Research indicates that Americans spend almost billions on teeth whitening products and tooth cavity treatment per annum. Reports estimated more than $1.4 billion on at-home whitening and nearly $11 billion on over-the-counter teeth whitening kits.
Professional teeth whitening can be the most effective and quickest way of getting that lustrous smile. Be wary, though! When done inappropriately, it may cause permanent damage such as loss of protective enamel, gum irritation, and tooth sensitivity.
If you’re more concerned about safety and cost, DIY teeth whitening and locally produced whitening toothpaste are your best starting point. They are less likely to damage your teeth, and some of them are deemed gentler, safer, more efficient than other solutions.
What Causes Teeth to Get Stained and Discolored?
Well, who doesn’t love a white, alluring smile? We all do! Here are some fun facts for you: half the percentage of people claim that a smile is the first feature they notice on someone, and almost 60 percent of adults are charmed by a person’s smile alone. Sounds pretty interesting!
But here’s the problem, that perfect set of teeth can turn yellowish and get stained. Your age is a prime factor, but your diet and lifestyle habits play an essential role too.
· Tobacco and frequent consumption of wine, coffee, soda, and tea can cause teeth stain, even your favorite starchy and sugary foods like potatoes, pastries, and cereals
· Poor dental hygiene, let’s say skipping daily oral cleaning or dental cleaning appointments
· Certain medications can discolor teeth, including antihypertensive and antipsychotic medicines, due to the ingredients contained
· Chemotherapy and other medical treatments are also culprits in teeth staining
· Trauma to the tooth can lead to discoloration
Can You Whiten Brown, Yellow, or Dead Tooth?
Short answer, yes.
Other than stains from specific foods and beverages, the thinning of enamel also causes the teeth to turn yellow. Dentin, a layer of tissue found underneath the enamel, has a yellow-brown hue. So, it makes sense why your teeth change their shade once the enamel wears down or becomes thin.
Whether the stain is due to old habits, medication, trauma, or natural factors, the good news is that you can have your pearly whites back. The process takes time and patience, of course, but the result is definitely worth the effort.
The natural yellow and brown tooth shades can whiten within 1 to 2 weeks of persistent remedy. It may take longer, depending on the underlying cause and degree of stains. For tobacco use, you may notice significant changes in about 1 to 3 months, while those taking medications can take up to 6 months before restoring your teeth’s natural white color. If you have severe issues, like a dead tooth, it is best to consult your dentist about whitening solutions.
It all starts with brushing your teeth
Remember when your parents always reminded you of the importance of brushing your teeth since you were little? One smile can brighten other people’s day, and a healthy mouth contributes to healthy body function in general. It is believed that deteriorating oral health causes 90% of body conditions like diabetes.
The American Dental Association encourages brushing with fluoride toothpaste as the first and primary step towards reducing tooth yellowing. It combats and reverses tooth decay and provides many other benefits for the teeth. Brush and floss regularly to get rid of stains, protect enamel, and avoid gum falloff. Use a quality toothbrush, and clean around the back of your teeth and gums, then floss afterward.
Invest in whitening strips and gels
Whitening strips and gels are other popular ways to whiten teeth. They are convenient to use, economically priced, and safe to apply, but unfriendly to sensitive teeth. You can have them over-the-counter or prescribed by your dentist.
They work by penetrating dentin and teeth enamel to bleach out intrinsic and extrinsic stains. While proven effective, make sure not to leave neither product longer or more often than advised. When buying whitening strips, avoid chlorine dioxide due to the harm it can cause. You should use them daily for at least 2 weeks. Expect the result to last for a couple of months, possibly 4 months after the treatment course.
Teeth whitening toothpaste can do the trick
We have mentioned DIY or at-home teeth whitening treatments. Cost-efficiency-wise, they make an ideal pick. For instance, hydrogen peroxide’s natural bleaching properties can help remove bacteria from the mouth. However, experts are still in the debate process about its overall safety since it tends to damage teeth, particularly with strong concentrations.
Oil pulling is another oral hygiene practice that involves swishing oil (sesame, sunflower, or any oil) around the mouth for 15-20 minutes to kill bacteria. But as fascinating it seems, scientific evidence is lacking to prove its efficiency. Thinking about switching to apple cider vinegar, lemons, or oranges? They may be a great choice, but the acid contained in vinegar and fruits could harm your enamel and pearly whites.
That leaves you with a reliable option – teeth whitening toothpaste. But just a friendly warning: many commercially endorsed products contain chemicals that can bleach or stain your teeth. As a keen consumer, your job is to differentiate substandard from good quality. It should have a simple ingredient list that’s pure, clean, and nonpareil.
Whitening toothpaste usually consists of mild abrasives like baking soda, silica, and calcium carbonate to help eliminate surface stains. Chemical agents (e.g., peroxide) or extra polishing may also be added to deep-clean further surface stains. But don’t worry, they are generally safe and recommended by dentists, as long as adhering to the suggested amount.
Some have a blend of activated charcoal and natural ingredients such as aloe juice and coconut oil. Ideal if you prefer not having any trace amounts of sulfates or fluoride in your toothpaste. Not only are they gentle for teeth but general wellbeing as well.
More importantly, ensure the product holds the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which indicates it has been tested and verified for safety and effectiveness. Use twice a day, and get ready to wear your best smile within 2 to 6 weeks of persistent use!