What Ingredients Whiten Teeth?

Chris Weber
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Breaking Down the Ingredients in Whitening Treatments

Many people do not realize that food and drinks can dull the teeth over time through staining and demineralization. Fortunately, even without expensive treatments, whitening treatments can be made at home using ingredients that are readily available.

Foods and drinks containing tannins, such as tea, coffee, red wine, and berries can leave a buildup of pigment on the teeth. The blackening of the teeth, known as “tetracycline-staining” from consuming too much tetracycline, found in many medications, can also be reduced by way of whitening treatments.

Whitening ingredients that do not require the immersion of the teeth in a whitening solution can be made by steeping two to four ingredients in water for a few hours before drinking or tooth brushing. Teeth and dental enamel will be protected from the worst effects of the ingredients used and the teeth will slowly lighten over the next several months.

Ingredients that resist staining, such as vitamins C, A, and also calcium, may be included in your regular toothpaste or beverage for a long-term whitening effect.

Bleach-Less Whitening Methods

Letting your teeth get dirty is just bad teeth hygiene. But after years of drinking coffee, tea, sodas, or whatever your favorite drink happens to be, the staining can become worse than a little bad hygiene.

Since most of us have to face the day after getting up, there is no time for advanced chemical treatments or spa procedures. So kissing a complete whitening process goodbye? Not worth it.

There are some easy, affordable things you can do to get your teeth whiter without harmful chemicals. Let’s start by heading to the kitchen.

Use Some White Tea

Tea is to those who drink it as those who don’t know about it: boring. If you’re not a tea drinker, don’t think the long list of health benefits is any reason to start.

But if you use it every day for something else, you might be surprised to know that there are also stains on your teeth! So here’s what you need to do with what you’re already using:

Boil two cups of water and steep a bag of white, unflavored tea for five minutes.

Rinse your mouth out with the tea twice a day.

Do this for 10 days to get a whiter smile.

#1 Toothpaste

Dentists recommend toothpastes for healthy teeth, breath-freshening, plaque control, and, teeth whitening. Most toothpastes also have an antibacterial component to them. The common ingredients found in toothpastes include fluoride, antiseptic, sweeteners, abrasives, and surfactants.

More and more, toothpastes have not just fluoride but also ingredients like staining-reducing agents to prevent cavities.

Some of the common toothpaste ingredients are:

Hydrated Silica: used to whiten and polish teeth.

#2 Rinse

What it does: Hydrogen peroxide is an antiseptic and acidic substance. To use it to whiten teeth, you want to let it sit on your teeth for two or three minutes. This is the same length of time you let it sit on a scrape or other minor cut. It will further clean and disinfect your teeth and surrounding areas. If there is any debris in the mouth region, this will kill off any microorganisms. It will also strip away any surface stains that you have.

What to do: You can use any type of hydrogen peroxide you want to use. You can keep it in the fridge if you want to use it cold. If you want to use it warm, you can add some water to it to warm it up. Do not fill the bottle all the way up to the top because you will want to use this over the course of a few days.

How often should you do this? Do this once every two days, and on the days you don’t use it, rinse with only water. Make sure you don’t swallow the solution.

Whitening Treatments With Bleach

Hydrogen Peroxide, and Baking Soda.

To find out whether a teeth whitening treatment works, you need to try it for yourself! Due to its affordability, but effectiveness, many people are recommending whitening treatments with hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and/or bleach.

So Why Are These Products So Effective?

Hydrogen peroxide is usually the strongest teeth whitening ingredient. It works by breaking down the tough stains that have built up on your teeth. Hydrogen peroxide is often used in professional whitening treatments.

Baking soda is effective because it contains a high concentration of mild abrasive elements. This removes superficial stains on your teeth. Baking soda also helps whiten your teeth by removing debris with its mild abrasive elements and lifts stains with a mild bleaching effect.

Adding a teaspoon of salt can also be an effective teeth whitening tip. The salt acts like an abrasive; it breaks down the stains of your teeth and then removes them from your teeth.

The combination of the three ingredients is extremely effective in removing stains from your teeth.

#3 At Home Whitening Kits

If you’re looking for everyday whitening, you can’t beat the do-it-yourself express kits at the grocery store. The good ones will contain peroxide and baking soda, and some also contain natural ingredients you can only find at a finer health food store. The idea is to make a paste you use a few times a week.

What’s really smart is that you can double the whitening by timing it with the use of a whitening toothpaste. These natural ingredients help remove stains slowly over several months, and you’ll probably look better than you did with a dentist’s office job.

Baking Soda

Yes, this really is the same baking soda you use to make cookies. It’s also a great natural ingredient for your DIY disinfectant, but it can do so much more. It’s probably best known for being a whitener … just mix it with water and toothpaste or hydrogen peroxide and use it as a toothpaste with your do-it-yourself whitening kits at home.

#4 In-Office Whitening

Here are several in-office whitening options your dentist can offer you to lighten your teeth both at home and in the office.

Nightguard-Based Teeth Whitening- If your dentist believes your teeth are stained from constant wear of your nightguard, you can request to have a whitening light placed on your nightguard before you go to bed at night. This will help whiten your teeth overnight while you sleep.

In-Office Teeth Whitening- If you are in an area that doesn’t have access to a professional teeth whitening system, your dentist can fit you with a custom mold that contains bleaching gel. You can wear the mold for a few hours or overnight. If you wish to continue seeing results, you will need to stay away from food and drink that can stain your teeth. This also means staying away from coffee, tea, wine, sodas, and most fruits and vegetables.

Professional Teeth Whitening- If you are in good health, not pregnant, and willing to spend an afternoon at the dental office, you can opt for an in-office whitening system. These systems can achieve results similar to those of taking a professional-level tray made-to-order version. You can usually enjoy the brightest results at home with an in-office whitening system for between two and six months after the treatment session.