Teeth inevitably begin to yellow with age, but a range of strategies can slow the process and even reverse it. While teeth whitening kits are readily available at most drugstores, many natural remedies can help remove stains and protect tooth enamel.
- 1 How to Whiten Teeth Naturally: 6 Simple and Effective Strategies
- 2 Why do teeth turn yellow?
- 3 Methods that don’t work to whiten teeth
- 4 Sources
How to Whiten Teeth Naturally: 6 Simple and Effective Strategies
1. Make dietary changes
Removing teeth-marking foods can prevent re-staining. Foods and drinks that contain tannins, such as wine and tea, can stain teeth. Coffee and dark sodas and juices can also stain them. Acidic foods can make teeth look yellow by wearing down the enamel. People who are concerned about the color of their teeth should avoid excessive consumption of citrus fruits, coffee and soda. In addition, they should always brush their teeth after consuming it.
Dentists generally recommend waiting 30 minutes after eating before brushing your teeth. Acids can weaken enamel, so brushing too soon can cause damage. Quitting tobacco or tobacco products can reduce the risk of nicotine stains. It can also prevent cavities and gum disease, both of which can damage enamel and cause oral health issues.
2. Try oil toothbrushing
Washing your mouth with oil helps remove dirt, bacteria, and debris. It’s not a substitute for regular brushing or flossing, but some research suggests that washing your mouth with certain oils can help whiten your teeth.
To try this method, you rinse your mouth with oil for a minute after brushing and then spit it out.
Oils that are suitable for an oil flush are as follows
– coconut oil
– sunflower oil
– sesame oil
3. Brushing with baking soda
Baking soda can gently polish stains on the surface of teeth. Some people worry that baking soda is too harsh and can damage enamel, but research from 2017 found it to be a safe way to remove stains. Baking soda may also help fight bacteria, which suggests it may be able to reduce plaque and prevent cavities.
4. Use hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a mild bleaching agent that can help whiten stained teeth. For optimal whitening, a person can try brushing their teeth with a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide for 1-2 minutes twice a day for a week. She only has to do it occasionally. Hydrogen peroxide can increase tooth sensitivity, so it is not suitable for long-term use or for people who already have sensitive teeth.
5. Blanch with fruits
Papaya fruit contains an enzyme that can help whiten teeth. Papain and bromelain, which are enzymes found in papayas and pineapples respectively, can both help whiten teeth. A 2012 study found preliminary evidence that solutions containing these ingredients may offer modest whitening effects. However, the study authors warn that more research is needed to determine whether or not these enzymes are effective.
6. Maintain excellent oral hygiene
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene is the most important thing a person can do to reduce yellowing of teeth. Regular brushing and flossing protects enamel, prevents gum cavities and removes stains.
Good oral hygiene includes
Brushing teeth at least twice a day. A person should make sure to also clean around the gums and the back of the teeth.
Use fluoridated toothpaste. Fluoride can fight and even reverse tooth decay. Although some people oppose the use of fluoride, dentists believe that fluoride is safe and beneficial for teeth.
Using dental floss to remove plaque between teeth.
Why do teeth turn yellow?
Teeth turn yellow for two reasons, both of which tend to accelerate with age:
– Enamel thinning
The outer layer of the teeth is made up of enamel, almost white in color, which protects the deep structure of the tooth. Beneath the enamel is a layer of tissue called dentin, which is yellow-brown in color. As the enamel layer thins or wears away, the teeth begin to look darker. Acidic foods, gum disease and aging can wear down tooth enamel. Some people also have naturally thinner enamel.
Certain foods and beverages, such as coffee, can stain teeth. Certain foods that stain teeth can also wear down the enamel, increasing yellowing.
Smoking, tobacco products, and certain types of antibiotics are other sources of spots.
Methods that don’t work to whiten teeth
Natural teeth whitening strategies that may harm teeth include the use of:
apple cider vinegar
Few people have naturally white teeth because teeth tend to yellow with age. However, maintaining excellent oral hygiene and getting regular dental checkups can help maintain shiny teeth. Yellow teeth are usually not a sign of a health problem, but a dentist can check for enamel loss and tooth decay. Natural remedies can help people whiten their teeth at home. A dentist may also offer professional teeth whitening.
Brooks, JK, Bashirelahi, N., & Reynolds, MA (2017, September). Charcoal and charcoal-based toothpastes [Abstract]. The Journal of the American Dental Association, 148(9), 661–670
Chakravarthy, PK, & Acharya, S. (2012, October–December). Efficacy of extrinsic stain removal by novel dentifrice containing papain and bromelain extracts. Journal of Young Pharmacists, 4(4), 245–249
Natural teeth whitening: Fact vs. fiction. (nd)
Shanbhag, VKL (2017, January). Oil pulling for maintaining oral hygiene — a review. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 7(1), 106–109
Statement on the safety and effectiveness of tooth whitening products. (2012, April)
Vano, M., Derchi, G., Barone, A., Genovesi, A., & Covani, U. (2015, January 20). Tooth bleaching with hydrogen peroxide and nano-hydroxyapatite: A 9-month follow-up randomized clinical trial [Abstract]. International Journal of Dental Hygiene, 13(4), 301–307