Are your teeth the color they should be? Are they the color you want them to be? As we grow older, the enamel on our teeth can wear down and show the darker color under the enamel. Every person’s teeth color is different, some will be darker and some will be whiter but that does not always mean your teeth are bad. Your teeth can be perfect the way they are but sometimes we just want that perfect smile. In this article, we are going to take a look at the best toothpaste teeth whitening products that are on the market.
Not all teeth stains are equal
Before you decide to purchase a whitening product that will whiten your teeth it is good to remember that discoloration of your teeth at a young age is not good but it is a normal way of life when they turn a little more yellow as you grow old. Everything decays and so do teeth. As teeth decay and your enamel thins down, the dentin will no longer be protected as it once was. Your teeth may become sensitive to hot, cold, or touch. And as the enamel thins the dentin will be more visible and discolored. The less enamel that you have, the more affect the acidic juices will stain your teeth and discolor them more.
What are the options? Before you find a cure, find the symptoms.
Your options are not limited to just going to your dentist and having them whiten your teeth. The first thing you want to do is prevent further staining of teeth because even if you get them whitened, they can still start staining again if you don’t take care of them.
Tip- you could only brush with this list occasionally – 1–2 minutes twice a day for a week and than see how much improvement you have made before you go for the next week and so on.
1. Ways to prevent rapid staining of teeth:
Do your best to create an acidic free environment in the mouth. People love to try to eat different and new foods so your mouth will always receive some amount of acidic. Many of us love our sugary candies and soda drinks which we know are acidic and we should avoid but do not always. We also know that fruits, good healthy foods, are also acidic and yellow our teeth. So what we should do is do our best to keep acidic in our mouth minimal. We should rinse our mouth with water as often as needed or as often as possible throughout each day.
When acidic is in your mouth it can soften your enamel, outer layer of the tooth, for a short time. So it is best to wait at least 30 minutes after you have eaten and rinsed your mouth before you brush your teeth with any cleaning products such as toothpaste and floss. Brush the tongue and do not forget to only use a soft toothbrush.
Also, make sure to do your best to avoid a dry mouth. When you have saliva and moisture constantly in your mouth it gets rid of the harmful bacteria but with a dry mouth there is a more likely chance for spread of bad bacteria and decay.
And a reminder, one obvious thing you do is do not get hit in the teeth. Do not drink very hot drinks that can burn your mouth and do not drink very cold drinks. And do not do drink hot and than drink cold right after.
2. Two types of discoloration:
There are three types of discoloration, intrinsic, extrinsic and age related. Intrinsic is when your teeth change color below the surface of the teeth. Extrinsic is when your teeth change color above the surface of your teeth, on the enamel. And age related discoloration is a little of both. As we grow older, our teeth naturally loose some enamel. It tends to show more of the dentin in our later years. Dentin, a component of the tooth, is yellow so when our enamel slowly fades away, the dentin is slowly more visible.
Both of these types of discolorations can be whitened to give you the color you want. One will take some more work and time than the other but you can get it done.
Here are 5 reasons why people have intrinsic discoloration:
Trauma – If you fall or get hit on the tooth you could have some degree of internal bleeding that can damage and or discolor your permanent tooth (not baby teeth).
Fluorosis – During early childhood when your body is still forming the most, you need to stay away from fluoride. Do not buy water bottles with fluoride in it and do not faucet drink water unless you have a water filter like a military grade carbon block filter. Fluoride damages your teeth and your health.
Root canal treatment – Although there is not always a reason why this can occur, sometimes the tooth can turn a different color after this procedure. In my opinion root canal treatments can be a trauma for the tooth so refer back to “Trauma”.
Amalgam fillings – This is the most used type of filling for teeth. This type of cavity filler has been used on patients for over a century. This filling is strong and often used in the back teeth which is where most of the chewing takes place. It is the least expensive of all cavity-filling materials. And the reason this should be avoided is that it has mercury in it. There are many people who say not to worry because it’s only a small amount. And there are also people who say that mercury filled amalgam fillings are linked to health conditions such as multiple sclerosis, depression, heart disease, cancer, arthritis. My recommendation is to go with composite or ceramic fillings if you need a filling, to avoid unpleasant looks in the mouth and to avoid even thinking about mercury in the mouth, whether it has an adverse effect or not.
Aging and Genetic disorders – As we age our bodies are always slowly decaying. Since we do not live forever, everything is slowly deteriorating and same goes for the teeth. Bones slowly loose their strength and are not what they were when we were young. With age our teeth may turn more yellowish. Then there are genetic disorders that people are born with such are cricket teeth are discolored teeth.
Here are 5 reasons why people have extrinsic discoloration
Tobacco / Tar – Not only is tobacco toxic and causes cancer but with over 600 ingredients found in cigarettes and over 7000 chemicals when one it is burned, it is no wonder why this stains the teeth.
Drinks – Different colored drinks such as soft drinks (cola), coffee, sports drinks, black or green tea, red and white wine and energy drinks will put a stain on your teeth. Most people will drink straight from the cup but if you drink from a straw you will be able to skip on the staining of the teeth.
Certain foods – Many foods can put a stain on your teeth but some more than others. Foods like beets and chocolate will put the biggest stains. Other foods are popsicles, candies, and fruits like cherries, pomegranates, and blackberries. Any food that has acid will potentially stain and weaken the enamel on your teeth. This does not certainly mean that we should not eat these foods because they do give many good vitamins for the body but it does mean we should expect them to stain our teeth in one way while strengthening in another.
Antibiotics – Usually when you are sick after a procedure on the body and even on teeth like a root canal, patients will often be prescribed to take antibiotics. Antibiotics destroy the growth of bad bacteria but also of the good bacteria too. Your immune system will be weakened and therefor you can get new illnesses and/or more sick at this stage. I personally get blisters on my lips after antibiotics so I took prebiotics and probiotics whenever I was prescribed to take the antibiotics.
A study made by Liang Hong, D.D.S., M.S., Ph.D., of the University of Iowa said that Amoxicillin (penicillin antibiotic that fights bacteria) when given to infants “suggest(s) that amoxicillin use in infancy could carry someheretofore undocumented risk to the developing teeth.” There are studies done on the affects of antibiotics on teeth and they all say it hurts the teeth. If we can see how horribly something affects the young then we know that it also has a horrible effect adults. The only difference is that it is not as visible in adults.
Antimicrobial Mouthwashes – Mouthwashes such as cetylpyridinium and chlorhexidine (antiseptic mouthwash) are shown to put brown stains on the teeth and even the tongue. If you have composite fillings or crowns, those too may stain. Chlorhexidine is prescribed by doctors and it lowers the bacteria in your mouth. It is used to treat swelling, inflammation and even bleeding that can occur with gingivitis. It is also not approved for use by children under the age of 18. If children can not use this product, many times adults should not use it either, even if it is approved for adults.
What whitening ingredients should I look for?
If you plan on finding or making your own toothpaste teeth whitening products, there are some ingredients that you should aim for. Good ingredients for whitening teeth should contain at least a few of these:
Organic cold pressed virgin unrefined coconut oil – This is used to oil pull your teeth and works for whitening your teeth every time. When you oil pull your teeth it is said it can help rematerialize them. It can help with binding other ingredients together and act as natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal material.
Baking soda – This ingredient functions in two main ways. As an abrasive function, it will help with removing any discolorations in your teeth because of its alkaline powder and it will help remove any built-up plaque found on your teeth. Do keep in mind that it will be whitening the extrinsic parts of the teeth (color above the surface of your teeth, on the enamel). It can whiten your teeth by 1-2 shades and sometimes more.
This is a great ingredient to look for in whitening toothpaste but it will not kill bacteria on its own. Some will say that it can increase cavity formation but that is if you only use this ingredient alone and you are not brushing well.
This alone can help you get your teeth brighter as a low cost option. If you use too much of it and overuse it, there is a chance that you can damage the enamel. This can result in giving you sensitive teeth but should be fine if you do not use too much.
Peppermint essential oil – Peppermint oil is an excellent antibacterial ingredient and is often used in mouthwashes to keep infection out. Two other ingredients that a commonly used are clove and lemon oils. These oils will keep bad breath out of your mouth and they have great antiseptic properties. And it is widely known that peppermint oils are very often used in dental care. There there are many people who say that it brings relief when you they have toothaches. It will also support a healthy circulation to the teeth and the gum.
Bentonite clay – Bentonite clay has the ability to absorb toxins, heavy metals, and impurities. Using this ingredient in toothpaste helps with remineralizing your teeth. It can help kill extrinsic stains because it can absorb that color that we do not want. When it touches the bad bacteria it will take them out of your mouth while exchanging them with good minerals.
Calcium and Magnesium Powder – This will help support a healthy enamal and give a good source of minerals while at the same time it can whiten your teeth.
Hydrogen peroxide – The main ingredient used in most whitening toothpastes is hydrogen peroxide. You can buy a bottle at grocery stores with a diluted amount of around 3 percent. Commercial whitening treatments, specifically from a dentist office use between 10-30% of a diluted amount. It is a large difference.
If you use hydrogen peroxide with higher concentrations of 10% or more than there is a higher chance that you will damage the enamel. And even if you use it a lower concentrations like 3% but you keep it in your mouth for long periods of time, that will also damage the enamel.
The best way to use this is with small concentrations for small periods of time or with high concentrations but once a year or so in my opinion. Although, I believe that people shouldn’t use the higher concentrations because the chance of damaging your teeth for the sake of whitening them is not worth it.
Carbamide peroxide – This is hydrogen peroxide plus urea mixed together. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in this ingredient is a third of its regular. An example would be 9% of carbamide peroxide is 3% hydrogen peroxide. The main difference between the two is that carbamide peroxide has lower sensitivity. Although you are not going to use it in your toothpaste because they don’t make it for toothpaste, if you do use gel or mouth trays for your teeth, use this one.
Filtered water – When you finally brush your teeth to whiten them you must use clean water, filtered water is best. Do not use the faucet water as it is filled with additives you do not want on your teeth or body.
Do I need an expert dentist to tell me what to do?
Should you whiten your teeth yourself or go to a dentist and ask for help? While there is nothing wrong with going to the dentist and asking them for help on how to clean and whiten your teeth, you might want to save your money and teeth. The dentist, like any sales person, makes money when you buy their product or service. Some dentists are better than others but they can only exist if people come. A dentist will help whiten your teeth if that is what you want but they may convince you to use their products and will most likely tell you not to use toothpaste teeth whitening products because they don’t work. YES they do work but not as fast as 1 2 3. The dentist can whiten them for you very quickly without toothpaste if that is what you want.
Whitening your own teeth can be much safer if you do it right. Whitening your own teeth won’t damage the enamel/ teeth if you do it right. You do not need to go to a specialist. You can make your own toothpaste or buy it with the ingredients that were mentioned.
What is the fastest and safest product that is recommended?
The best product may be the one that you create and put together yourself. The reason for that is that you will know exactly what all the ingredients are in it without second guessing what product has all the ingredients that you want. It may save you time and money and you can experiment on what fits best for your teeth.
But if you still want the best product without all the work of making it yourself, the best product is the Essential Oxygen Toothpaste Sensitivity Peppermint.
So does it work?
Does whitening work? Most dentists will most likely tell you not to whiten your own teeth but to go to them. They need people to come into their office or they won’t make any money off of you. Their goal is to get you into their office or they won’t be able to stay open for long. That is my view. Yes, there are good dentists out there. I believe I go to a good one but I have had to meet some bad ones before I found a good one. The best one is one that will not pressure you to do something that you do not want to. The best one is the one that understands that they are your teeth and you are in control, not them. And YES, whitening teeth toothpaste does work.