Many Americans may now expect to have their natural teeth for the rest of their lives, rather than having to rely on dentures, thanks to significant breakthroughs in dental health. The longer we maintain our teeth, though, the more prone they are to stain or discolour. Understandably, an increasing number of people wish to reclaim their youthful smile's gleaming whiteness.Two methods for lightening your tooth shade include professional teeth whitening and over-the-counter whitening treatments. However, many would-be teeth whiteners are put off by their cost and chemistry. Some people prefer natural teeth-whitening treatments that are less expensive.
Here are some of the most prevalent natural teeth whitening procedures, ranging from swishing apple cider vinegar around to oil pulling.
What Is Natural Teeth Whitening?
In-office, take-home, and over-the-counter whitening procedures use chemical bleaching solutions, whereas natural teeth-whitening methods do not. Instead, people who utilise natural teeth whitening procedures use fruit acids or cleaning agents like charcoal or baking soda to polish their teeth.
Regardless of whether you follow the natural road or opt for the most expensive in-office technique, your teeth-whitening journey should begin with a complete cleaning and examination from your dentist. Whitening can have unpleasant side effects in some cases, such as periodontal disease or damaged teeth. If you have past dental treatment such as bridges, crowns, or veneers, you should discuss these with your dentist as well, because they cannot be lightened in the same way that natural teeth can.
Do Natural Teeth Whitening Methods Work?
Chemical bleaching solutions are used in in-office, take-home, and over-the-counter whitening procedures, but natural teeth whitening methods do not. Instead, folks who utilise natural teeth whitening techniques polish their teeth using fruit acids or cleaning agents like charcoal or baking soda.
Your teeth-whitening journey should begin with a thorough cleaning and evaluation from your dentist, regardless of whether you choose the natural route or the most expensive in-office method. In rare circumstances, such as periodontal disease or broken teeth, whitening might have unfavourable side effects. If you've had previous dental work done, such as bridges, crowns, or veneers, you should talk to your dentist about these as well, because they can't be lightened like natural teeth.
Similarly, natural substances can't remove "intrinsic staining," which is caused by things like physical trauma or the use of tetracycline antibiotics. However, if you have "extrinsic staining," or surface discoloration caused by coffee, tea, red wine, prescription mouthwash, or cigarette use, you may be able to improve or preserve your smile between dental cleanings and polishings.
If you're thinking about utilising a natural teeth-whitening treatment, keep in mind that there are a lot of claims out there, but not a lot of scientific proof that they're safe or effective. Worse, some of them may have the exact opposite impact of what you're looking for: They may cause your teeth to become less white over time.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is frequently promoted as a "cure-all" in natural health circles. It's a fermented substance, which means it contains probiotics, which are thought to be responsible for many of its health advantages. However, this is a trait that may benefit your gut rather than your teeth.
Apple cider vinegar is quite acidic, as seen by its intense flavour and strong odour. And acidic substances destroy tooth enamel, leading to tooth decay, whether they are formed by the breakdown of sugars in the mouth or acids you consume.
Food acids like vinegar are okay for the short period they stay in your mouth when you eat, but brushing or rinsing with them isn't a smart idea because continuous contact erodes your enamel
Fruits and Vegetables
Although the myth that crunchy food will remove plaque from your teeth is incorrect, it is true that some fruits, particularly lemons and strawberries, contain natural acids that have an effect on the teeth. Those fruit acids that linger on your teeth, like apple cider vinegar, break down the enamel, discolour the teeth, and accelerate decay.
According to one clinical trial, papayas and pineapples contain enzymes that may be beneficial at whitening teeth by combating discoloration. These enzymes (papain and bromelain) release plaque that causes teeth to appear stained when mixed in toothpaste compositions. However, there is no proof that eating the fruit or brushing with a pulp paste whitens teeth.
Charcoal is gaining popularity as a health and beauty product, with claims of toxin clearance and virus eradication. It is, however, the natural way that is most likely to damage your teeth. This is due to the fact that DIY activated charcoal preparations can be extremely abrasive: Regularly scrubbing your teeth with charcoal can remove the enamel, exposing the darker dentin layer beneath.
"Super-abrasive charcoal toothpastes are at the top of my list of goods that are likely to cause harm," adds Messina. While some charcoal toothpastes have been studied and recognised by the American Dental Association as safe, many have not.
Coconut oil is another popular natural product because of its unique fatty acid structure, which is said to improve metabolism (from the inside) and provide hydration (on the outside).
Oil pulling, on the other hand, has a long history as an ayurvedic medicinal technique. This traditional Indian treatment is swishing oil, usually coconut oil, around your mouth and between your teeth for 15 to 20 minutes at least once and up to three times a day, followed by brushing your teeth. It is thought to improve oral health by inhibiting the growth of decay-causing bacteria and reducing inflammation in the gums.
While there appears to be some evidence for these claims, there is almost no proof that it brightens teeth, despite one study suggesting it might. "Unless they procrastinate other treatments, there's no basic hazard to oil pulling," says Messina. In fact, the one cautionary note about oil pulling is that you should not spit the oil down the drain because it could clog your pipes. Instead, use the garbage can.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a natural abrasive that is far less abrasive than charcoal (or kaolin clay, another famous natural abrasive). It can minimise teeth discoloration while also generating a mouth environment that is less hospitable to hazardous germs due to its dual features of being a very mild scrub and an alkaline substance.
You can use a traditional baking soda toothpaste or build your own paste by mixing the powder with water, but if you take the homemade way, you won't get the extra fluoride for cavity prevention. (Do not add mashed strawberries, charcoal, or any other unproven natural additives you may have seen suggested elsewhere.) Because the baking soda neutralises the fruit acids, the strawberries will not spoil.