Some of the most common reasons for stained teeth and thinning enamel are: drinking teas and coffee, consuming refined sugars and acidic foods and beverages, acid reflux, tooth grinding, antibiotic use, excessive fluoride when you are a child, mouth-breathing, ageing, and dry mouth.
It is important to note that everyone has a different whitening potential. Some people can only whiten their teeth very marginally, whilst others whiten their teeth very quickly and effectively. This is important to remember before creating expectations that cannot be met.
1. Cut back on staining foods and drinks
Avoid foods and habits that expose the teeth to dark compounds found in products such as coffee, tea, wine, green juices and tobacco.
2. Practice good oral hygiene
This means brushing twice daily for 2 minutes and flossing daily to protect against tooth decay and gum problems. Regular 6 monthly cleans will also ensure your teeth are cleaned and receiving the professional care they need to avoid tooth decay and gum disease. If you consume a lot of coffee, smoke cigarettes or consume a lot of pigmented foods, professional cleans may need to be performed more frequently.
3. Consume foods that are high in vitamins and minerals
This not only helps to promote healthy teeth, gums, it also assists with keeping teeth white. Minerals and vitamins such as Vitamin C, Vitamin D, vitamin B and iron are all important for good tooth and gum health as well as eating a diet rich in good quality proteins, good fats (especially fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K) and a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.
4. Practice oil pulling
Oil pulling is the practice of swishing oil extracted from edible sources in the mouth in order to cleanse it of bacteria, fungus, and other disease-causing organisms. It is thought that the oil collects these noxious agents during the process and rids the oral cavity of them when expelled. To conduct oil pulling therapy, adults generally take one tablespoon of oil (children under the age of 15 can take one teaspoon) into the mouth and swish it around their teeth for 10 to 15 minutes before expelling it. The therapy should be performed on an empty stomach in the morning and followed by brushing.
5. Hydrogen peroxide and baking soda
Mix a small amount of hydrogen peroxide with a small amount of baking soda in order to make a paste that helps remove more plaque from teeth. Baking soda can be very abrasive to the teeth so be careful that you have enough hydrogen peroxide mixed into the baking soda and always use a baking soda with the smallest particle size possible.
This is the most effective and scientifically proven way to whiten your teeth. It can be done in the dental office or with a take home kit using customised mouth guards. For best results and safety, it is always best to have this done at the dentist. They can guide you on the safest and best ways to use these products. After all it is a powerful chemical that is used, so your dental health practitioner is the most qualified person take you through this process.
Lewis Ehrlich is a highly qualified holistic dentist with an innate passion for health care and eagerness for continued education. He is a valued Dentist and team member at the Sydney Holistic Dental Centre. For more information and health tips and advice visit www.drlewis.com.au.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health.