When you smile, what is the first thing people will notice? Your teeth. Good teeth give off a great first impression, along with multiple health benefits. Our teeth are prone to decaying and yellowing if not taken care of properly. But fear not, because you don’t need to go to the dentist just to get some tips on how to eat properly. Let’s start by talking about what actually causes teeth to go yellow.
What causes your teeth to go yellow?
The most outer layer of our teeth is called enamel, and it’s the hardest tissue in the human body. Beneath it is a layer of tissue called dentin, and it’s the part that’s responsible for your teeth colour. As the enamel layer shrinks, so does the yellow/brown colour become more exposed and clearer. This process is called “enamel thinning“. The teeth can also get stained by consuming different products, but more on that later. There are some problems which you have less control over, like age-related teeth stains. That’s a process in which dentin becomes increasingly blemish as we age. This is a nasty combo of both surface and bellow-the surface teeth staining.
Some forms of maintaining white teeth are easy in theory, and only require you to cut down on specific everyday food and drinks. Cutting down on sugar and coffee consumption can greatly impact the health of your teeth (and your general health). Now enough about the things that you cut out. Let’s talk about what you can add. Eating fruits and vegetables can assist in rubbing off the plaque away while chewing. Some most notable fruit that helps with natural teeth whitening are strawberries and coconuts. Of course, after every meal, it’s recommended to brush & floss. We all know that the “you should floss“ line is very old and overused, but in all honesty, it still lives up to its title. It’s more effective against small bits of food left between your food, clears bacteria, and is a safer alternative than toothpicks. Brushing your teeth regularly is a good method of maintaining good oral hygiene. As the toothpaste removes most of the stains left on your teeth. Eating calcium-rich food like milk, cheese and broccoli have shown to be effective at preventing enamel erosion.
More focused tips
Now we are going to talk about some more chemical-focused tools for whitening your teeth. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleacher and is used primarily to kill bacteria in your mouth. A study has shown that using toothpaste that contains peroxide has proven to have a significant effect. Take notice that hydrogen peroxide is currently not confirmed as a great means of teeth whitening on its own, as there are insufficient studies on its effects on its own. Baking soda is also a good ingredient in toothpaste for teeth whitening. Baking soda can also be used on its own, as it provides an alkaline environment in your mouth in which prevents bacteria from growing. Again, a clear correlation hasn’t been determined, but using baking soda has shown positive effects on the teeth’ colour and health.
Apple cider deserves to have its category, as it’s the most hotly debated topic on oral hygiene. There are a ton of people who will recommend using apple cider to rinse, under the pretext that it is healthy. Some claim it’s good under small doses, but ultimately, it’s hard to pinpoint where apple cider is on the usefulness chart. There has yet to be any solid evidence for the usage of apple cider as an effective whitening tool. Apple cider does not only not help, it actively HURTS your teeth. It weakens the enamel and leads to tooth decay. The same goes for spices and oils, there is no evidence that it whitens teeth.
If worst comes to worst, you can seek professional teeth whitening, there are cases where these chemicals can harm your oral health, especially if you have sensitive teeth and gums, so be careful. Most dentists will advise pregnant women to avoid teeth whitening until they have had the baby.
Some things are a lot harder to change than not drinking coffee, like bruxism (aka teeth grinding). Bruxism is a sleep disorder that damages our teeth and overall health. The thing with bruxism is that it is fairly common and some don’t even realize it. To combat this, you need to get custom night guards. Although, initiating the entire process of getting custom night guards is tedious and long. It requires a lot of time and money if done via your local dentist. That’s why we recommend going to a private business with bruxism, a good example would be Mofosmile. As they offer an inexpensive price for custom night guards and even more important – they simplify the process. It’s all done a lot faster than in a public institution. So, if you’re suffering from bruxism, make sure not to let the problem grow and seek immediate medical attention.
Hopefully, we have shed some light on the topic for you as well as breaking a few myths here and there. These tools have been known to help but at the end of the day, if you feel that nothing is helping and your teeth continuously keep getting worse then visit a professional.