YELLOW.... the colour of daffodils and sunshine, bumble bees and sunflowers, nature's bright and cheerful highlighter of all the nice things in life. Many things look great in yellow...... but not your teeth! Read on to make some simple teeth whitening tips.
In this week’s insight we examine a few of the most common (and easily preventable) causes of teeth discoloration.
Before we delve into it, here is the basics of tooth anatomy and how dental discolouration occurs.
Enamel is the outer layer of your teeth and is generally white and somewhat translucent. The layer beneath your enamel is called “dentin” and is yellow in colour. Dentin becomes more visible as your enamel thins out over time. Thick enamel covers up the dentin, however stains can still accumulate on the surface.
Fortunately, there are some super simple changes you can make to keep your enamel free from stains and prevent your dentin from peeking through. Here are 7 common mistakes that prevent you from having that Hollywood smile:
1. Take it easy while brushing your teeth.
If you have a regular brushing routine, congratulations on keeping your mouth uber clean and healthy. However, more pressure doesn’t always mean cleaner looking teeth, in fact, it could have the opposite effect. Excessive brushing pressure may cause enamel to wear thin over time, exposing the dentin layer beneath. It can also have an impact on your gums, reseeding them over time and increasing sensitivity.
The solution, simply switch to using a softer natural bristle toothbrush and only apply gentle pressure. To remove any additional plaque build up, use activated charcoal teeth polish instead of conventional toothpaste. It is gentle on your enamel and helps to remove most extrinsic dental stains.
2. Using a conventional mouthwash.
Many conventional mouthwashes are highly acidic. If you use them frequently they can destroy your enamel and disturb the delicate pH balance in your mouth. Beware of the mouthwash products that contain alcohol as they have been linked to mouth and throat cancers in some studies.
Your saliva is nature’s best mouthwash, it contains naturally occurring minerals, enzymes and oxygen compounds that keep the pH balance in your mouth neutral — reducing the acid that can wear away enamel.
In addition to your own saliva, oil pulling, an ancient technique of using natural oils to cleanse the mouth, is a natural alternative to conventional methods that will not compromise your enamel or the delicate PH balance of your inner mouth. Check out GetWhite coconut whitening mouthwash made with pure peppermint oil and sodium bicarbonate to keep your mouth healthy and freshen your breath.
3. Acidic fruits and veggies.
Many people are unaware that naturally occurring acids in certain foods like citrus fruits, juices, tomatoes (or tomato based sauces), curries, pineapples and even certain salad dressings can all thin out your tooth enamel, leading to more visible yellow dentin.
Berries are not acidic but they do have a pigment that gives them that deep hue of blue, red or purple, this pigment is a major teeth stainer. Any food or drinks with artificial dyes will also stain your teeth - things like candy, popsicles or sports drinks with bright colours.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to cut what you love out of your life. Simply a drink of water after eating or drinking, or a swish of natural oil pulling mouthwash will do the trick to restore your inner mouth balance. Be careful not to brush your teeth immediately after, as your enamel will be softer after you have consumed something acidic and may wear out more.
Red wine is a great mix of natural dyes, acids, and tannin, three ingredients that work together to etch and stain your teeth. How about white wine?... White wine by itself doesn’t stay your teeth, but it is especially damaging if you drink red wine after you had a glass of white. Although you can’t see any immediate stains (because of the slightly different ingredients) white wine actually acts as a primer, making the red wine tannins “stick” to your teeth more.
Since all wines contains acid, they soften your enamel. Avoid brushing your teeth straight after drinking wine (at least for one hour). And simply alternate wine and water on your night out and your sparkly whites will remain intact!
5. For the love of coffee and tea
Coffee and tea are two of the most common causes of yellow teeth and the stains can be stubborn.
“Sipping” coffees and teas every day allows the enamel of your teeth to be in constant contact with a staining agent. It’s not the quantity that’s a concern, it’s the sipping that can be especially damaging. Drinking coffee or tea more quickly, can reduce the amount of time the staining agents linger in the mouth.
To combat the stains brush your teeth with activated charcoal teeth polish everyday (at least an hour after you had your last drink) or use a course of charcoal teeth whitening strips that will help fight harder stains and restore your pH balance.
6. You’re a smoker.
The chemicals in cigarettes and pipe tobacco have a staining effect on teeth because they cling to enamel like ivy to a brick wall. The longer you smoke, the more visible these stains become.
Smoking has also been associated with a range of other oral health issues like gum disease, tooth decay, and dry mouth—but if you are not considering quitting just yet, pay attention to your oral routine and incorporate things like charcoal teeth whitening polish, charcoal dental whitening strips and oil pulling. All these steps will help you counteract staining effects smoking has on your white smile.
7. Floss is the new black
What many of the non-flossers don't realize is that this step plays an important role in dental health. Dental floss is designed specifically to clean the tight spaces between the teeth. These are places that a toothbrush can't reach. And while oil pulling mouthwash can kill the bacteria that form plaque, it can't remove the stubborn tartar and bits of food that can lodge in these places.
Regular flossing - can do more than keep your smile pretty and healthy. A healthy mouth can also help prevent much more serious diseases, some of which can be life threatening. Try this natural and anti-bacterial bamboo charcoal floss to improve your oral routine and prevent dental problems.
Whitening your teeth
There are numerous teeth whitening options on the market suited to every wallet and lifestyle. Dental office grade teeth whitening quite often contains peroxide and while whitening your teeth very quickly, it will destroy your enamel, cause high sensitivity and ultimately do more harm than good in the long run. Try researching natural teeth whitening products. You may need to try a few brands before you find the product that works for you. Simply sticking to a few simple rules above will help you have happier and healthier smile!