How To Whiten Teeth (DIY & Professional Solutions)

Excerpt: Many people are often self-conscious about their smiles. This is likely because smiles are often a sign of things such as health, self-confidence, etc.
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Many people are often self-conscious about their smiles. This is likely because smiles are often a sign of things such as health, self-confidence, etc. If you have doubts about your smile, then you may not show your teeth, or smile at all. This can misslead people to potentially think you’re shy, introverted, or even insecure. If you’re worried about your smile, there are lots of ways you can enhance it.

Types of teeth stains

Teeth have multiple ways they can become discolored.

Extrinsic Discoloration

1. Extrinsic (external) discoloration – This occurs from outside sources generally, your lifestyle will have the biggest impact on extrinsic discoloration, a few common sources include:

 

  • Smoking (Including marijuana)
  • Tobacco products
  • Wine
  • Dyed food
  • Sugary food
 
2. Extrinsic discoloration is usually superficial. Superficial (surface stains) can be treated with whitening toothpaste and other OTC products. DIY procedures can potentially reverse the discoloration as well.

Intrinsic Discoloration

1. Intrinsic discoloration (internal) – This discoloration is significantly more challenging to get rid of. It typically occurs because of these reasons:


  • Medication Use
  • Illness
  • Infection
  • Trauma
  • Aging
 
2. This form of discoloration will most likely have to be reversed with professional treatments. 

How To Whiten Teeth

If you have extrinsic, or superficial stains on your teeth you can potentially whiten them at home using products from a grocery store! While these are legitimate ways to whiten your teeth, they may not give you the shade of white you were hoping for.

Teeth Whitening Options

If you want whiter teeth, thankfully you do have quite a few different methods you can try to see what works for you the best.


  • Professional whitening
  • The dentist administered at-home whitening kits
  • OTC kits bought at a store
  • DIY solutions
 

Each category has its benefits and drawbacks. Here are a few reasons why you would choose one whitening method over another method:


  • The type of discoloration you have
  • The cost involved in the treatment
  • The treatment method
  • Your age (this pertains to children)
  • Your dental history, including fillings and crowns
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How To Whiten Teeth At Home

DIY solutions are often a very attractive solution for people since they can just go to the store and pick it up, and often the DIY solution can be much cheaper than a professional one.

Whitening Toothpaste & Mouthwash

These products use a variety of gentle tactics on your teeth. These often use materials that are mildly abrasive so they will rub the affected area until it is white. They can also use a chemical called blue covarine, depending on the products. You should read the instructions very carefully before use since they are stronger than standard toothpaste and should be used with care.

Whitening Strips

Strips have been a mainstay of the OTC world, and are a very popular solution, the only downside is they are fairly pricey, lots of packs tend to start in the $50-$60 range. The strips are meant to be applied to your teeth for a certain length of time, depending on the product, then they are removed. Some more advanced packs come with “curing lights”. These lights are used to cure the whitening agent on the teeth.

At-Home Whitening Kits

These kits are usually similar to the strips, except they are often more advanced and can be more pricey. You will want to read their instructions carefully. Generally, you will receive some form of strip or tray, and a curing light

Hydrogen Peroxide

This is how you can whiten your teeth using hydrogen peroxide:

 

  • Take a small cup and mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water, with a few drops of lemon juice.
  • Stir the solution together
  • Swish a good amount of liquid around your mouth for a minute or two.
  • Do not swallow the mixture, spit it out when you are done.
 

If you want to make it into a more effective DIY toothpaste do the following:

 

  • Mix hydrogen peroxide with baking powder until you get a toothpaste-like consistency.
  • Using a toothbrush, apply the mixture to your teeth for up to 2 minutes.
  • Do not swallow the mixture, spit it out when you are done.
 
Did you know you can whiten your teeth with baking soda? It is slightly abrasive, so it can whiten your teeth:
 
  • Mix some water with enough baking soda until it becomes a paste.
  • Apply the paste to your teeth directly, or mix in toothpaste and do so.
  • Rinse your mouth out afterward without swallowing the mixture.
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Can You Prevent stained teeth?

Prevention is the best medicine when it comes to keeping a strong healthy smile. The top 3 things you can do to stop teeth staining are:

 

  • Stop smoking and using tobacco products of any kind.
  • Don’t drink coffee (limit your use, or brush after every cup).
  • Don’t drink or eat dyed food or beverage.
  • Limit your wine usage.
  • Brush, floss & mouthwash at least 2-3 times a day.
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