Everyone is on the hunt for a great smile these days. Whether you’re focused on improving your appearance, upping your selfie game, or looking to keep stay on top of your oral hygiene – a striking smile is half the battle.
A lot of us strive for an impressive set of pearly whites and more people are opting for teeth whitening treatment than ever before.
Teeth whitening has been proven to be very effective, but there’s also some cool home remedies that you can try first to restore that desirable whiteness before you go and splash the cash.
We’ve put together a handy guide on the causes of discolouration, how to prevent it and what you can do at home if you’re looking to battle the pesky problem.
Let’s get into it by breaking down the main types of discolouration as defined by professionals…
Unsurprisingly, our diet is a major player in the state of our teeth. Extrinsic discolouration is a result of that and happens when the outer layer of our teeth, commonly known as enamel, becomes stained by what we’ve been eating or drinking.
Intrinsic discolouration is when the dentin in our teeth becomes darker or is tinted with yellow. The dentin in our teeth can begin to show for multiple reasons and some of them include a wearing down of the enamel, which happens over time and comes with age.
You may also have had an injury or trauma that damaged the tooth when you were younger. If you’ve had damage to the mouth at any point then your teeth would react to the injury by producing more dentin.
Other occurrences of intrinsic discolouration may have come from too much exposure to fluoride during childhood, antibiotics or in rare cases, a condition called dentinogenesis imperfecta, which causes a variety of discolouration.
Because we know that certain food and drink in our diet can cause discolouration, we also know that we can control it by reducing our consumption of the things that cause issues.
Now let’s identify some common perpetrators so we can avoid them and keep our glowing smiles in tiptop condition:
- Red pasta sauce
- Coffee and tea
- Red wine
It’s maybe no shock that brightly coloured food and drink cause the yellowing of our teeth, but tobacco is also a major player.
The nicotine and tar in tobacco can turn our teeth yellow in a pretty short period of time and those who have smoked for years may find that their teeth go almost brown in colour!
So what can you do?
Now we’ve identified some of the things that stain our teeth, let’s talk about some of the tactics we can employ to reduce discolouration and make our teeth brighter again.
Everyone loves a home remedy, don’t they? They’re cheap, easy and often fun to try on your own to test the results.
A popular and effective method of whitening your teeth at home can be with the use of baking soda. We’re all familiar with the cleaning prowess of baking soda and it can also do a job on our teeth if used correctly.
You can mix a little of it in with your toothpaste before brushing your teeth and don’t be shocked if it’s gritty in texture as this purposeful to scrub the stains from your teeth. Try this method once or twice a week and see how you get on!
Mixing baking soda with hydrogen peroxide and cold water can also produce homemade mouthwash. Use the mouthwash a couple of times a day.
We did mention earlier that berries can be bad for the discolouration of our teeth but on the other hand, oranges can have a reverse effect!
Orange peel can reduce the appearance of yellow on teeth over time, by simply rubbing it over your teeth before bed. The calcium and vitamin C in the orange peel helps fight off germs on teeth and goes to work while we’re sleeping.
Try this every night before you go to sleep for a few weeks to see the difference.
Apples are great for our health. They’re a good antioxidant and can also brighten our teeth just by eating them. It’s recommended that we eat an apple a day as the fibres and acid can help clean our teeth.
By picking a few leaves from the basil plant, leaving them to dry in the sun and then grinding them into a powder, we can create another quirky remedy.
Mix the powder in with toothpaste and brush as normal. Wondering how it works? The basil leaves have characteristics to whiten teeth!
Teeth whitening procedures
If you’ve tried playing around at home with some DIY remedies and still want to explore the option of teeth whitening, then we can help.
Teeth whitening is a relatively straightforward process that includes the bleaching of teeth to restore whiteness.
The bleach breaks stains down on our teeth that are causing discolouration and makes teeth appear brighter.
While teeth whitening is an effective process for the vast majority of patients, the effectiveness can depend on what caused your discolouration in the first place.
Remember, before you try any DIY home remedies, it’s important to talk to your dentist. Or if in doubt, book an appointment online or call the team at CPD on (03) 9654 5704.