We all want to have white teeth, a smile we can be proud of. White teeth give you the self-confidence you need to be yourself in public and is also a sign of a great dental hygiene which is key to prevent more serious mouth diseases.
It is almost impossible though to keep our teeth from yellowing over time. Even if you brush your teeth regularly a film of foreign material from the food you eat and the drinks you drink will slowly start to form over the enamel layer of your teeth yellowing them slightly.
Each person’s teeth are different and some tend to get yellower than others quicker, no matter how good your dental hygiene might be. For some it could be decades before they start noticing the change, for others just a couple of years.
Fortunately, if your teeth color has gotten to the point where it bothers you or someone has brought it to your attention, there are several alternatives to get back your natural color or even a lighter shade if you with.
Let’s take a look at a some of the options available.
Strictly speaking prevention is not a method to whiten your teeth but to keep them from yellowing in the first place.
All foods will stain your teeth over time, however there are some which are especially aggressive such as coffee or tea. By using a straw to drink these beverages you will be avoiding the direct contact between the liquid and your teeth, specially your front teeth decreasing their negative effect on your enamel.
Brushing your teeth no more than 15 minutes after every meal is also a good practice that will help you retain the natural color of your teeth for much longer.
If you are looking for a natural solution to get your back to their original color there are several options.
There are several recipes that include baking soda and other ingredients such as juices or jams in order to make a homemade toothpaste that will gently polish the surface of your teeth trying to break that microscopic film of foreign material that forms over them.
Other recipes include vinegar, orange juice, lemon juice or coconut oil. These recipes try to create a chemical reaction that will break the yellow layer and bring back the natural color of your enamel.
The most common natural solutions though are charcoal powders, which again will act as a polisher when you brush your teeth with it.
Natural teeth whitening solutions can work very well, there are just two things to remember.
- Natural whitening solutions usually take longer to show results, so you will need at least 30 days of treatment in order to see any change in color in your teeth.
- Homemade recipes can work great when done well, but if you don’t get the proportions or ingredients right and the paste you come up with is too aggressive you are at risk of breaking through the yellowish film on your teeth and actually damaging g your enamel.
The most common way to get your teeth whiten is using an over-the-counter teeth whitening kit. These kits can be purchased and most drug stores and is applied at home.
There is a variety of kits available, which generally speaking fall into 2 categories; those containing bleach and those that don’t. Kits with bleach achieve much more notable results in a much shorter time. A bleaching treatment will usually consist in 3 to 5 15minutes sessions and the change in color can go up to 10 shades.
Over-the-counter kits are easy to use and will work well in most cases. Unless yours is a especially severe case of teeth color change one of these kits is all you need.
Dentist Office Solutions
If your case is severe, not just an aesthetics issue, then you might want to consider an in-office solution.
In-office solutions work pretty much like over-the-counter bleaching kits. The main difference is that its applied by a professional dentist who can assess your case and determinate the proper concentration of bleach and treatment duration that will work best for you to achieve the best results without causing any damage.
In many cases the dentist will probably also manually remove larger pieces of tartar and plaque that might be attaches to your teeth before getting started with the whitening procedure.
A teeth whitening treatment performed by a professional dentist may vary from $300 up to $1000, so if you just want to lighten your teeth by a few shades then probably an over-the-counter kit is all you need. If your case is more severe though then investing in a professional cleaning session is recommended and you will find the results totally worth it.