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Tips for Perfect, White Teeth

Posted on March 26, 2021

First impressions are important. Nothing speaks more than who we are than our smile. Our smile is the initial signal of what we represent when meeting new people. Eighty percent of Americans feel that healthy teeth are the key to a successful life. People with straight, white teeth are perceived as being smarter in business and more successful in romance. So how do we get our teeth white?

Changes in color, yellowing of our teeth may be inevitable. As we age the outer coating of our teeth may wear down. This is the hard, white enamel. Underneath the enamel is the softer, much more yellow dentin. As the dentin becomes more exposed, our teeth appear darker. Drinking lots of coffee, tea, and red wine will further stain our teeth. We hope that none of our patients are smoking as staining their teeth will be the least of their problems.

Natural Remedies for White Teeth

Please be careful with at-home whitening because you may damage your teeth if products are used incorrectly or for too much time.

1. Brushing  and flossing your teeth

All oral home care starts with the basics. Brushing and Flossing.

We want our patients to brush two times daily, morning and especially before they go to sleep at night. Nighttime brushing and flossing are especially important, for when we sleep saliva flow becomes stagnant, our tongue is not moving, we may be breathing through our mouths; all of which leads to plaque formation, decay, and stains on our teeth. We want our patients to gently brush for two minutes using a gentle circular motion (bristles are at forty-five degrees to the gums, up in the upper and down in the lower jaw). We like low abrasion, long-lasting fluoride toothpaste. Whitening toothpastes that are very abrasive cause more harm than good. The Sensodyne whitening toothpaste is our favorite in this area. The efficacy of its whitening ability is still a moot point.

2. Baking soda and Hydrogen peroxide

Brushing with a paste composed of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide helps to remove plaque and stains. Use one tablespoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. Brush your teeth for two minutes. Rinse mouth thoroughly with water.

3. Coconut oil pulling

Rinsing with high-quality coconut oil is said to remove plaque which will make our teeth look whiter. Swish one to two teaspoons in your mouth for two minutes. Do not gargle or swallow the oil. Spit oil into the toilet or a  basket as it could clog your drain in the sink. Rinse your mouth thoroughly, drink a glass of water and then brush your teeth without toothpaste. Sunflower oil and sesame oil have also shown to inhibit plaque formation. Further studies are needed to show the effect of coconut oil pulling on teeth whitening.

4. Apple cider Vinegar

Rinsing with very small amounts of diluted apple cider vinegar for a short amount of time may whiten our teeth. It is claimed to have a bleaching effect on the enamel. Mix two teaspoons full with six ounces of water. Swish for only thirty seconds. Rinse thoroughly and then brush teeth gently without toothpaste. The scientific data is inconclusive, more studies need to be done, so be cautious with this product.

5. Lemon, orange, or banana peels

There are some studies that claim that ` by rubbing certain fruit peels, such as lemon, orange or banana on our teeth for two minutes a day for a four week period our teeth will become whiter.

People in the study used whitening toothpaste in conjunction with the fruit peels. It is believed that a chemical d-limonene and or citric acid, found in the fruit peels, will remove stains. More data needs to be collected to determine the efficacy of this treatment.

6. Activated Charcoal

It has been shown that charcoal is very absorbent. Because of this feature, it is thought that charcoal can remove stains and pigments from our discolored teeth. Open one capsule of activated charcoal, apply it to your toothbrush, with a gentle circular motion, brush your teeth for two minutes (keep away from the gum line). Rinse mouth thoroughly. Charcoal may be too abrasive for the enamel of our teeth. We don’t want to wear away good enamel by trying to remove stains. Be careful with this product.

7. Eating fruits and vegetables with a  high water content

Chewing crunchy fruits and vegetables are good for your teeth as well as your whole body. These foods contain antioxidants and water which inhibit plaque growth and hydrate the dentinal tubules in our enamel. The effect is a healthy whiter smile.

Some fruits like strawberries (mixed with baking soda) and pineapple (that contains bromelain) can whiten your teeth. There is no concrete evidence that there is a tangible effect on whitening your teeth with these foods.

8. Prevention

Limiting foods that can stain our teeth, is common sense if we are trying to maintain a white smile. There are of course tradeoffs as many of these foods and beverages provide a certain quality of life to us. Eliminating foods with high sugar is important for white teeth and overall health. That is a proven scientific fact. Moderating red wine, coffee, tea, dark berry jams will be helpful.  Eliminating smoking and tobacco chewing is essential.

Supplementing your diet with Calcium may strengthen the enamel and make it more resistant to stains.

Tried and True Teeth Whitening Options

  1. Proper oral home care, brushing, and flossing, fluoride whitening toothpaste
  2. Regular dental checkups
  3. Over the counter whitening strips-inexpensive, cumbersome, work better on anterior front teeth, don’t do well on posteriors. Will take weeks to see change. They do whiten teeth if you are committed to wearing the strips for hours a day over a four-week period.
  4. Take-home custom-made bleaching trays-These work well, trays are made in our office, the whitening gel is supplied. Patients are advised to wear thirty minutes to an hour a day for two weeks. Results are significant.
  5. In-office Zoom bleaching-at the vanguard of office whitening systems. Six shades whiter in about an hour. New technology has dramatically decreased post-operative sensitivity. The definitive dental treatment for non-invasive tooth whitening
  6. Porcelain veneers-the ultimate dental restoration used in “Smile Makeovers” to beautifully change our patient’s smile into a life-altering gift. Delicate, thin pieces of porcelain that have been sculpted by our master technician are placed over the front surfaces of your teeth to awaken the inner beauty of you and your amazing smile.

Teeth Whitening at 209 NYC Dental

Our team at 209 NYC Dental is anxious to meet you. We want to ensure your health as well as create the smile of your dreams. Please make your appointment today. Your consultation is complimentary.

About Dr. Steven Kafko

Guided by the belief that being a highly skilled specialist in a narrow field is better than being ordinary in everything Dr. Kafko has grown 209 NYC Dental into one of the leading NYC multi-specialty dental practices that it is today. Having extensive cross-specialty training with decades of experience, and strive to provide his patients with the most appropriate dental care Dr. Kafko succeeded in becoming an excellent diagnostic dentist. His skills to triage the most comprehensive dental treatment that a patient may require are highly appreciated by patients and his colleagues.

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