. Using teeth whitening products at home gives you all the freedom you want.
- You can use natural teeth whitening methods - if you are after effective tooth whitening methods, you may want to use some natural remedies. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) for example is a very popular product that people use for its mild abrasive properties.
- There are also commercial products to use at home - you can purchase a teeth whitening kit or another of the many teeth whitening products out there. That way you can achieve the same result at home, without going to see an expert on the matter.
- There is no guarantee that some of the natural remedies really work - when it comes to using any natural remedy to remove stains, you can never have a 100% guarantee it will work.
- You are doing the whitening on your own - whether you have purchased a whitening kit, teeth whitening strips, or some other product, you are doing the whitening treatment on your own.
- It won't be as effective if you have gum irritation or gum disease - poor dental hygiene or teeth conditions can make whitening more problematic than if you went to see a dentist.
In-office teeth whitening
Whether you are dealing with extrinsic stains, have issues from chewing tobacco, or just don't want to see tooth stains anymore, you can consider in-office teeth whitening. Tooth discolouration, stained teeth, and the desire for a brighter smile are all great reasons to make an appointment for a whitening treatment, which usually includes carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide.
- Teeth whitening done to a professional standard - one of the main benefits of having teeth whitening treatments is that the outcome of the work of a professional is always perfect.
- Care in the case of sensitive teeth - because the task is performed by a professional, they will be careful if you have tooth sensitivity or some other condition. The expert will also make sure your enamel layer remains fully intact.
- It requires an appointment - you will have to contact your dentist to make an appointment.
- You should see a cosmetic dentist - not every dentist may provide teeth whitening, though most do.
How Does At-Home Teeth Whitening Work?
Tooth enamel is semi-permeable. That is why certain chemicals, used in the teeth whitening process, mostly carbamide peroxide and hydrogen peroxide, can be used to break down the stains into less visible components. When used on the tooth enamel, they permeate it and do their job. That is the way most whitening treatments work.
There are also certain methods, such as using whitening toothpastes. They rely on contents with particles that serve as abrasive, which work to physically remove the extrinsic stains on your teeth. They do not alter teeth colour, but merely remove the impurities that change it.
Can yellow teeth become white again?
White teeth are a nice confidence booster, especially if you have had to deal with stains for some time. Red wine, some foods, and age-related factors work to stain your teeth and prevent whiter teeth.
The good news is that there are plenty of teeth whitening methods that work wonders to restore a white smile. Yes, it is perfectly possible to white your teeth, even without going to the dentist.
By using a teeth whitening kit or teeth whitening strips, you can go through your own whitening regimen at home. You can consult with your dentist on the best whitening kits or whitening pens, or maybe another product they have in mind, to achieve the best outcome.
There are also some natural products you can use at home for effective stain removal and teeth whitening to get a more beautiful and white smile.
How can I get rid of yellow teeth at home safely?
The best way to whiten teeth is to consult with your operative dentistry expert and acquire a product that they recommend. You should avoid jumping to a product of your choosing, because it may not work as you expect.
If you have a condition with your tooth's nerves, gum irritation, sensitive teeth, or tooth decay, your dentist will point you to a product that will work best for your case.
How to Choose an At-Home Teeth Whitening Product
Teeth Whitening Kits
Teeth whitening kits vary widely in design and price. Some of these products feature a tray that you insert in your mouth for a duration that suits your teeth whitening goals. Typically, the tray is made of a peroxide solution paste/gel, which can contribute to your desired shade of white teeth.
There are also some teeth whitening kits that feature a LED light mouthpiece designed to speed up the whitening process and get you that whiter smile you are after.
Teeth Whitening Strips
Teeth whitening strips combine three essential benefits that make them very popular. They are a cheap option among all of the at-home whitening products; they are very easy to use and net great results.
The way they work is by using a gel side that goes onto your teeth. It is a peroxide-based solution that can whiten your teeth for months ahead. Strips expose your teeth to bleaching agents so you should make sure to follow the instructions on how long to keep them and for how many days to continue using them. The regimen with teeth whitening strips lasts for about 2 weeks.
Teeth whitening pen
A whitening pen can be a helpful tool to use on the go for touch-ups and quick maintenance. However, they are generally a weaker product than kits and strips and you should not expect wonders from them as a standalone whitener.
Whitening pens typically include carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide base. You can apply twice a day for about two weeks, and their price point is usually on the affordable side.
Teeth whitening toothpaste
Most whitening toothpastes feature abrasives, such as perlite, alumina, or silica, which are essential when you want to remove stains. What is important is to go with a toothpaste that contains the right amount of abrasives, because one with a very high amount can damage the tooth surface.
Ask your dentist about a whitening toothpaste that works well for you, especially if you have sensitive teeth. You don't want to weaken the enamel and expose the dentin underneath. An approved whitening toothpaste should work for tooth whitening and removal of surface stains from your teeth without any side effects.
To use the product, gently brush your teeth with it with your dentist's recommended plan.
Other At-Home Teeth Whitening Methods
When it comes to teeth whitening procedures, you won't always have a teeth whitening kit at your disposal. That is when you can rely on a few more methods at home.
Oil pulling is a technique that revolves around swishing oil in your mouth for about 15-20 minutes three times a day, just before brushing your teeth. Most often it is coconut oil that people use for oil pulling.
The goal is to stifle the growth of bacteria that would otherwise contribute to tooth decay and possibly tooth discolouration. It can also help reduce inflammation. Bear in mind that oil pulling with coconut oil should not substitute regular washing and flossing.
There is some research by the American dental association in favour of using baking soda to improve how your teeth look. The alkaline compound works to reduce the stains even without any bleaching agent involved.
According to researchers, baking soda-based dentifrices are safe for removing stains and to some extent as whitening treatments. What is more, baking soda-based dentifrices showed greater potential than their counterparts not containing baking soda.
It should also be pointed out that some toothpastes contain baking soda. You can also make your own mix with water. It works well when you follow up with a fluoride rinse.
Hydrogen peroxide is well known as a natural whitening agent, which also works to kill bacteria in the mouth. Doctors have been using it for years for various disinfection purposes. Some whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide at a higher concentration than you will likely use.
It is recommended that you dilute hydrogen peroxide because a solution with a high concentration can cause some problems, such as gum irritation. You can mix 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and brush with the solution and use it a few times a week.
Another way of using hydrogen peroxide is as a mouthwash before brushing teeth normally. You have to be careful and use a 1.5% or 3% solution to minimise the chance of any side effects. If you have the 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, you can dilute it to 1.5% by mixing it with an equal amount of water.
Chew high-fibre foods
Another method is to chew high-fibre foods, like legumes. They can effectively neutralise the effect of acidic foods and drinks like red wine, and help preserve the enamel of your teeth. Additionally, when you chew leafy greens or beans, you trigger a response in the mouth to produce more saliva, which in turn helps clean your mouth better.
Prevention is also important
If you want to have healthier high-fibre teeth, even without in-office treatments, you have to stay on top of stain prevention.
Reduce sugar intake
In order to prevent tooth decay and tooth sensitivity, you should limit your sugar intake. Sugar in the food supports the growth of Streptococcus mutans, which is the primary bacteria responsible for gingivitis and plaque. Make sure you brush your teeth after consuming any sugary food.
Limit foods and beverages that stain teeth
Some foods are notorious for staining your teeth - red wine, berries, coffee and soda. You don't necessarily need to avoid them entirely, but you should at the very least limit them. Try to brush your teeth about an hour after you have consumed any staining foods and beverages.
Floss and brush your teeth frequently
It is only normal to experience some tooth discolouration with age, it is mostly a buildup of plaque. Regular brushing and flossing as part of good oral hygiene can keep your teeth safe and healthy.
Any toothpaste, even one without a whitening agent, can remove plaque, while flossing is super effective against bacteria. If you also follow up with regular dental cleanings, you will be one step closer to achieving excellent oral hygiene.