Category Archives: Lifestyle

Restore that perfect smile: Natural teeth whitening methods

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There are lots of commercial products in the market that can be used to whiten your teeth. Some of these should be used in moderation as they have their side effects.

This is why I went on a search for natural teeth whitening methods. I was surprised to discover some of these methods. I know you will also be surprised, and grateful to learn these methods.

A while back, I wrote a post about going bananas on your cleaning. Apparently, bananas are one natural method of teeth whitening. Just brush your teeth normally, and then rub your teeth with the insides of a banana peel. Do this twice a day. You have to brush before applying the peel so as not to clean off the whitening minerals. Bananas not only contain potassium, they also have high levels of magnesium and manganese, which can help to whiten teeth. Results can be seen in two weeks.

Coconut oil is another trick that I came across for teeth whitening. Take about 2 teaspoons of organic coconut oil into your mouth and swish it around for 15 minutes. In the morning, before you brush your teeth, scoop out a tablespoon or less of coconut oil. You can soften it, or just put it in your mouth Push, swish, and “pull” the oil through and around your teeth for 10-15 minutes, then spit it out, rinse with water, and brush your teeth.The oil pulls the bacteria out from between your teeth, which is the main reason we get plaque on our teeth, which leads to tooth decay. Oil pulling detoxes the body and helps heal any mouth ailment you may have. In less than two weeks, swishing coconut oil around in your mouth daily will yield a white smile.

Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate) and Lemon Juice Paste is another natural trick. Sodium bicarbonate is mildly abrasive so it gently scrubs away surface stains returning teeth to a whiter shade. It’s also very alkaline and will reduce the acidity of the lemon juice, which acts as a natural bleach of sorts. Alternatively, you can use water to mix the paste.Mix several teaspoons of baking soda with enough fresh lemon juice or water to make a paste. Wipe your teeth and any extra saliva off of them with a paper towel. Put a good amount of the paste onto your toothbrush and apply. Leave the paste on for 1 minute, then rinse, so as to avoid the acid effecting enamel. If you are using just water you can leave it on for up to 3 minutes.

Strawberry, Salt and Baking Soda Scrub. Strawberries are high in Vitamin C, which can help break-down plaque that causes your teeth to look yellow. It also has an enzyme called malic acid, which may help to remove surface stains. The salt acts as an abrasive in the paste, physically scrubbing away stain-causing gunk, and the baking soda is an extra touch that is optional.Mash 1-3 large strawberries into a pulp, and add a pinch of sea salt and ½ teaspoon of baking soda, if you’re using it. Wipe any extra saliva off your teeth with a paper towel, and then apply a generous portion of the mixture to a toothbrush and apply. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes then rinse. Do this every night for desired results.

Whichever method you choose, make it a routine to get the most out of it. A little lifestyle adjustment also helps. For example, avoid dark drinks and smoking that eventually stain teeth. You are well on your way to restore that perfect smile.

Causes of teeth discoloration

Image credit: www.identalhub.com
Image credit: http://www.identalhub.com

That perfect smile does wonders at boosting your confidence. There are some factors that affect the ‘perfectness’ of the smile and having discolored teeth is one culprit. Teeth normally get discolored due to a number of factors.

The tooth is made up of 4 tissues.

Enamel, which is the strong, white covering that protects the tooth.
Dentin, a hard yellow material that carries nerves and supports the enamel.
Pulp, which is at the center of the tooth and contains blood and lymph vessels.
Cementum, which covers the root of the tooth.
The enamel and dentin play the biggest role in teeth coloration.

Poor dental hygiene is also a cause of tooth discoloration. Inadequate brushing and flossing to remove plaque and stain-producing substances like coffee and tobacco can discolor your teeth. Make sure you brush your teeth with a good toothbrush at least twice daily. Also brush within an hour of eating food that stains teeth. It also helps to rinse your mouth with water after a meal to remove the deposits before they settle.

Genetic makeup- some people have naturally brighter or thicker enamel than others. If you fall in the category of the genetically predisposed to weaker enamel or discolored teeth, then performing standard dental hygiene processes and some tooth whitening techniques will be good for you. You should also be realistic about your goal. Confidence comes from within.

Certain foods and drinks will directly stain the enamel. Black coffee and tea, cola drinks, red wine, and certain fruits and vegetables are good, we can’t do without some of them but they also discolor our teeth. We may avoid darker teas and use the milder ones to avoid this problem. Adding milk to your beverage- coffee or tea also helps in lightening it. As a bonus, you’ll get milk’s calcium and vitamin D, both of which keep teeth strong.

As you age, the outer layer of enamel on your teeth gets worn away, revealing the natural yellow color of dentin. You should therefore adopt a diet that helps you strengthen your enamel as you get older.

Smoking or chewing tobacco is a big culprit in staining teeth. One of the effects of smoking is staining on the teeth due to the nicotine and tar in the tobacco. It can make your teeth yellow in a very short time, and heavy smokers often complain that their teeth are almost brown after years of smoking. Whiter teeth can be a good motivation for someone to quit smoking.

Several diseases can affect the enamel and dentin and can lead to tooth discoloration. Certain treatments for conditions such as cancer can also affect tooth color. For example, head and neck radiation and chemotherapy can cause teeth discoloration.

Antibiotics like tetracycline and doxycycline are known to discolor teeth when given to children whose teeth are still developing (before age 8). Certain Mouth rinses and washes, antihistamines used for allergies, antipsychotic drugs, and drugs for high blood pressure also cause teeth discoloration.

The environment you live in can have an effect on your teeth. Excessive fluoride either from environmental sources (naturally high fluoride levels in water) can discolor your teeth. Fluoride can also be used excessively through fluoride applications, rinses, toothpaste, and fluoride supplements taken orally, all these can cause teeth discoloration. The best thing to do is practice moderation even as you use these products.

These are few causes of teeth discoloration, some of which a little lifestyle change will help improve. There are others though which you may have to live with because ‘perfect’ is relative and should be defined by an individual rather than a society. It would also help to bear in mind that prevention is better than cure.