Everyone likes to have pearly white teeth, but it is not always possible to have them. We discover that our teeth have lost their lustre and got all sorts of stains on them. The reason for those stains maybe age, foods we eat, drinks we take and even the toothpaste we use. Many do-it-yourself remedies help us tide over this situation and retrieve the whiteness of our teeth.

Here are a few secret tips on how to restore the brightness of your smile.

Tooth whitening kits

These are home tooth-whitening kits, that contain carbamide peroxide, a certain kind of bleach that can remove the stains and changes the natural colour of the teeth. Some in some kits the bleach come as a gel to be applied with a brush in other kits it is a mould that has to be applied to the teeth. The tray is worn for 30-45 minutes every day for a week for obtaining best results.

Whitening strips

Yet another do-it-yourself remedy is the tooth-whitening strips. The strips are very thin, almost invisible and coated with peroxide-based whitening gel. The strips are applied to the teeth for few minutes over a few days or a week. The effects are visible immediately and last for over a year. The strips are convenient to use and almost guaranteed to give results.

Whitening toothpaste

There are many types of whitening toothpaste, gels and rinses available over the counter in the market. These products mainly contain abrasives, some chemicals and polishing agents. The advantage is that unlike the bleaches, they don’t change the natural colour of the teeth.

Home remedies

The most common home remedy is baking soda. The baking soda is taken on a toothbrush and gently applied to the teeth, after washing off the baking soda you can see whiter teeth without stains. Some foods like celery, apples, pears and vegetables like carrots help trigger saliva, which washes away food depris in your teeth and helps tooth cleansing. The saliva also neutralises the acidity in the mouth and thus preventing tooth damage.

Preventing teeth stains

With age the outer layer of the teeth enamel wears away leaving the underlying layer of dentin exposed. This layer is yellower and hence the colour of the teeth changes from white to yellow. It is best to avoid staining of the teeth, especially after whitening.

Steps to avoid teeth staining:

> Avoid smoking – Tobacco causes brown stains on the teeth which are hard to remove. It also causes bad breath and gingivitis or gum diseases.

> Less of coffee – Coffee is one drink that can stain your teeth apart from beverages like tea, sodas and fruit juices. These stains develop slowly but surely.

> Beware of coloured fruits and vegetables – Cranberry juice, blueberry juice, grape juice and beet juice can readily stain your teeth. Brushing teeth immediately and rinsing your mouth with clear water can help.

> Careful with Sports Drinks -  Same as sweetened drinks some sports and energy drinks can be equally harmful to health. They have a tendency to erode the enamel leading to thin, translucent and discoloured teeth.

> Caution about medications – Some antibiotics, antibacterial mouthwashes, antihistamine medicines and blood pressure medications can cause greying and discolouration of teeth. Similarly iron and fluoride can also stain your teeth. Ask your doctor how to tackle the issue.

Maintain and prevent

The simplest way to ensure the health of your teeth is by brushing twice every day. If possible brush after every meal or snack. This can prevent stains and yellowing of teeth. Electric and sonic toothbrushes help remove plaque and deposits in a better way. Flossing your teeth regularly and using an antiseptic mouthwash can ensure the health of your teeth on a long term basis.

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