Teeth Whitening Techniques

October 21, 2008

Those who know the art of make-up would definitely know this. If you wear pink lipstick your teeth (however fair they are) would look pale and yellow and if you wear red lip color, they would look whiter. In our daily life, we come across many people who have yellow and even blackish teeth. Some may not be confident of showing their happiest of emotions in fear of betraying their unpleasant stained teeth. Well, a pretty smile would add a spark not only to your face but to your over all appearance.

Teeth Stains

Your teeth can be stained due to various reasons. One of the main reasons for discoloration of teeth is the use of smoke or tobacco. Unhealthy eating and drinking (soda, coffee, tea) habits also contribute to it. The drinking water has fluoride in it, the excess of which may stain your teeth rather than whitening it. Certain medications and health conditions may also be responsible for yellow teeth. As you age, your teeth may turn yellow exposing the yellow-colored Dentin under the enamel. To an extent, improper dental care also leads to stained teeth.

If you feel that your teeth discoloration is not due to your life style or poor dental care you need to visit your Dentist. But yellow teeth does not steal anything more than a beautiful grin. There are no health issues tied to it and you don’t need to go for any expensive teeth cleaning sessions unless your insurance covers it. You can take some extra care and try out some home remedies to bring back your brightest smile.

Herbal Remedies for Yellow Teeth

Ayurveda maintains that yellow teeth is a result of Kapha dosha. Ayurveda offers some medicinal herbs for proper dental care. Tulsi (Ho­l­y­ Bas­i­l­-O­c­i­mum s­an­c­tum), Babul­ (Ac­ac­i­a ar­abi­c­a), Ban­­yan­­ (F­i­c­us­ reli­gi­os­a), Mar­gosa (Neem- Az­ad­ir­ac­h­th­a in­­d­ic­a) and the like are medicinal herbs which can bring back the sparkle to your face. Tulsi is the Queen of herbs and plays an important role in dental care. It can prevent teeth discoloration and bleeding of gums (p­yorrhea). Twigs of Babul and roots of banyan are great natural tooth brushes. Chewing of Babul bark aids loose teeth and dental disorders while the ingredient, tannin will help teeth whitening. Banyan will render health to the teeth and gums as it whitens the teeth with its astringent properties. Neem is both antibacterial and antiseptic. Brushing with neem twigs will get rid of mouth odor, eliminate plaque and reduce dental cavities.

Home Remedies

Most of the home remedies mentioned here are not scientifically proven. They stem from either folk medicines or individual experiences.

  1. Brush your teeth with baking soda. A little of baking soda cannot do any harm to your teeth enamel but will help to make it shine.
  2. The white inside of orange peels can be rubbed on your teeth for whiter teeth.
  3. Try a tiny pinch of salt with your usual tooth paste. But salt in excess can damage your teeth enamel. The abrasiveness in salt helps to remove plaque and food particles from the teeth while too much of abrasion can weaken your enamel.
  4. Using burnt rice husk for brushing (cleaning with fingers) is an age old practice. I have personally done it at my ancestral house and it works wonders to clean your teeth.
  5. Many people are against the use of strawberries (sugar content) and hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening. Better go to a dentist than trying out anything dangerous.

Change the Diet

Quit smoking, chewing tobacco and yes, betel leaves. Avoid too much of coffee and black tea if you have colored teeth. Eat less of sweets and chocolates and always remember to gargle after eating. Foods which are pung­ent­, bit­t­er­ and astringent are good for whitening your teeth.

My teacher was so right when she said ” a smile takes only 14 muscles where as it takes 144 muscles not to smile.” I am not sure of the numerals but what she said is so right. Have a smile, always!

- Aparna K V

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