How to Whiten Really Yellow Teeth : Dental Health
How to Get Whiter Teeth at Home
Having white teeth is a sign of good health and personal hygiene, and is also essential for a lovely smile. If your teeth aren't as white as you'd like them to be, there are some things you can try at home for a whiter smile. While none of these suggestions will work in the same way as a professional whitening service, they can help whiten your teeth and they won't cost you a fortune. Just remember to talk to your dentist before you try any home remedies to make sure they won't damage your teeth. If you want to know how to make some lifestyle changes as well as to try some at-home treatments for whitening your teeth, just follow these steps.
Using Whitening Strips
Find the appropriate whitening strips.They should be approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) and shouldn't contain chlorine dioxide, which can actually damage your enamel. Whitening strips should be made of polyethylene and you can find them at your local drugstore or even a supermarket.
- There will be two strips: one for your lower teeth and one for your upper teeth. Each will be lined with a gel that will help the strips adhere to your teeth.
- The average cost of whitening strips is about .
Brush and floss your teeth thoroughly.This will help remove any build-up that will prevent your teeth from being whitened, and it will also help to maintain the results of whitening your teeth for longer. Flossing your teeth will remove plaque in between your teeth and will ensure that this area is whitened as well. Also be sure to get your gums, too.
Study the instructions.Each package of whitening gel is slightly different, so check out the instructions to see how to apply the strips, how long to leave them on, and how often they should be used. Most strips are used for about half an hour twice daily. Some have to be thrown out after they're used while others will simply dissolve in your mouth.
- Try to avoid swallowing while you are whitening your teeth to avoid ingesting the whitening chemicals.
Apply the strips over your teeth.Apply the strips firmly over your teeth, running your fingers over the strips to help the gel stick to your teeth. Avoid moving your tongue too much or you'll get gel all over your mouth. This won't be harmful, but it can feel a little unpleasant. Leave the strips on your teeth for the given amount of time on the instructions.
Remove the strips.After the right amount of time passed, gently remove the strips from your teeth and throw them out. If they dissolve, you can skip this step.
Rinse your mouth.Rinse it thoroughly until you have removed the remaining gel from your mouth. Continue using the whitening strips for the amount of time that is recommended in the instructions, and wait to see the results.
- You can also brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste after you finish the treatment. This will help to protect your tooth enamel.
- If you use the right strips correctly, you'll be able to maintain the results for up to four months.
Using Whitening Gel or Toothpaste
Use whitening gel.Find an ADA-approved gel to use on your teeth and read the instructions to understand the process of using a whitening gel. Then, brush the gel onto your teeth with a small brush, just as you normally would -- for at least two minutes. Then, spit out the remaining gel and rinse out your mouth until the gel is gone.
- Whitening gels do not use a strong bleaching agent, so sensitivity is unlikely.
- Continue using the whitening gel twice a day for fourteen days, or for however long the product is recommended on the instructions. You'll see results in just a few days.
Use whitening toothpaste.Make sure the toothpaste is ADA approved before you purchase it. ADA approved whitening toothpastes whiten your teeth by gently removing their surface stains through polishing, chemical chelation, or other processes that do not require bleach. You can find many of these toothpastes over the counter.
- Use the toothpaste just as you would use any other toothpaste, brushing your teeth for at least two minutes and then rinsing your mouth.
Whitening Your Teeth with Hydrogen Peroxide
Use hydrogen peroxide.Commercial whitening kits aren't cheap; for a cheaper solution, you might like to consider whitening your teeth at home using hydrogen peroxide for a similar effect. Bleaching teeth with hydrogen peroxide is acknowledged as a safe practice by the American Dental Association.
Purchase a bottle of hydrogen peroxide from your local drugstore.Hydrogen peroxide is commonly used to treat skin wounds, but its antiseptic properties are also good for oral hygiene. Hydrogen peroxide is typically packaged in a brown bottle. The opaque packaging keeps light from altering the makeup of the solution. Buy a 3% solution, which is safe for oral use and weak enough so it won’t cause sensitivity.
Use a mixture of the hydrogen peroxide and water as a mouthwash.Use it daily before you brush your teeth to whiten your teeth naturally. Make sure to mix it in a 50/50 solution with water. Here's how you should do it:
- Pour about 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of the antiseptic into your mouth, and swish it around for 1 minute. The solution will begin to foam; this is how you know it is working. The hydrogen peroxide combined with oral bacteria cause bubbles to form in your mouth, but this will not taste good. Some people dislike this method because of the bad taste.
- Spit out the solution, and rinse your mouth with water.
- Brush your teeth as you normally would.
Brush your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide and baking soda paste once a week.This mixture will help keep your teeth looking white and clean. Here's how you can make it:
- Pour 2 teaspoons (10ml) of hydrogen peroxide into 3 teaspoons (15ml) of baking soda. Mix these together until a paste forms. Play with these measurements until you find a consistency that you like. The paste should be similar in thickness to toothpaste.
- Add a tiny bit of mint toothpaste to your homemade paste to give it a fresh flavor. You can also add a drop of peppermint extract.
- Mix in a dash of salt. The salt will exfoliate your teeth as you brush. However, salt is quite abrasive, so don't use it too often and always use a soft toothbrush.
- Dollop the paste mixture onto your toothbrush.
- Brush the paste onto your teeth in small, circular motions. Once all teeth are covered, let the mixture sit on your teeth for 2 minutes.
- Rinse the solution off your teeth by swishing with water from the bathroom sink.
- Brush your teeth with toothpaste to rid your mouth of any remnants of the hydrogen peroxide mixture.
Whitening Your Teeth with Baking Soda
Brush your teeth for 2 minutes.Use gentle pressure to brush your teeth. Spit if necessary.
Spit out the baking soda.Rinse your mouth clean with water (you don't want baking soda in your mouth for a long period of time). Using mouthwash after can help to remove the bad taste of the baking soda if it is unbearable. Use this method once or twice a week for the best results.
- If you experience any tingling after using baking soda in your mouth, see your dentist. It may indicate tooth decay.
- Overusing this method can cause damage to the enamel that coats your teeth. Talk to your dentist about how often you should be trying this.
Add lime or lemon juice to the baking soda.This involves adding the juice of a lime or lemon to the baking soda:
- Squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lemon or lime.
- Mix the fresh juice with a 1/4 cup of baking soda. Expect a little bubbling.
- Dab a damp cotton wool ball or corner of a clean face wash cloth into the mixture. Rub the mixture over the teeth, making sure to get it into the gaps and corners near your gums, and right down to the ends of each tooth. Also rub the backs of the teeth.
- Leave for one minute then immediately brush off. Don't leave it too long as it is acidic and can wear away your precious pearly whites. It can also have a negative impact on your tooth enamel.
- Use once weekly or less often. Over time, you should see some whitening results.
Making General Changes
Avoid foods or beverages that stain your teeth.Where possible, you may be able to prevent further staining by making some lifestyle changes. This includes stopping all smoking, and reducing your consumption of beverages containing tannins––soda, coffee, red wine, and tea all contain tannins.In some cases, you can help keep tannin drinks away from your teeth by drinking them with a straw (donotdrink hot liquids through a straw).
Eat natural teeth helpers.Some foods can actually help you keep your teeth white. Here are a few of them:
- Eat more apples, celery, and carrots. They're like a fruit and veggie toothbrush for the teeth and they help increase the production of saliva in your mouth, removing plaque.As an added bonus, their high levels of vitamin C help to kill off odor-causing bacteria and strengthen your gums.
- Eat more strawberries. They contain a natural astringent (malic acid), which helps to lift stains. To get the most benefits, consider rubbing half a strawberry over your teeth or mashing the strawberry and applying it to your teeth. Leave for one minute, then rinse clear.
- Rinse with a glass of half lemon juice and half warm water once a week. This will lighten your teeth. Don't do it more than once a week though, as the lemon juice can erode teeth too.
- Eat more hard cheese. It helps to increase saliva production in the mouth, thereby removing the bacteria that stains teeth and it is also a good source of helpful minerals, such as calcium and zinc.
Maintaining Healthy Dental Habits
Brush your teeth twice a day.While brushing and flossing won't remove existing stains, good mouth hygiene is essential to preventing more staining and to keeping your teeth in excellent shape. The first most useful thing you can do is to brush your teeth regularly, to remove plaque, pieces of food and drink residue. Plaque will attack your teeth and gums if left in place and brushing (in conjunction with flossing) helps to disturb its ability to grow.
- Brush before or after breakfast and before going to bed. This is a minimum; many people also like to brush after lunch and even after snacks, especially if they are sugary snacks.
Floss daily.Floss is the most effective way for you to remove plaque build-up from in between your teeth and near the gums. With plaque removed, your teeth will appear much cleaner and therefore brighter.
- Floss at least once a day. A good time is at night, after brushing and before going to bed.
- Experiment with different types of floss until you find one that works best for you. Some floss types may be too rough, too slippery or too flavored for you, so keep looking for one you do like.
Gargle with mouthwash.Mouthwash kills bacteria and can contain elements aimed at strengthening your teeth. Used along with brushing and flossing, mouthwash can help reduce the bacteria, kill bad odors and keep your teeth healthier and cleaner. Some mouthwashes also whiten teeth, consider trying those.
- As with floss, not all mouthwashes are the same. Experiment with different types until you find a mouthwash you like and that leaves your teeth and gums feeling fresh. Also, remember to dilute the mouthwash with water if you feel discomfort or a slight burning sensation.
Schedule regular dental appointments.Have your dentist clean your teeth professionally at your regularly-scheduled appointments. This will help you maintain good dental hygiene, spot any cavities, and keep white, healthy teeth. Remember to talk to your dentist before you try any teeth whitening product to make sure that it won't hurt your teeth.
- If you have very sensitive teeth and gums, or crowns or some other dental work that won't react well with a whitening product, your dentist will know.
- Serious teeth darkening is usually best remedied by professionals.
QuestionMy teeth are very yellow and I don't know what to do to whiten them. What can I do?
Doctor of Dental SurgeryDoctor of Dental SurgeryExpert AnswerYou can try one of the above home whitening remedies, such as using baking soda or hydrogen peroxide for a month or so. If you are pleased with the result, keep doing it once every 3 days but avoid smoking and also colored foods or drinks. If the result is not satisfactory then you should opt for a professional whitening in the dental office.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I take the baking soda with lime every day?
Doctor of Dental SurgeryDoctor of Dental SurgeryExpert AnswerThis will lead to enamel erosion, increased sensitivity and, in the end, root canal treatment. Using baking soda with lime daily is not going to make your teeth too white either. The whitening power is limited for each individual case and the best way to use it is a maximum of two times a week.Thanks!
QuestionCan I use baking soda to get whiter teeth at home?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYes you can. Mix it with water to make a paste the use it to brush your teeth. You can also add lemon or lime juice to it. See the article's instructions and be aware that baking soda and citrus juice can be corrosive to teeth.Thanks!
QuestionIs it true that hydrogen peroxide can kill me if I ingest it?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerNo. If you swallow a little bit of hydrogen peroxide, you may get an upset stomach and vomit. If you swallow a lot of it (ie: a drinking glass full of it), you may get very sick and require a trip to the emergency room.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if my teeth don't get all white after all of these?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf these methods don't work, then you should consider getting your teeth professionally whitened. Just remember that whitening your teeth using the listed methods will take time, so be patient and keep trying.Thanks!
QuestionWhy can't I drink hot coffee through a straw?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerYou can, but you need a straw that isn't made of plastic, or else it will melt.Thanks!
QuestionIf it's hard for you to avoid soda and other foods what can you do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIt comes down to how badly you want whiter teeth. If soda and other foods are more important to you than whiter teeth, you will choose them. If you decide whiter teeth are more important, you will start making better choices.Thanks!
QuestionIs it possible to get rid of any tooth stains? Or are tooth stains permanent?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry using a whitening gel or a whitening kit. See the dentist, and try not to drink things like coffee, soda and tea as those usually cause tooth stains.Thanks!
QuestionCan baking soda and lemon weaken my gums?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThe combination could cause irritation for some people, but they should not cause any damage to your gums as long as you brush/apply gently. Lemon juice is very good for your gums. However, both baking soda and lemon juice can wear away at the enamel of your teeth, so use them carefully and sparingly.Thanks!
QuestionWhat do I buy if I live in the UK and can't get ADA-approved products?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerTry using the Baking Soda method or the Whitening Gel method. You can also use a whitening toothpaste instead; it should say right on the label whether or not it is whitening.Thanks!
To whiten your teeth at home, rinse your mouth with equal parts water and 3% hydrogen peroxide every day before you brush your teeth. You can also whiten your teeth at home by brushing your teeth with baking soda twice a week. Or, you can mix lemon juice and baking soda together and then apply the mixture to your teeth once a week. Leave the lemon juice and baking soda on for 1 minute before brushing it off with your toothbrush.
- Be careful when using whitening strips, just because of the harsh chemicals that can damage tooth enamel.
- Before using baking soda remember it has a strong flavor.
- Brush your teeth at least two times a day (more if you wear braces or retainers).
- Whitening strips are not absolutely necessary for whiter teeth; just brushing and flossing can do the trick most of the time. But if you feel you need the extra shine, go for it!
- To keep white teeth, brush after you eat anything. What you eat can leave stains on your teeth.
- If food gets stuck in your teeth, brush your teeth or use a toothpick or even floss so the food doesn't sit there.
- Go to the dentist and ask for a whitening treatment. It will cost a bit, but it really works and saves you lots of time compared to above approaches. And for many of us time is money. Take yourself seriously!
- To whiten a specific or more problematic area use a Q-tip soaked in hydrogen peroxide.
- Remember, white teeth are great, but as long as your teeth are healthy, the shade does not matter!
- Wait 20 minutes after you eat to brush your teeth because brushing straight after pushes sugar up and stays there.
- Brush two minutes twice a day.
- If you mix lime or lemon with baking soda, avoid brushing onto the gums as much as possible. If you notice bleeding from the gums during the process of teeth-brushing, stop immediately and rinse your mouth. This means your gums are sensitive to the abrasiveness of the lime/lemon and baking soda mixture. You can continue this method after 2-3 days.
- Baking soda can dissolve orthodontic glue. Do not use this method if you have braces or a permanent retainer.
- If you have cuts or scrapes in your mouth, you may feel a burning sensation when you use hydrogen peroxide or mouthwash. The cuts may temporarily turn white. This is normal.
- Don't brush too hard for a long term as it may damage your enamel (which is called abrasion), leading to hypersensitivity.
- Too much baking soda can damage teeth.
- Read the instructions carefully when using commercial preparations for whitening teeth.
- Do not use the baking soda method too often, as the abrasion can permanently damage the enamel of your teeth. There are some special toothpaste brands (often marketed for smokers) which contain much gentler abrasives than baking soda. They can be used daily without any risk to the health of your teeth and help to remove not only tobacco stains but also stains from coffee, tea, and wine.
- Be careful not to swallow hydrogen peroxide during the whitening process. Swallowing it can cause vomiting, burns or even death.
- Do not use too much hydrogen peroxide, as it will damage tooth enamel.
- Do your research on the chemicals used in teeth whiteners. If you don't like the ingredients or can't even find them listed, consider using a different method.
- Bleached teeth can feel more sensitive for a time.
Things You'll Need
Toothbrush (preferably a new one every 3 to 4 months)
Teeth Whitening Strips for better results
Sources and Citations
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