How to Properly Whiten Your Teeth Without Damaging Them

How to whiten teeth

Teeth whitening is a dental procedure that helps brighten the teeth by a few shades and gets rid of discolouration caused by smoking, the natural ageing process, eating food and taking drinks that easily stain the teeth like coffee. Modern cosmetic dentistry is one of the most popular procedures, and more people are requesting for a teeth whitening treatment in London.

Whitening of the teeth is a safe procedure, but this is majorly dependent on how you go about it. With the wrong teeth whitening process, you may damage your teeth permanently. The following can happen when you use an unsafe teeth whitening procedure.

  • The protective enamel might get bad

  • Higher chances of a tooth fracture

  • The teeth become more discoloured before the whitening process

  • Irritation of the gum

  • Etching of the teeth

  • Tooth sensitivity

  • Teeth become more porous and absorb more stain than it normally would

Most of these effects of unsafe teeth whitening procedures are connected, so having one may likely lead to another. In a situation where you lose the protective enamel, your teeth become more sensitive and begin to get darker.

It is best to avoid this stress and always look out for safe home whitening alternatives, or you can consider going to the dentist forteeth whitening.


Ways To Whiten Your Teeth Through DIY and at Home

In a bid to quickly whiten your teeth at a low cost, you may want to get one of these available home whitening remedies. There are several home teeth whitening methods to choose from. Most of these methods are safe and very effective, but others are not. Here are some home whitening methods you can use without damaging your teeth.

  • Baking soda:

Reports from dental researchers show that using baking soda to whiten the teeth is safe, and it is rated a 7 on the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) scale. However, some people think that baking soda would be too harsh for the teeth. The RDA scale is used to measure how abrasive a substance is on the teeth.

Baking soda is effective in removing surface stains from the teeth, and as long as you brush softly while using it, you would not have any problems.

  • Whitening strips:

Whitening strips are made to take the teeth’s shape while whitening them. There are different types of whitening strips, but you can try out the Crest 3D whitening strip because it is safe and effective.

  • Whitening toothpaste:

Teeth whitening toothpaste contains a low concentration of hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, so it is effective in lightening the teeth by a few shades. Whitening toothpaste does not contain bleach, but they may cause exposure of the dentin and enamel erosion if they are used for a long time.

  • Whitening rinses:

Whitening rinses can lighten the colour of the teeth by a few shades just like whitening toothpaste. They contain a compound— hydrogen peroxide — which serves as a source of oxygen. You have to use whitening rinses for about 3 months to visibly notice an improvement in the colour of your teeth. To use whitening rinses, you have to rinse your mouth twice daily for sixty seconds.


Teeth whitening options to avoid when using natural methods

Natural remedies are not always harmless so try to avoid these DIY natural remedies that could permanently damage your teeth.

  • A mixture of baking soda and lemon:

This combination is present in most household cleaners, but you should not try it on your teeth. According to research in 2008, it was found that the juice in lemon is very corrosive to the tooth enamel. With a very acidic pH which reads 2.2, making it more acidic than orange and grapefruit juice, it can whiten the teeth, but it does more harm than good.

  • Strawberries:

Some people recommend using strawberries to brush the teeth because it whitens them, but this can damage the teeth. The whitening agent in strawberries is ascorbic acid, and this acid can corrode the teeth. Strawberries are a vital component of a healthy and balanced diet, and when you eat them, you are advised to brush making use of fluoride toothpaste to combat the effect of the acid in them.

  • Activated charcoal:

Most people find that one of the quickest teeth whitening options at home is by using activated charcoal. This method involves smearing a black mixture which is gotten from charcoal on the teeth. The carbon binds with the stains on the teeth then work to get rid of them. The downside of using this method is that activated charcoal has the abrasive ability to destroy the teeth’s enamel, and there has been no evidence to confirm that it is effective and safe for use.

Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent substance and can deteriorate the enamel. It can also wear away the enamel to expose the more yellow and softer layers in the teeth. To be safe, you should avoid using activated charcoal but if you are still bent on trying it out, do not scrub your teeth with it just apply it in a paste-like manner and try not to use it every day.

  • Cider vinegar and sea salt:

Vinegar contains acid just like strawberries and lemon juice that are harmful to the teeth. It also increases the dangers of tooth sensitivity and tooth decay, so it is not recommended for teeth whitening.

  • Wood ash:

Another popular DIY teeth whitening method is using wood ash gotten from a fireplace to rub the teeth. Wood ash has lye and potassium hydroxide as its active ingredients which can whiten the teeth but also damages it due to the lye’s hardness. Using wood ash is also very unpleasant.


Everyday habits that keep the teeth white

You may not be able to completely stop the discolouration of your teeth as it comes with age, but you can slow down the discolouration process. Your diet can affect the whiteness of your teeth, and these foods would help prevent stains as they contain natural whitening agents.

  • Pineapple:

Pineapple is the primary and only source of natural bromelain. Bromelain is not just an anti-inflammatory but also a cleaning compound that removes surface stains on the teeth.

  • Cauliflower, broccoli and some other vegetables:

These vegetables contain high fibre content, and you have to chew them properly. While chewing these vegetables, you produce more saliva that helps break down teeth stains. Vegetables with high fibre content also help to remove superficial stains on the teeth.

  • Nut and seeds:

They are natural sources of an exfoliating agent. The abrasive nature of nuts and seeds help in removing stains and discolouration from the teeth.

  • Dairy products:

This category whitens the teeth by increasing the production of saliva, which helps to breakdown stains. Lactic acid is contained in cheese, which is also a superficial cleaning agent.

  • Onions:

They are a good source of sulphur that helps in preventing the formation of plaque on the teeth. Stains are absorbed by plaque and become more noticeable. Plaques also cause gum diseases.

  • Carrots and celery:

Celery and vegetables contain a lot of water which helps remove food remnant between the teeth. While chewing them, they scrub on the teeth to remove stains.


Essential Tips to keep your teeth white

Eating choice meals or the right food is not the only way to keep your teeth white. The time you eat the food also contributes to how well they whiten the teeth.

When you want to eat a pasta sauce, endeavour to start by eating salad to combat the staining effect of the sauce. Vegetables like lettuce and spinach help to produce a temporary barrier on the teeth to protect against staining. You can also take dairy, nuts or celery after you drink coffee or eat a food that easily stains the teeth because they help prevent surface discolouration of the teeth.

A vital part of keeping your teeth white is practising proper oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing regularly help remove plaques and bacteria that cause cavities in the mouth. After eating a food or drink that causes stain, brush and rinse your mouth. You can also use tooth whitening toothpaste for a minimum of once a week to get rid of surface stains and prevent yellowing of the teeth.

Stain-causing food and drinks:

Some foods help to ensure your teeth remain white while others cause discolouration on the teeth. To stop your teeth from getting discoloured, you need to know what you eat that contributes to the discolouration.

Some beverages and meals are known to stain the teeth, so you should try to cut down on your intake of them. These foods and beverage include:

  • Pasta sauce:

The teeth get stained by tomatoes, and they also contain acids. Pasta sauce also sticks to your teeth and increases the tendency of the teeth to get stained.

  • Acidic and citric foods

Foods that contain citric acid and other acids like oranges and tomatoes are healthy, but the acid content corrodes the dentin.

  • Coffee:

Coffee is rich in acidic polyphenols or tannins which discolour the teeth. Taking coffee alters the pH of the mouth, and when you eat acidic food after taking it, the teeth get damaged faster.

  • Berries:

Berries like blueberries and raspberries are food sources of natural antioxidant, but that also stain the teeth whether you consume them as jelly or whole. To minimise the staining effect of berries, you can drink milk or take cheese after eating the berries.

  • Tea:

Tea just like coffee, contains tannins, and if you take black tea, it can cause yellow colouration over time, but green tea makes your teeth turn grey. You can add milk in your tea to reduce the discolouration effect.

  • White wine:

White wines like chardonnay and pinot grigio do not stain the teeth, but they cause existing stains to become darker. This happens by making small holes around the teeth’s surface, which makes it easy for other stain-causing beverages to get absorbed by the teeth.

  • Red wine:

A lot of red wines like cabernet, merlot and pinot noir can stain the teeth, making them grey over time due to the high tannin content in them.


Professional options for teeth whitening

There are several professional options to whiten the teeth which are safe, faster and even more effective than home methods. With these procedures, there is no risk of damaging your enamel. You may use any of the three professional teeth whitening in Harley street options below.

  • Chairside bleaching:

This teeth bleaching option is safe and brings about a quick result, but it may cause tooth sensitivity. The cost of this whitening option ranges from £298 to £734. Chairside bleaching usually takes about half an hour to an hour, but it requires regular maintenance for the teeth to remain white.

  • Combining professional and at-home treatment: KöR teeth whitening system:

KöR involves the combination of professional in-office and home treatment to whiten the teeth. This method can lighten the teeth by sixteen shades and make them look natural. The KöR whitening system involves wearing a custom-moulded tray. The gel used is effective in whitening the teeth for up to six hours, and you have to wear the trays for a period of 2 weeks at night or day, based on what your dentist recommends.

After bleaching your teeth for about two weeks at home, you would have an in-office whitening session which involves the use of Hydremide peroxide and carbamide peroxide. These compounds are safe for the enamel and do not corrode it. The main advantages of using the KöR teeth whitening system is that it can reduce the discolouration effect of antibiotic called tetracycline, and it keeps the teeth white for several years.

The compound used in KöR system makes the teeth absorb more oxygen molecules in the bleaching gel. Oxygen molecules are powerful stain-removing agents, and they continuously dissolve discolouration and stains.

To prevent tooth sensitivity when using the KöR teeth whitening method, keep the products refrigerated. Your dentist may also apply a de-sensitiser on your teeth after your in-office session to reduce tooth sensitivity.

  • Custom tray whitening in the home:

This is the most effective and one of the safest teeth whitening option in the home. This method requires the use of custom-made trays that would be given to you after your dental visit. If the whitening tray does not fit your teeth properly, it could result in gel oozing out and this could cause gum irritation.

Custom-made tray whitening is not as expensive as the chairside bleaching option. You have to put on your trays for 2 – 4 hours in the day or overnight for about two weeks. At-home custom tray whitening cost between £133 - £344 per arch.

The whitening trays havecarbamide peroxide and breakdown to hydrogen peroxide which acts like a bleaching agent. The trays can last as long as five years, and the method is as effective as the in-office teeth whitening.


Side effects that accompany professional teeth whitening procedures

Professional teeth whitening is effective in removing both deep and surface stains from the teeth. Although, some people experience certain side effects like gum inflammation and tooth sensitivity after their treatment. All other types of teeth whitening treatments also cause sensitivity which wears off after some days or a few weeks.

Professional teeth whitening is very safe and also one of the most desirable methods to straighten the teeth, but it may not be suitable for the following persons.

  • Pregnant women

  • People with sensitive teeth and gum

  • People who have peroxide allergy

  • People with worn-out cavities, enamel, gum diseases or exposed roots

  • People who have fillings, crowns or other dental restorations like porcelain resin

  • People with white spot decalcification – decalcification spots would only get whiter after a teeth whitening treatment

  • People with greyish stains. These stains cannot be removed by bleaching agents.

If you want your teeth to remain white, ensure your diet does not consist of stain-causing food and drinks, but if your teeth already had some discolouration and stain, you can either try out safe at-home whitening options or get it done by a professional to prevent damage to your enamel and teeth.

You can geta dentist at Smile Works Dental today for professional teeth whitening. Contact us now on 020 71834091 or info@smileworksdental.co.uk to book an appointment.

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