Tooth discoloration happens as an effect of staining caused by drinking colored beverages such as coffee, cola, or juices. You can also get it through frequent smoking. It happens gradually and you won’t even notice it, but eventually the effects pile up and it becomes noticeable. Luckily, there are many ways to brighten your teeth and it’s up to you to choose which one suits your condition best. Before we dive into the best natural teeth whitening methods, you must know a couple of things first about teeth whitening.
Know that there are 3 types of tooth discoloration: extrinsic, intrinsic, and age-related. Extrinsic discoloration occurs when the tooth enamel (which is the outer layer) is stained. It’s the most common cause of staining and is brought about by the foods and drinks we eat.
Intrinsic staining, on the other hand, is described as the yellowing or darkening of the inner structure of the tooth (the dentin). You get this when you were exposed to too much fluoride in your early childhood years. You can also get this if your mother was medicated with tetracycline antibiotics in her late pregnancy stages or when you were 8 years and younger. Physical traumas on the teeth can also affect its intrinsic color, such as a fall that damaged your teeth, or an internal bleeding that discolored the teeth.
Age-related teeth discoloration is caused by the yellowing of the dentin over time, and the thinning of the enamel with age. These natural changes allow for the yellowing teeth to be more exposed. So if you notice, yellow teeth is common with our elderlies.
If you’re one of those suffering from extrinsic staining, here are 3 all-natural ways to whiten your teeth:
1. Use hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide (H₂O₂) is a popular bleaching agent that is also capable of killing bacteria in your mouth. You may recognize that this solution is actually a disinfectant used in treating wounds. There aren’t a lot of studies that link rinsing or brushing with diluted hydrogen peroxide effective for teeth whitening. But using toothpaste containing hydrogen peroxide and baking soda are said to result in significantly whiter teeth.
Be cautious when trying to rinse or brush your teeth using strong concentrations of H₂O₂ though as it could cause tooth sensitivity or irritate your gums.
- Brush with baking soda
Baking soda is yet another popular natural whitening agent, reason why it’s always in the ingredients of commercial toothpaste. What it does is help scrub away surface stains on the teeth, and create an alkaline environment in our mouth – which bacteria hates. It’s not a one time solution but with regular use you should be able to notice a difference in your teeth color.
- Try apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a popular disinfectant and cleaning product. It’s been used for many centuries in different ways because of its antibacterial properties. The main ingredient that makes apple cider vinegar a wonder solution is acetic acid, which, aside from being antibacterial, also has whitening properties. Use it as a mouthwash by diluting it with water and swishing it around your mouth for a few minutes. Make sure to rinse with water afterwards, and avoid doing it regularly because the acidic content of the vinegar could possibly make the enamel of your teeth thinner. So as always, be careful!