Having discolored and yellow teeth can be very embarrassing. It can have a major impact on your confidence and self-esteem.
There are several reasons that cause teeth staining and discoloration. Some of them are mentioned below…
- Tobacco: It is one of the worst offenders to your teeth. They contain tar and nicotine. Tar is naturally dark which stains the teeth. And when nicotine comes in contact with oxygen, it turns yellow discoloring the teeth.
- Caffeinated Beverages: Coffee, tea, colas, and fizzy drinks are considered to fall under the top culprits for teeth staining as well. These ingredients have color pigments – which get attached to the teeth enamel.
- Staining and build-up of tartar: Other causes include fruit juices rich in pigments (especially grape juice), red, and white wines. Fruits and vegetables that have coloring properties such as blueberries, beetroot etc.
- Growing age: Growing older hugely contributes to the teeth turning yellow. Although every person has a different shade with some looking greyish, some have it go greenish, yellow is the most common. The enamel of your teeth has a thin, underlying yellow dentin to show through, which is why teeth appear more yellow as with growing age.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy brings a series of changes in a woman’s body, and are mostly hormonal. The changes can be unexplainable, and teeth staining is one of those problems many women go through.
- Menopause: Like there are changes during pregnancy, menopause is another phase in life which all women are bound to face. Like in pregnancy, hormones play a significant role in turning around a lot of changes that take place in the body. Teeth staining during pregnancy and menopause are a more natural phenomenon than the others.
Apart from the above, certain medicines, trauma, and other factors also lead to the discoloration of teeth.
If you feel your teeth are stained too, don’t be upset. You still stand a good chance to make things better for yourself. Before shelling out money on dental service, you can try different treatments at home for teeth whitening that include…
- Natural Remedies
- OTC Methods
- Home Bleaching
If the discoloration is in the initial stage then you can surely get relief from these methods. Let’s have a clear look at them below…
A. Home Remedies for Teeth Whitening
Please read the instructions and steps carefully before trying out any method mentioned below. You have try these remedies regularly as mentioned for some time to achieve the results. So, remember that patience is the key while trying out home remedies.
1. Banana Peel Rub
The banana peel is rich in potassium, magnesium, and manganese – which will be absorbed into the teeth and help to whiten the discoloration.
- Take a freshly peeled banana skin.
- Gently rub the inside of the banana peel on your teeth for 2 minutes.
- Now, brush your teeth with regular toothpaste or baking soda to remove the banana peel remains.
- Repeat the process once a day until you achieve the results.
2. Strawberry and Baking Soda Paste
The malic acid present in strawberries is very helpful in removing stains on the teeth. The mid abrasive nature of baking soda helps to gently buff away the discoloration.
- Take a large strawberry and blend it into the fine paste.
- Add ½ teaspoon of baking soda into the pulp and mix it well.
- Spread the mixture on teeth and leave it on for 5 minutes.
- Later, rinse your teeth using toothpaste.
- Follow the process once in 2 days for better results.
3. Orange Peel and Salt Rub
Orange peel contains d-limonene – which is a common and active ingredient in commercial teeth whitening products. Salt has mild abrasive nature which helps to remove surface stains.
- Take freshly peeled orange skin.
- Sprinkle some sea salt on the white side of the orange peel.
- Gently rub it onto your teeth for 2 minutes.
- Now, rinse your mouth with water and brush your teeth with toothpaste to remove the citrus residue.
- Repeat the process twice in a week.
Note: Instead of orange peel, you can use lemon peel as well.
4. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling method is one of the ancient and traditional ways of maintaining proper oral health. This method helps in washing away the dirt, debris, bacteria, and tartar. Some research suggests that cleansing mouth with oil pulling is effective whitening teeth. For this process, you can either use coconut oil, sunflower oil or sesame oil.
- Take a few tablespoons of oil of your choice.
- Rinse your mouth with the oil for a minute.
- Spit it out and wash your mouth with plain water.
- Repeat the process daily after brushing.
5. Turmeric Toothpaste
This homemade toothpaste contains coconut oil and turmeric. The combination of these ingredients has powerful plague-removing, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties. For a nice flavor, you can add any essential oil like peppermint oil, cinnamon bark oil, or spearmint essential oil.
- Into a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil, 1 teaspoon organic turmeric powder and few drops of any essential oil.
- Mix the ingredients together to make a paste.
- Use this paste as a toothpaste daily.
6. Baking Soda Toothpaste
Just like the above one, this method also makes you a toothpaste. The ingredients used in this paste have anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and teeth whitening properties.
- Add equal amounts of baking soda and organic coconut oil into a bowl.
- Add a few drops of essential oil (peppermint, cinnamon bark or spearmint oil).
- Now, mix well to make a smooth paste.
- Brush with this mixture twice daily.
7. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is known for bleaching the stains. So, it restores the natural white color. While baking soda contains mild abrasive nature which removes stains and tartar from the teeth. We will be adding toothpaste into this method, to make sure the ingredients adhere to the surface of the tooth.
- Combine 2 teaspoons of baking soda, 1 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide and 2 teaspoons of toothpaste.
- Spread the mixture over the teeth and leave it for 5 – 10 minutes.
- Using your toothbrush, scrub the mixture over teeth and rinse thoroughly with water.
- Brush again using normal toothpaste to remove any traces of hydrogen peroxide.
- Repeat the process once in 2 – 3 days for effective results.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV contains acetic acid which helps to break down the tartar and stains present on the stains. Apart from that, this ingredient also contains probiotics, enzymes, minerals which are capable of killing bacteria and germs in the mouth.
- Take a mouthful of diluted apple cider vinegar and swirl it around.
- After 2 minutes, dip your toothbrush in ACV and brush the stains.
- Rinse the toothbrush and your mouth thoroughly with water or baking soda to remove the traces of ACV.
- Repeat the process once in 2 – 3 days.
9. Lemon Juice and Baking Soda
Lemons are high in citric acid – which is known for natural bleaching stains. Baking soda contains mildly abrasive properties which help to gently remove the stains. Apart from that, it also thickens the lemon juice and lets it stay on the teeth.
- Into a bowl, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice.
- Now, add enough amounts of baking soda and mix well to make a paste.
- Using a toothbrush, apply the mixture on the teeth and gently brush for 2 minutes.
- Rinse off the mixture with water.
- Now, brush again using regular toothpaste to remove the traces of the mixture.
- Repeat the process 2 – 3 times a week.
10. Activated Charcoal Brush
The properties of charcoal whiten the teeth by absorbing the tartar and other substances that stain the teeth. This will ultimately leave the teeth clean and bright.
- Wet your regular toothbrush and sprinkle some activated charcoal on it.
- Brush your teeth with it for 2 minutes.
- Rinse with water thoroughly and brush with regular toothpaste.
- Repeat the process 3 times a week.
Note: while brushing with activated charcoal, make sure you don’t spatter as it can stain your sink.
11. Hydrogen Peroxide Swish
The peroxide bleaches the stains by breaking them down making it clear, natural and white color.
- Using your regular toothpaste, brush your teeth normally.
- In a bowl, add ½ cup of water and 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide.
- Swish this mixture in your mouth for 1 minute.
- Now, brush again and rinse thoroughly to remove hydrogen peroxide traces.
- Repeat the process daily you achieve the results.
Basil is an herb, which is very helpful for overall health. Apart from just whitening teeth, it also helps maintain proper oral health.
- Place few dry basil leaves in shade to let them dry.
- Grind them into a fine powder.
- Mix 1 – 2 pinches of basil powder into toothpaste.
- Use this mixture to brush your teeth daily.
13. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties which diminish the gum diseases, discoloration and kills oral cavities.
- Freshly remove the gel from an aloe vera.
- Add vegetable glycerin and baking soda (optional) into the gel and mix well.
- Apply this mixture on the teeth.
- Leave it on for few minutes.
- Rinse your mouth completely to remove the application.
- Follow this method regularly for whiter teeth.
14. Powdered Milk and Toothpaste
Powdered milk is effective in terms of making the teeth pearly white again.
- Combine enough amounts of toothpaste and powdered milk.
- Use this mixture as toothpaste to brush your teeth.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly.
- Repeat the process daily for effective results.
15. Guava Leaves
Guava leaves are helpful in treating several dental issues that include gum swelling, plaque, and other infections. The phenols and flavonoids present in these leaves remove the oxidative stress caused by bacteria present in our mouth.
- Take 1 – 2 guava leaves.
- Blend them to a coarse paste.
- Rub this paste on your teeth.
- Leave it on for 1 – 2 minutes.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water.
- Repeat the process 2 – 3 times a day.
B. Over-The-Counter Teeth Whitening Method
Over the counter means that you can buy the product from a pharmacy without any kind of prescription. Different types of OTC methods include…
- Toothpaste: Toothpaste is an integral part of your daily regime of brushing. It is essential to brush appropriately twice a day and every day to ensure that the color of the teeth remains intact. Some of the toothpaste available in the market are specially designed to whiten teeth. They contain special ingredients that discolor the stains apart from maintaining the oral health.
- Gel: Whitening gel can achieve desired results to some extent depending on the strength of the gel. If you are trying them for the first time then make sure to start with low strength. Once you are aware of the procedure and results, you can slowly increase the strength depending on the requirement or handling capability.
- Rinses: Rinses or mouthwash contains limited amounts of peroxide which helps in teeth whitening.
- Pre-Made Whitening Trays: They are easily available in any local pharmacy or stores but they are often uncomfortable due to the size mismatch. Dentist-provided trays are more useful and effective as they are given according to the size of the patient’s smile.
- Strips: Teeth whitening strips are thin pieces of plastic which are coated in peroxide. The strips need to be attached to the front of the teeth for half an hour every day for two weeks. These are considered the most effective way of teeth whitening on your own.
C. Home Bleaching
Then there are these professionally dispensed take-home kits, which the dentists often recommend for long-term results. These kits have a low concentration of peroxide gel. The lesser the peroxide contents, the more it becomes safer for the teeth, as well as a longer durational result for the person using them. These kits come at an expensive cost, but much inexpensive than the in-office method.
In the end though, as satisfying the results may seem there is still no guarantee as to a timeline for the effects to stay. There are several risks involved, but most importantly it’s advisable to consult your dentist on the dos’ and don’ts of these methods before you opt for one.
If you are not sure which one to try or if you haven’t seen any result then it is better to visit a dental clinic. Several treatments provided by dentist include…
In this process of teeth whitening, the dentist uses a much stronger gel which has increased amounts of peroxide. Once it is put in the mouth, the gel breaks out in an hour and makes its way to the stained teeth resulting in white teeth.
In many cases, dentists use high powered lights to make sure that the gel seeps through the teeth more thoroughly resulting in better results. Many dentists also mix At-Home care and In-Office teeth whitening for better and longer lasting results.
Apart from that, the dentist may opt for laser treatments, veneers, crowns, and other options depending on the severity of the discoloration.
Tips and Precautions to Prevent or Reduce Tooth Discoloration
- After eating or drinking foods that stain, brush your teeth. Change your toothbrush at least every two to three months.
- Scrape your tongue every morning to remove tongue plaque and freshen your breath. One of the major cause of bad breath is the buildup of bacteria on the tongue.
- Avoid drinking too much coffee and/or soda as can stain your teeth.
- Improving your oral hygiene overall, and eating a healthy diet also help prevent yellow teeth.
- Drink your beverages using a straw. Try to drink plain water after eating or drinking something staining or acidic.
- Depending on the treatment you have undergone, you have to touch-up once in every 6 months or as per doctor’s recommendation.
- After getting the treatment, your teeth may experience sensitivity for a couple of hours. Sometimes, this may last for a very short time or too long. If the sensitivity is causing a lot of discomforts then you may take some pills to avoid it.
Some Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who should not try whitening treatments?
A. Pregnant women, people with crowns and fillings, who are sensitive to hydrogen peroxide, and who are experiencing white spot decalcification are suggested to undergo whitening treatments.
Q. Is the result achieved through whitening treatments permanent?
A. No, the results are not permanent. If you don’t maintain oral health properly then the stains will come back. Smoking, tobacco use and taking staining foods will fade away the whiteness very soon. If oral health is properly maintained then it will stay for 6 – 12 months. After this time period, you have to re-do the whitening treatment.
Q. Do Teeth Whitening Treatments Damage the Teeth?
A. If the instructions provided by the manufacturer or dentist are not properly followed then you may experience teeth damage. Overuse of teeth whitening products can also lead to enamel damage. So, make sure you are following the instructions properly. If you are not able to follow then it is better to get medical professional’s help.
Q. Is there any way I can permanently whiten my teeth?
A. Usually, most of the whitening treatments are not permanent. Depending on the type of treatment, the results usually last for 6 months to 3 years. However, if you are interested in a permanent solution then try out veneers option. They are thin sheets of porcelain that will be attached to your teeth. Apart from whitening teeth, this external layer will provide protection from stain and damage too.
Q. How often is it recommended to whiten my teeth?
A. If you are using over the counter whitening products then re-do it once in a year.
GA Dental Clinics is a standout amongst all the famous dental hospitals in Hyderabad, owing to the world-class infrastructure it has, and the utility of leading-edge technology at the clinic. Besides its unique infrastructure and highly qualified specialists, GA Dental clinic in Hyderabad believes in delivering services at par with global standards.
About Dr. Gowtham Kattamuri
Dr. Gowtham has done his BDS from Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences in 2006 and MDS – Conservative Dentistry & Endodontics from Dr. MGR Medical University in 2010. He is a skilled Endodontist with an experience of over 10 years. Dr. Gowtham is specialized in replacement of teeth, Root Canal, Braces, Dental Implants, prosthetics for maxillofacial defects such as artificial eye, ear, nose, and orbital defects, Smile Makeovers with laminates, Zirconia, veneers metal free ceramics. He also performs general dental procedures such as restorations and extractions. He also is trained as an International Patient Coordinator.