White, healthy-looking teeth can take years off your smile while enhancing the way you look. The process of teeth whitening helps to remove discoloration from your teeth and, even though it can be done at the dentist's office or with store-bought teeth whitening supplies, accomplished with home remedies. A mixture of baking soda and peroxide makes an effective home remedy for teeth whitening. Use it to improve the appearance of your teeth so you can start flashing that smile again.
What Causes Discoloration of the Teeth?
Some of the most common causes of discoloration and stains on the teeth are food, beverages, tobacco use, medication and poor dental hygiene. Smokers and those who chew tobacco develop tooth stains ranging in color from yellow to brown. Avid coffee and tea drinkers can also find themselves with yellow discoloration over time. Other foods and beverages, such as wine and berries, contribute to undesirable tooth discoloration, as do certain antibiotics and antihistamines. It is also common for aging to play a role in the discoloration of teeth.
Ingredients of Teeth Whitening Remedy -- Baking Soda
Baking soda, which is a sodium bicarbonate, exists naturally in all living things. Its purpose is to help balance out pH levels to promote and sustain life. Baking soda can be mined from a type of ore known as trona or manufactured by passing a combination of ammonia and carbon dioxide through a concentrated version of sodium chloride, also known as table salt. The mild alkali and safe, mild abrasiveness of baking soda helps it easily remove dirt and stains from your teeth without scratching, and it also serves as a natural breath freshener.
Ingredients of Teeth Whitening Remedy -- Peroxide
Two atoms of oxygen and two atoms of hydrogen make up the liquid known as hydrogen peroxide. The molecule readily breaks down when coming into contact with other surfaces. For example, when you pour hydrogen peroxide over a cut, it begins to bubble. The bubbles are caused by the oxygen element of hydrogen peroxide. The liquid is commonly used in store-bought teeth whitening kits and professional teeth whitening solutions.
Use of Baking Soda and Peroxide
Place 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in a shallow bowl and drizzle hydrogen peroxide over the powder as you stir to make a paste. Use just enough peroxide to form a thin paste-like mixture. The two ingredients will naturally foam as they chemically react. Dip your toothbrush in the paste mixture and brush your teeth as usual. Because it's best to avoid swallowing hydrogen peroxide, this natural mixture is not the best choice for small children. The solution can be used daily to achieve teeth whitening, and after one to two weeks, should be tapered off to once every few days for maintenance.
- University of Illinois-Chicago College of Dentistry: CARE-- Teeth Whitening
- University of Wisconsin - Extension: Baking Soda - The Everyday Miracle
- Louisiana Tech University: Causes of Teeth Discoloration
- Creighton University Medical Center: Hydrogen Peroxide Therapy
- Dr. Axe: 6 Ways to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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