How to whiten teeth enamel at home?
Teeth whitening, along with caries treatment, is one of the most popular dental procedures. A snow-white smile is a sign of beauty, health and well-being, therefore, in pursuit of it, people do not spare money and time.
In the arsenal of modern dentistry there is a mass of means for teeth whitening, allowing to lighten the enamel by 4-8 tones. Such opportunities are provided by in-room whitening, which is carried out using special dental equipment. There are also special home remedies - whitening gels with trays, which do not give such stunning results, but also allow you to get rid of yellow and brown stains on tooth enamel.
However, it should be remembered that snow-white "tiled" teeth do not always indicate health, and radical whitening in most cases damages the tooth enamel and provokes a number of dental problems. At home, you can whiten your teeth no more than 1-2 tones - not enough for a Hollywood smile, but quite good for a healthy and attractive appearance of teeth.
- Who should really get their teeth whitened?
- What you need to know when taking to whiten your teeth at home?
- Who shouldn't whiten their teeth and when?
- Whitening of teeth with activated carbon
- Teeth whitening with lemon
- Teeth whitening with baking soda
- Teeth whitening with hydrogen peroxide
- Teeth whitening with peroxide and soda at home
- Toothpaste for home teeth whitening
- Brightening and strengthening teeth with mouth rinses
- Home use of whitening gels
- Teeth whitening strips
- Whitening pencil
- Teeth whitening with tea tree oil
- Prevention of yellowing of tooth enamel
- How long does the whitening result last?
Who should really get their teeth whitened?
The main reason for teeth whitening is darkening or yellowing of the tooth enamel, when plaque penetrates into the teeth so deeply that usual hygiene procedures do not help get rid of it.
Reasons for enamel darkening:
Smoking. Nicotine is deposited on the tooth enamel and penetrates deep into it. The teeth acquire an extremely unaesthetic "smoky" look. Whitening toothpastes are too mild to deal with tobacco tar and nicotine deposits. Home whitening will restore the natural whiteness of your teeth, but they can darken again under the influence of a negative habit;
Excessive consumption of sweets. The interaction of microorganisms living in the mouth with carbohydrates leads to biochemical reactions with the release of various substances. They act aggressively on the teeth. The enamel becomes so thin that yellow dentin appears through it;
Drinking coffee and strong tea. Drinks with dyes negatively affect the color of the tooth enamel, which after that can no longer be called snow-white. Enamel color is influenced by red wine, strong tea, natural and instant coffee. Brown plaque on the teeth quickly appears with regular use of these drinks;
The use of the antibiotic tetracycline. If the expectant mother took tetracycline while waiting for the baby, the rudiments of his teeth will turn yellow. The same effect occurs when children take tetracycline during tooth formation in early childhood ("tetracycline teeth");
Excessive intake of fluorine compounds. Environmental problems associated with poor-quality water or air, food, can cause the development of fluorosis due to an excess of fluoride in the body. This disease is characterized by speckled enamel ("speckled teeth");
Underdevelopment of dental tissues. Hypoplasia appears on the teeth as white or yellow spots. They are symmetrical and the same size. If signs of hypoplasia are noticeable when communicating with a person, the affected areas of the teeth are filled or bleached.
What you need to know when taking to whiten your teeth at home?
Teeth whitening is similar to hair bleaching and affects human health. To minimize the harm to the body is the main task of whitening.
Before performing teeth whitening, it is advisable to consult a dentist to assess the quality of tooth enamel. It must be strong enough and of the required thickness. The yellowness formed on the teeth should not penetrate far into the enamel, in which case the home procedure will not bring results.
Dental health before home cosmetic procedures is assessed for pathologies: periodontitis, periodontitis, alveolar processes, cement fillings, abnormal eruption of wisdom teeth.
Assessing the condition of the fillings is not an unnecessary precaution. If gaps appear between the filling and the tooth tissue, an aggressive substance will penetrate through them and cause the destruction of the tooth from the inside.
After processing the enamel and obtaining the desired effect, it is undesirable to smoke and consume products with coloring pigments. Hygienic teeth cleaning should be done with a soft toothbrush, as the stiffer bristles can cause discomfort. Whitening toothpaste will help maintain the effect achieved.
Tooth enamel whitening procedure is repeated after 2-4 months.
Who shouldn't whiten their teeth and when?
Before you start whitening your teeth at home or at the dentist, you need to determine the reason for the change in their shade. Darkening or yellowing of teeth can be external and internal, and only external staining lends itself to correction by folk methods. Internal causes of tooth discoloration can be very diverse, ranging from enamel hypoplasia, through which darker dentin tissues are visible, to chronic accumulation of brass, tin, iron and other substances.
In addition, there are a number of contraindications for teeth whitening:
Pregnant women, people with systemic diseases should not be whitened in dental offices. Alternatively, you can use some of the enamel-friendly home whitening products, such as activated charcoal;
- Periodontal diseases are a contraindication to whitening, since the lightening components can aggravate the condition of the tissues, provoke bleeding of the gums and a number of other pathologies;
- Whitening is contraindicated in patients with large carious cavities and under-treated diseases of the teeth and gums;
- For people who have many fillings in prominent areas, it is not recommended to whiten their teeth, since the aesthetic value of the result in this case is minimal - the fillings either do not lend themselves to whitening, or they brighten too much. After the whitening procedure, they will have to be replaced, which is difficult if there are many fillings;
- Teeth whitening is contraindicated in children under 16 years of age, since their hard tooth tissues are not fully formed, and the whitening substance can penetrate through them to the nerves and damage them;
- People who wear braces or have recently removed them should not have their teeth whitened. Braces by themselves damage tooth enamel, especially in the areas of the teeth to which the locks are attached. After their removal, the teeth do not lose sensitivity for several weeks, it is necessary to withstand this period until complete recovery.
How to whiten teeth enamel with activated carbon?
Activated carbon is a safe teeth whitening product at home that minimizes mechanical damage to the enamel. In addition, if accidentally swallowed, activated charcoal does not harm the body, which is not the case with other whitening agents.
The whitening properties of activated carbon components have been known for a long time - one of the "grandmother's" recipes for a snow-white smile includes brushing your teeth with wood ash. Wood ash was used as tooth powder or simply chewed, trying to do so so that all surfaces of the tooth were affected. This technique has a scientific basis - wood ash contains potassium hydroxide, a powerful abrasive that removes plaque from the chewing surface and prevents stains on the teeth.
Activated carbon can be made on the basis of wood ash, fruit seeds, coconut shells. Activated charcoal tablets can be crushed into a powder, fine particles of which will not injure your teeth. You need to brush your teeth with activated carbon in the same way as with tooth powder, but without pressing hard on the brush, so as not to scratch the enamel.
A quick way to whiten teeth without preparing a powder is to chew two or three tablets at once, then rinse your mouth with warm water several times. Despite all the useful whitening properties of charcoal, immediately after the procedure, the smile may "blacken" due to powder particles stuck in the interdental spaces. They are washed thoroughly, after which you can brush your teeth with regular toothpaste.
The positive effect of this procedure lies not only in the abrasive effect of activated carbon, which removes soft dental plaque, but also in its absorbing effect. Charcoal absorbs toxins, acid-forming substances that can damage tooth enamel and cause stains on its surface. However, using charcoal powder too often for cleaning teeth cannot be used to avoid enamel damage and tooth hypersensitivity.
Teeth whitening with lemon
Therapeutic procedures for teeth using lemon refer to chemical methods of enamel whitening. They are less traumatic than abrasive bleaching with soda or activated charcoal, as the degree of exposure can be controlled simply by reducing or increasing the concentration of lemon juice in the solution. Whereas when brushing your teeth with soda, there is a risk of scratching the enamel even with minimal pressure on the toothbrush.
There are several simple and effective lemon recipes:
- With the peel of fresh lemon, thoroughly rub the front surface of the teeth for 3-5 minutes. Make sure that no peel particles or any other food is left in the interdental spaces. It is a proven fact that the greatest risk for the development of caries, damage and darkening of tooth enamel is not one-time exposure to acid-forming or coloring substances, but the constant presence of food debris. This creates a breeding ground for pathogenic microorganisms that provoke most pathologies of the teeth and the oral cavity in general;
- A gentle treatment method suitable even for people with sensitive teeth. Before brushing your teeth, add 1-2 drops of lemon juice to the toothpaste and carry out the hygienic procedure as usual. Practice no more than twice a week for one month;
- Lemon pulp is used to brighten teeth, the enamel of which is not sensitive to acids. A fresh slice of lemon is applied to the teeth for a couple of minutes until unpleasant sensations arise, after which it is removed and rinsed with warm water;
- A solution of lemon juice in a glass of water can be used for mouthwash, using a course of no more than a month. The ratio of the components of the solution is 1: 1, you can reduce the content of lemon juice with a painful reaction of the teeth.
Home brightening of enamel with soda
Baking soda can be used as an abrasive for home teeth whitening to help remove soft plaque from the enamel surface. To do this, soda is diluted with water to a homogeneous gruel, applied to a brush and brush your teeth. Or leave the medicinal composition on the teeth for a few minutes, and then rinse with warm water.
A combination of peroxide and soda brightens the tone of teeth well, which are mixed until smooth and used instead of toothpaste. Do not use baking soda-based recipes for cleaning and whitening your teeth more often than once every two weeks to prevent thinning of the enamel. In parallel, it is recommended to use fluoride toothpastes to restore the mineral composition of the tooth enamel.
It is necessary to use baking soda for teeth whitening with the observance of precautions. First, make sure that the baking soda does not get on your gums, as rubbing it can damage the tissues and cause them to bleed. Secondly, it should be remembered that with thinning of the enamel, this procedure can be dangerous for the teeth, provoke their increased sensitivity and even contribute to the occurrence of caries.
How to whiten teeth with hydrogen peroxide?
Hydrogen peroxide is a popular remedy for whitening teeth, and it is used not only at home, but is also included in whitening gels that are used by dentists to professionally lighten enamel in several tones. Naturally, the concentration in all these funds is different. For radical lightening, dentists use 30% hydrogen peroxide. At the same time, after each such procedure, the dentist must remineralize the teeth with a therapeutic compound in order to prevent the washing out of hydroxyapatites from the enamel. At home, a 3% peroxide solution is sufficient.
There are many recipes for use. The simplest of them - a moistened cotton swab is applied to the stained surface and kept for several minutes, after which the mouth must be rinsed with warm water. The rules for using peroxide at home are the same as for professional whitening - avoid contact with gums and other soft tissues, swallowing the solution. In high concentrations, this agent can be dangerous to the body.
Long-term use of hydrogen peroxide can also increase the sensitivity of the teeth up to a painful reaction not only to heat and cold, but also to sweet and sour foods. It is not recommended to use it more often than once a week; after a month's course of treatment, you need to take a break for two to three months.
How to whiten teeth with peroxide and soda at home?
Any peroxide-based products should not be used without a preliminary test for an allergic reaction. To do this, you need to apply a little hydrogen peroxide to the crook of the elbow and or the delicate skin around the wrist and wait a few hours. Additionally, you can test the teeth and mouth using a highly diluted peroxide solution.
Only then can you start bleaching with these recipes. At the slightest sensation of burning and soreness, the composition must be washed off and rinsed several times with warm water. You can not use peroxide for mouth ulcers, which are often found in heavy smokers, trauma to the tongue during piercing and other injuries and wounds of the oral cavity. Untreated caries and periodontal tissue diseases are also contraindications to the use of home bleaching products.
The following method works most effectively: hydrogen peroxide in 3% concentration is mixed with soda in equal proportions and the resulting gruel is spread with a cotton swab over the surface of the tooth enamel in the places that need to be whitened. Withstand the mixture for no longer than a minute, then rinse and rinse your mouth. If the composition starts to foam on your teeth, then don't worry - this is a normal part of the procedure. It is forbidden to swallow the solution even in minimal quantities. You can eat and drink no earlier than 30 minutes after the procedure.
Immediately after whitening, you need to brush your teeth with a fluoride paste to prevent mineral loss.
Read more: Restoration of tooth enamel - 5 modern methods
Toothpaste for home teeth whitening
Whitening toothpastes are most often made on the basis of hydrogen peroxide, organic acids and components that soften their negative effect on enamel. There is another group of products, the effectiveness of which is based on the abrasive action of dicalcium phosphate and silicon oxide.
In the first case, the enamel is lightened due to chemical acids and oxygen radicals, which discolor the pigments. As a result, plaque dissolves, and the substances that gave the enamel a yellow-brown tint become colorless, the smile acquires the desired whiteness.
Abrasive toothpastes promote mechanical plaque removal, which in most cases also leads to the expected results. However, when using the funds of this group, there is a high probability of developing hyperesthesia - hypersensitivity of the teeth.
The safest option is considered to be pastes based on the papain enzyme, which gently removes plaque and prevents the formation of new deposits without thinning the enamel. But such pastes do not give instant clarification, like products with more aggressive chemical components in the composition.
Brightening and strengthening teeth with mouth rinses
Whitening mouth rinses are mild products that do not damage tooth enamel, but help restore its mineral composition.
They can contain harsh chemicals such as active oxygen, which removes plaque, whitens teeth and prevents tartar formation. For patients with sensitive teeth and thinned tooth enamel, there are rinses based on plant extracts of cinnamon, tea tree, clove, mint. They not only prevent darkening of the surface of the teeth, but also have antibacterial properties, prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
It is necessary to withstand the rinse in the mouth from one to three minutes, the volume for a single use is two tablespoons. Recommended for daily use for a month.
Home use of whitening gels
Homemade whitening gels are used together with special trays to increase the contact area of active ingredients with enamel and increase the degree of whitening. Mouth guards are made of flexible plastic or silicone and are placed over the upper or lower jaw, depending on which teeth need whitening.
The gel is supplied with the mouthguard, or you can apply it yourself to the mouthguard. Products from different manufacturers differ in composition. Gels for intensive brightening of tooth enamel contain hydrogen peroxide, trays with such a composition can be worn for no longer than half an hour, the procedure is repeated twice a day for a two-week course of treatment.
Sparing gels contain low concentration of urea or carbamide peroxide and can be worn for several hours without removing. Therefore, it is better to use these gels for night whitening at home. Moreover, wearing a mouth guard at work or in public places can cause inconvenience.
Ready-made mouth guards are available at the pharmacy. However, they may not be effective enough, since the structure of the jaw and the sensitivity of the teeth are different for all people. To enhance the whitening effect, you can contact your dentist, who will make an individual mouthguard and help you choose the optimal concentration of active ingredients in the brightening gel.
Teeth whitening strips
This modern product will allow you to achieve a visible cosmetic effect in a short time. Special strips with a brightening composition applied to them can be purchased at a pharmacy chain or in an online store. Consumers with sensitive teeth can purchase a more gentle teeth whitening option.
Using the strips is very simple - you need to apply them daily to your teeth and leave them there for at least half an hour. After a month, the enamel will lighten by about 2-3 tones. The effect of a snow-white smile will last for a couple of months, then the tooth enamel will darken again. A side effect of the procedure is a temporary increase in tooth sensitivity.
Whitening strips are high-end products, they are in a different price category and are more convenient to use than gels and trays. The strips adhere firmly to the teeth, allowing you to talk during the procedure.
The disadvantage of any whitening strips is that you cannot lighten the interdental spaces in this way.
This portable whitening gel is applied with a special applicator. After a certain time, the composition is removed from the enamel. Consumers are offered pencil models, the active substance of which is removed with saliva without requiring special manipulations.
The concentration of the whitening agent is negligible compared to the gel supplied with the trays. Therefore, the pencil is used to maintain the whiteness of the teeth in "field" conditions, to remove stains from tea, coffee, tobacco plaque.
Teeth whitening with tea tree oil
High-quality whitening can be carried out only with natural essential oil of 100% concentration. The first step is to clean your teeth normally with a toothbrush and paste. Then, 2-3 drops of essential oil are applied to the brush, spread over the surface of the tooth enamel. Numbness of the cheek or part of the tongue is a side effect of the procedure, after which the oral cavity is thoroughly rinsed.
Cleaning the enamel with tea tree oil will remove not only plaque from it, but also tartar.
Prevention of yellowing of tooth enamel
To prevent yellowing of the tooth enamel, it is necessary to adhere to the rules of oral hygiene and avoid eating foods with coloring compounds.
In addition to brightly colored soda, hard candies and chocolates, foods that can damage enamel include:
- Freshly squeezed and canned fruit juices - pomegranate, orange and others. In addition to coloring compounds (phenols), which are contained in red berries and fruits, they have acid-forming properties, which enhances the process of staining the enamel;
- Wine, and not only red, but also white wine is potentially dangerous. Red contains phenols and tannin, white promotes acid formation and contains tannins, which give the tooth enamel a yellow tint;
- Tea, coffee - with constant use, they provoke yellowing of tooth enamel no less than cigarettes. This is especially true for lovers of strongly brewed black tea and coffee lovers who consume 3-4 cups of drink a day;
- Condiments, sauces and spices - curries, balsamic vinegar, ketchup can cause yellowing of teeth if consumed in large quantities daily;
- Fruits and vegetables of bright colors - blueberries, blackberries, beets, raspberries, cherries. For all the benefits of these products, their coloring properties cannot be denied. This does not mean that you need to completely eliminate them from the diet, it just needs to take some precautions.
Contrary to the general belief that it is possible to neutralize the harm of products that provoke staining of the enamel, if you immediately brush your teeth after using them, this is not the case. The fact is that the enamel becomes vulnerable under the influence of acids immediately after eating. If you brush your teeth immediately after eating sweets or brightly colored fruits, you can mechanically damage the enamel, which only increases its sensitivity and contributes to the formation of stains.
Better to put clean water in your mouth and hold it there for a few minutes. It is also helpful to hold saliva in your mouth before swallowing. Saliva contains natural ingredients that protect the enamel from damage. These properties of saliva are used to promote chewing gum - the chewing process promotes increased salivation. But chewing gum is not the best option for daily use, as it can contain harmful ingredients, aspartame and other sweeteners.
There are also products that contribute to the formation of a protective film, which makes the enamel for some time resistant to the effects of dyes and acid-forming substances. These foods (such as steamed broccoli) are recommended to be included in the diet more often, before eating potentially harmful foods to the teeth.
Smoking is one of the most common causes of teeth yellowing; patients in dental clinics regularly whiten their teeth from the so-called "smoker's plaque". As a result of constant exposure to cigarette smoke, yellow-brown stains appear on the teeth. It is necessary to limit this bad habit or completely abandon it in order to avoid yellowing of the enamel.
Immediately after bleaching, it is recommended to avoid dyeing foods and drinks, smoking. This is especially true for laser or acid whitening procedures at the dentist - at this time, tooth enamel becomes especially vulnerable to pigments.
In order to prevent yellowing of teeth after whitening and to maintain its effect for a long time, it is recommended to drink drinks that can cause pigmentation through a straw. This applies to red and other brightly colored fruit juices, soda, cocktails, tea and coffee - they are also drunk chilled through a straw.
How long does the whitening result last?
After a course of teeth whitening at home, the result can last from several months to a year, naturally, provided that some changes are made to the usual diet. Then the enamel gradually loses its whiteness, becomes yellow or brown, and the course must be repeated.
Professional whitening keeps teeth whitened from six months to three years, if you follow all the precautions in the first days after the procedure. But whitening teeth in a dental office using AirFlow abrasive technology or acidic chemical compounds has more contraindications. Another significant drawback of such procedures is that the teeth can become hypersensitive for several weeks, which makes it unbearable to eat hot, sour and sweet foods, drink tea and even breathe in cold weather due to painful sensations.
The author of the article: Muravitsky Boris Viktorovich, dentist, especially for the website ayzdorov.ru