As we age, our teeth become easily stained. The ridges in our teeth become more prominent allowing stains to set in. I have noticed that as I was approaching my fifties that my teeth were becoming stained quite easily.
We all would like to whiten your teeth at home. There is actually no need to become broke and disillusioned by paying thousands of dollars to develop pearly whites.
What is the best method for whitening teeth at home? You can whiten your teeth at home by using a combination of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. You will need to make a paste with these two ingredients and then brush your teeth using the paste. It is best to only use this method just once a week since baking soda is abrasive.
Removing Teeth Stains with Hydrogen Peroxide
I know what you are thinking, that you should not pour hydrogen peroxide into your mouth and then swish it around. It does sound strange and dangerous. We all know that feeling when you first add some it to an open cut. It foams up and causes a stinging sensation.
Nevertheless, I have tried this method on my teeth and I have noticed a quick difference in whiteness. It certainly is the low budget way of seeing results by removing stains on teeth.
I have read that using hydrogen peroxide that is not highly diluted can actually damage the enamel on teeth. What I trying to say is that you should not search out strong hydrogen peroxide. Just purchase a bottle of it that you can find over the counter in most grocery store and pharmacies.
Dentists tend to use stronger versions of it but they are trained to use it properly. Remember that we are stressing how to whiten your teeth on your own at home, not in a medical facility.
We will be adding baking soda to the hydrogen peroxide. Baking soda is abrasive and it will help to remove stains from your yellowing teeth.
Here are the steps to follow to create and to use the paste:
- In a small bowl, add a few tablespoons of baking soda
- Also, add in a few tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. I am lazy and I do not even measure it, I just add a little bit and then I still it into the baking soda.
- If the paste is super runny, add in some more baking soda. It is too thick to stir, add in some more hydrogen peroxide.
- Your paste should be a consistency similar to that of toothpaste.
- Now rub your toothbrush into the paste and brush your teeth in your normal fashion.
- Personally, I use an electric toothbrush since it has a timer on it which tells you when you have covered adequately each quadrant. See the electric brushes that I reviewed by clicking here.
- I have noticed that is best to floss afterward in order to remove any baking soda that tends to get trapped between teeth.
- Now, as the final touch, swish some mouthwash inside your mouth to remove any remaining traces of baking soda.
- Only perform this procedure once a week since the harshness of baking soda could cause your teeth to become sensitive if you were to use it on your teeth too often.
Avoid Food Items that Stain Teeth
When you are younger, your teeth will have their highest level of enamel which is a protective covering. As we age, the enamel tends to get worn down and stains start to settle into crevices that are on our teeth.
I will outline the foods and drinks that you should avoid since they tend to cause stains on teeth:
- While during my research, I was shocked to learn that tea can stain teeth. We have all heard about how coffee drinkers usually develop stains. Nevertheless, black tea can stain your teeth and it also plays havoc with your enamel. I would suggest that if you are a tea lover, try drinking tea that is not super dark and also you can add milk or cream to your tea to reduce its dark coloring.
- If you are constantly sweating away at a gym, you are probably consuming those yummy workout drinks like Gatorade. These drinks might be low in sugar but they are acidic. This acid can slowly eat away at your enamel, allowing stains to set in. What I do personally is I dilute my drinks down by drinking half water, half sport drink. It does take some extra time to dilute my drinks in the morning but it will reduce the acidic level and there will be less coloring in the drinks also.
- Say bye bye to adding handfuls of tasty berries. I love strawberries and blueberries. I have noticed that if I chow down on freshly picked blueberries that my teeth look disgusting for a few hours. When you are younger, the thick enamel on your teeth will block out the pigmentation of berries, but us older folks will look like we have zombie teeth. It is ok to add them to smoothies since the pigmentation of the berries is mixed together with other ingredients reducing their intensity. Nevertheless, do not sit down and consume a bowl of berries unless you are willing to brush your teeth right afterward.
- If you are the type of person that has a craving from time to time for canned beets, you are setting up your teeth to becoming discolored. Even touching beets that are dripping beet juice, will stain your fingertips. Just imagine how your teeth feel about beet juice? Your teeth are not super smooth, they have ridges. Beet juice can settle in this indentations and cause a reddish-brown color to appear on your teeth. Remember to brush your teeth after having beets. Or perhaps, you could avoid them altogether.
- Consuming lots of soy sauce can stain teeth. If you are adding a sauce to your food that could possibly stain your tee-shirt, there is a good chance that it will have the same effect on your teeth. The darker the sauce, the higher the probability of a stain occurring on your teeth.
Using Electric Toothbrushes to Remove Stains
I used the think that using an electric toothbrush would irritate me so much that I would end up trashing it. It did take some time to get used to the vibrations created by an electric toothbrush, but I brush four times a day now with one without freaking out.
Stains that are teeth are using within the ridges. A manual toothbrush may not brush off the stains because there will be a lot less movement of the bristles. Unless you are a robot, you will not be able to move the bristles fast enough to do much damage to an embedded stain that is discoloring a tooth.
Also, with a manual toothbrush, you may press too hard on your teeth which bends the bristles curving the ends away from your teeth. The end of bristle will dig away at a stain causing it to dislodge from your tooth.
An electric toothbrush, if used often enough, will remove a stain partially or completely. Also, plaque will be lessened. Plaque on a tooth is a sticky environment which allows discoloration to occur.
You should be purchasing teeth whitening toothpaste to help stain removal when using an electric toothbrush. I have noticed that you do not need to use a lot of toothpaste. The manufacturers suggest that you add just a pea-sized amount of toothbrush to increase tooth whiteness.
Using a huge amount of toothpaste is something that drilled into our heads by those toothpaste commercials. Follow the directions that come with your electric toothbrush and you will notice a big difference in whiteness level of your teeth.
Whitening Toothpaste that Works for Removing Stains
I am totally OK with using whitening toothpaste. Does it work wonders, not really. Nevertheless, using in combination with one of my other whitening tactics will help to keep your teeth white and maybe whiter than by using just one tactic.
Whitening toothpaste commercials are quite funny actually. You see a person that has perfectly healthy gums rubbing tons of toothpaste onto their teeth and then a miracle happens. They suddenly have shiny white teeth.
It takes up to 2 months to see a noticeable difference when using whitening toothpaste. You have to be vigilant, but it is worth it. You will notice more whitening versus if you were to use a regular type of toothpaste over the same period of time.
How Does Whitening Toothpaste Work?
There are a couple of major reasons as to why you will be able to whiten your teeth with teeth whitening toothpaste.
- They contain abrasive materials that will sandpaper off plaque and teeth stains. Do not worry, these abrasives are not going to damage your teeth. Most of the toothpaste companies simply add baking soda into their toothpaste recipes.
- Some toothpastes contain a chemical called blue covarine. Blue covarine is more of an illusion. It is not really a bleaching agent. It just coats your teeth which reduces the yellow or gray color that can be on challenging yellowish teeth cases.
Make sure that you purchase whitening toothpastes that have been approved by a dental association. It is also important to follow the directions that are on the tubes. For instance, if you were to become totally obsessed with brushing your teeth, brushing hourly, you may cause damage to the enamel.
If you are one of those people that never notice any difference in the whiteness level of your teeth after using a whitening toothpaste for a few months, you should probably talk to your dentist. Your dentist may be able to suggest another home remedy that will work for you.
Sometimes a dentist will suggest that you use gel whitening trays.
How to use Gel Whitening Trays
It can be expensive to use trays to whiten your teeth. You need to follow the directives closely so that you do not waste any of the gel. For instance, if you were to add too much of the gel, it will ooze out of the trays once you applied the trays to your teeth.
Another concern that people have is that their teeth become super sensitive due to the gel. Again, you need to follow the directions carefully to prevent this level of sensitivity.
Here are the steps that most dentists will suggest:
- You need to clean off your teeth completely before applying the gel trays. Flush and brush well your teeth until they are squeaky clean. If any plague or other particles are still on your teeth, the bleaching agent will not work effectively and you will be wasting your money.
- This is the tricky step, applying the gel. The gel is expensive, so it is prudent not to use too much of it. All that you really need to is to add a tiny drop of the gel into the front portion of each tooth indentation that are within the tray. You need to focus on the front of the teeth since that is the area that others will see. After applying the gel into the tray, make sure that you seal the syringe that was used to apply the gel. If the gel dries out, it will not be usable.
- Now add the trays onto your upper and your lower teeth. Press the trays onto your teeth firmly so that they will stay in place. If any excess gel surfaces, wipe it off with a q-tip or by using one of your fingers. Having the gel onto your gums is not going to make your teeth any whiter.
- How long should you can the trays in your mouth? It depends on what is suggested by the manufacturer, so read thoroughly their directives. Most bleaching trays suggest keeping the trays on your teeth for 2 hours. They also state that if your teeth become sensitive during the process, only keep the trays on for 1 hour.
- After the bleaching process, remove the trays. Now brush your teeth using an electric toothbrush and floss between them. It is possible that there will be spots on your teeth that are whiter than the rest of your teeth. This is completely normal. Those spots will disappear after about an hour. Also, do not consume any colored liquids for the first hour since your teeth will soak up the coloring and discolor your teeth,
- To stock the gel, you can place it into a fridge. Nevertheless, never freeze it. It will last for about a year in room temperature, or up to 2 years if it is refrigerated.
Does Smoking Stain your Teeth? Yes!
If you are a smoker, you will have noticed that your teeth are yellow in color. Of course, if you invest in constant bleaching or laser treatments, they may appear to be white. Nevertheless, the longer that you smoke, the darker your teeth will become.
The reason that your teeth will become discolored is due to the tar and nicotine that is within cigarette smoke. I have a friend that some a lot and he actually a black color between his teeth. They look as if they are rotting out of his head.
Removing Tar and Nicotine from Teeth
You can take extra care when cleaning your teeth. I would suggest that you brush your teeth after each month and once before bed. The trick is to prevent the build-up of tartar on your teeth. The brown color from smoke will cling easily to tartar.
Also, use whitening toothpaste and rinse with a mouthwash that also whitens teeth. There are toothpastes available that are for smokers.
Plus, make sure that you visit your dentist for regular cleaning sessions. I would suggest that you see your dentist every 4 months to have the stains removed from your teeth due to smoking. Sometimes, just brushing and flossing will not remove those stubborn stains that can appear between teeth.
Nevertheless, see your doctor to discuss tactics to quit smoking. There are numerous diseases that are caused by smoking including orals cancers.
Will Chewing Gum Whiten your Teeth? Sure, perhaps!
Does chewing teeth whitening gum actually cause your teeth to become whiter? It can be it is very minimal. Studies have been conducted that conclude that there is only a slight improvement in the whiteness of teeth just by chewing whitening gum.
The problem with these studies is that it is hard to control all factors. Many some of the people in the test could have been eating or drinking foods that tend to darken teeth. Perhaps, others were using other tactics for teeth whitening. In such cases, it is best to use some common sense to test for yourself.
I feel that chewing sugar-free gum is beneficial for the whiteness in your teeth. Tartar build-up can cause more staining to appear on teeth. If you are chewing gum, you are releasing more saliva. Saliva will wash off your teeth and reduce the level of tartar due to the acidic content in human saliva.
Also, saliva will reduce the level of bacteria that is present in the mouth. Plus, food particles will be dislodged from the surface of teeth due to the presence of saliva.
I know that it sounds eerie to think that you are cleaning off your teeth and reducing the number of bacteria just because of your saliva, but it is true.
So, chewing gum is a plus for the mouth and teeth. Nevertheless, refrain from chewing gum that contains sugar. Sugary gum chewing could lead to tooth decay.
Should you chew gum that claims to whiten teeth? Even though there is little proof that your teeth will become sparkling white due to gum chewing, your teeth will become slightly whiter. Most of the gum manufacturers add baking soda to their products. Baking soda is abrasive and it will help to break off tiny particles of tartar.
Another ingredient in teeth whitening gum is Recaldent. Recaldent helps to remineralize your worn down tooth enamel. When enamel is worn down on a tooth, a brownish color will start to show on the surface of the teeth.
How to Use Charcoal Powder to Whiten your Teeth
Now, this really sounds disgusting, using black charcoal on your white or yellowing teeth. We are not talking about the charcoal that you use in your barbecue.
What is in the Charcoal Powder for Teeth?
The charcoal powder that is used for teeth whitening is made up of coal, olive pits, and coconut shells along with other items. This mixture is then reheated causing it to become activated.
Is Charcoal Powder Bad for your Teeth?
It can be bad for your teeth if you were to scrub away at your teeth for countless minutes after applying it. It is very abrasive and it could actually wear away your enamel. Nevertheless, if you are careful and apply it correctly, it may help to whiten your teeth. Many people swear by it.
It is great for removing plaque and we all know that plaque can allow food particles to stick to our teeth which will change their color.
I will explain how to use Charcoal in a safe fashion:
- Add some of the charcoal powder to the top of the bristles on your toothbrush. I would not use charcoal powder with an electric toothbrush because of the rapid movement of the bristles.
- Brush your teeth lightly by creating small circles with the brush head on the surface of your teeth. Focus in on the problem areas that are visibly discolored.
- Only brush for a maximum of 2 minutes.
- Now rinse out your mouth using a mouthwash that is alcohol-free. I would spend about 2 minutes do so.
- Floss between your teeth to remove particles of the charcoal that might be trapped and rinse out your mouth with mouthwash once again.
- Another method is less evasive is the following. Mixture water into a few tablespoons of charcoal. Rinse the inside of your mouth for a few minutes using this liquid. Then rinse out your mouth using zero alcohol content mouthwash. This tactic may still whiten your teeth, but it will not be as effective as brushing with the charcoal powder.
Using a Banana Peel to Whiten Teeth. Nah, Not Productive
I wanted to clear something up about the claims that a banana peel can whiten your teeth. I researched high and low on medical sites, and the experts claim that it does not work. There was even a dentist that tried this tactic every day for two weeks and he did not notice any difference at all.
Why are people saying that it works? It could be that they are just starting to eat in a more healthy fashion now that they are probably consuming more bananas. Bananas are high in potassium and your body needs potassium. Also, there is proof that potassium improves bone density which could sub-consciously make people believe that their teeth are becoming whiter and healthier than before.
I have not found proof that banana peelings are dangerous to your enamel, but you could be wasting your time and your energy by using this tactic.
Using Apple Cider Vinegar on Your Teeth to Whiten Them
I have heard that Dr. Oz suggests that you use apple cider vinegar on your teeth to remove plaque and bacteria. In my research, I discovered that it is true that apple cider vinegar can be used to clean your teeth.
Apples contain potassium, acetic acid, enzymes and other items that will aid your teeth. Apple cider vinegar will remove bacteria from your teeth as well as plaque and other build up on your teeth. What is good about using this vinegar is that it is totally natural. There is no need to seek out the ingredients which is necessary when you try out processed products.
Here is the method for applying ACV to your teeth:
- Add 2-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a saucer.
- Dip your index finger into the vinegar and rub your finger along the front of a couple of teeth.
- Repeat the process for the rest of your teeth during a period of 2 minutes
- Afterward, rinse out thoroughly your mouth. It is not a good plan to let this acidic solution to remain on your teeth.
- Only use apple cider vinegar on your teeth once a week. Using acidic liquids on your teeth too often may damage your enamel. Damaged tooth enamel allows a tooth to become easily stained.
- It will take several months before you notice any difference in the whiteness level of your teeth so be patient.
My Personal Conclusions on How to Whiten Your Teeth on Your Own
I have noticed that my teeth are becoming whiter and whiter. I feel that it best to try several methods at the same time. Here are my personal steps for whitening my teeth:
- I have my teeth cleaned 3 times a year by a dental professional. Most people have their teeth cleaned just twice a year. Once you are at the age where more stains are apparent on your teeth, you should be having them cleaned more often. Nevertheless, you need to change your habits so that you will reduce the staining between these dental visits.
- I brush my teeth once a week using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.
- I only brush my teeth using an electric toothbrush.
- I brush my teeth 4 times a day.
- I floss my teeth once a day.
- If I am drinking coffee or tea, I make sure that I do not drink it black. Drinking straight tea or coffee can cause discoloration. I add some milk to it.
- I also chew teeth whitening gum.
- I use a mouthwash that is alcohol-free and that claims that it will whiten teeth. The alcohol in some mouthwashes can damage your enamel if you use it too often.
How Much Does it Cost to Have your Teeth Professionally Whitened?
If you are considering paying to have your teeth whitened, you need to be aware of the costs that are involved. You can have a laser treatment performed. This method is the most expensive but it relatively quick and painless.
Laser Teeth Whitening Cost
It will run you around $1000 to have the procedure done. Nevertheless, this procedure is going to save you a lot of time. Usually, you will only require one treatment and that treatment will take less than 2 hours. Right away you are going to notice a difference in the whiteness level of your teeth.
This laser tactic heats high concentration hydrogen peroxide causing it to react right away on your teeth. Your teeth will not be any whiter than if you were to use bleaching agents in trays. There is evidence that you will experience a higher level of sensitivity, but the difference is marginal.
However, it will only last about 6-12 months, depending on your maintenance routine after the procedure. It is best to use toothpaste that has a whitening effect. Also, avoid consuming black coffee or black tea. Make sure that you add cream or milk to these drinks so that you will avoid staining your teeth. There are foods that can cause problems, but most of the staining occurs because of dark drinks.
Why do Teeth Stain as We Age?
As we age, we are continuing to wear down the enamel on our teeth. The enamel is there to protect your teeth and it can be damaged in many different ways. Just by aging, we are exposing our teeth to tons of foods and drinks that can cause discoloration and the erosion of enamel.
Once the enamel is gone, it is gone for good. You cannot regrow it because teeth are not made of living tissue. Nevertheless, you can use toothpaste that contains fluoride. Fluoride helps to force minerals back into the enamel which hardens it.
So, the trick as you age is to reduce your intake of acidic foods and drinks. Also, brush your teeth after each meal with an electric toothpaste that will remove abrasive food particles. Also, see your dentist on a regular basis for checkups and cleanings.