Brushing your teeth twice a day just doesn’t seem to cut it anymore. With a million different food items being forced into your mouth on a daily basis, the teeth are bound to adopt that yellow tinge that we all fear. So we explore options outside our home, and spend money on a clinical treatment to whiten our teeth. We forget about the many home remedies that have been devised for the same purpose. Let’s take a look at some of these home-based approaches to whitening teeth and compare them to in-office teeth whitening.
Clinic based (In-Office) Teeth Whitening
Let’s go over the basics of the in-office treatment before we start understanding the exotic home brewed methods. As the name suggests, the ‘in-office’ treatment is performed in a dentist’s clinic. Your dental history is considered and the dentist is able to perform an oral examination to determine whether you are fit for the treatment. This is a major advantage available in the case of in-office procedure, as the degree of stains and gum sensitivity can be factored in before the whitening gel is prepared.
A whitening gel is prepared using a peroxide agent that allows for the whitening of the teeth. Once the lips and gums are covered or away from the teeth, the gel is applied to the teeth and heated using a curing light or laser. This activates the peroxide, and the patient is left with this gel for a span of 30 to 60 minutes. Usually one session is enough to provide basic whitening, but if the customer is unhappy, the treatment can be repeated a second time until the desired results are achieved.
Home Remedies for Teeth Whitening
Home remedies are inherently weaker in terms of the chemicals used, as they are found in food items and not their pure form. That being said, they are a lot more cost efficient and a more natural procedure. We will be considering two main procedures: baking soda and malic acid.
This is possibly the most tried and tested method used at home. There are a few ways of applying baking soda to whiten your teeth. The sodium bicarbonate is considered a whitening agent, and must be brushed on the teeth using a toothbrush. An important thing to remember is that baking soda can be rather harsh to the enamel on the teeth if it is not used sparingly. Hence, regular repetition of this method is not advised as it runs the risk of corroding the enamel.
Another way to use baking soda is to mix it with peroxide. These substances must be mixed together to form a thick paste, which will act as a substitute to the whitening gel used in the clinics. A makeshift tray can be formed using a tin foil, folded in a way to mimic the mold of your teeth. Before adding the mixture to the mold, place a thin paper towel on the tin foil. Place the mixture in this contraption and leave it on the teeth for 15 minutes. Brushing and flossing after this treatment will do wonders for your teeth. Of course, this method must not be indulged in regularly- 2 times a month will suffice.
Malic acid is also considered a whitening agent for the teeth. Like bicarbonate soda, malic acid can harm the enamel on consistent use. If overused, it can leave the teeth an ugly translucent shade, as the white enamel fades away. Malic acid can be found in some berries and fruits. Usually, strawberry is mashed into a pulp before swishing it in the mouth for approximately 5 minutes. The acid in the strawberry allows for the teeth to eventually become white. The teeth may later be flossed to remove the remains of the strawberry.
Another source of malic acid can be found in fruits like apples. These fruits are doubly beneficial as they help the mouth produce saliva, which is another natural cleanser of the mouth. So in this case, an apple a day also keeps the dentist away!