3621 teeth onegreenplanet
A bright smile. Photo: One Green Planet

What Causes Teeth to Stain?

1. Extrinsic stains

There are two different types of teeth staining. The first is extrinsic stains, which affect the surface of the enamel. Although tooth enamel is really easy to stain, extrinsic stains are the easiest to correct. When you whiten your teeth, you increase the porosity of the enamel temporarily, allowing the whitening agent to reach the discolored molecules in your teeth.

Enamel staining is usually due to a variety of bad habits. Tar and nicotine, the two main chemicals in tobacco, cause yellowish stains on the surface of your teeth. Foods and drinks that are high in chromogens, substances that produce pigments that stick to tooth enamel, also are high on the list of teeth-staining culprits. This includes coffee, teas, red wine, chocolate, or dark berries, most notably. Acidic foods and beverages can also enable staining by breaking down tooth enamel and making it easier from chromogens to stick to your teeth.

2. Intrinsic staining

The other type of teeth staining is known as intrinsic staining. This type of staining occurs inside the inner structure of the tooth, the dentin, which makes these types of stains much more difficult to remove. Intrinsic staining is generally caused by medications.

The antibiotics tetracycline and doxycycline have been linked to intrinsic teeth staining, as well as minocycline, which is often used to treat chronic acne. Some prescription-strength mouthwashes can cause intrinsic staining, as well as too much fluoride. If you’re worried about intrinsic staining, talk to your dentist about what may be causing that.

How to Whiten Teeth Naturally at Home

So, what can you do about all of this that won’t break the bank? The good news is there are lots of inexpensive, at-home tricks you can practice to help naturally whiten your teeth. We’ve compiled a list of four proven teeth-whitening remedies that are all natural and, even better, you can do them from the comfort of your own home!

#1 Drink more water.

Tap water in the United States contains fluoride, which helps to strengthen enamel, according to Insider. Try to limit your consumption of coffee, tea, soda, and wine — and drink more water instead. Replacing these beverages with water can help prevent erosion and the yellowing of teeth that comes with it.

#2 Brush more thoroughly.

Brushing your teeth should take a full two minutes, twice a day. Make sure you're moving your brush in a circular motion and working hard to reach all the surface areas of your teeth. If you want a little extra whitening power, a 2018 study published in the International Journal of Dentistry concluded that over-the-counter toothpaste by major brands like Arm-and-Hammer and Oral B are effective at whitening teeth over time.

#3 Brushing with baking soda

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Baking soda. Photo: Mouthhealthy

Baking soda can gently polish away stains on the surface of the teeth. Some people worry that baking soda is too harsh and may grind away enamel, but research from 2017 found it to be a safe way to remove stains.

Baking soda may also help to fight bacteria, which suggests that it may be able to reduce plaque and prevent tooth decay.

#4 Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another recent trend in health and many people sing praises of its amazing benefits. It’s also used as a home remedy to whiten teeth due to its ability to destroy harmful bacteria while boosting the growth of more beneficial bacteria. The acids in apple cider vinegar help remove stains too, as reported by Eonclinics.

#5 Making dietary changes

Eliminating foods that mark the teeth can prevent further staining. Foods and beverages that contain tannins, such as wine and tea, can stain the teeth. Coffee and dark sodas and juices can also stain them.

Acidic foods can make the teeth look yellow by wearing down the enamel. People who are concerned about the color of their teeth should avoid the excessive consumption of citrus, coffee, and soda. Alternatively, they should always brush their teeth after having them, as said from Medicalnewstoday.

Quitting smoking or tobacco products can reduce the risk of nicotine stains. It can also prevent tooth decay and gum disease, both of which can damage the enamel and cause oral health issues.

Your Best Bet: Brush & Floss

Hopefully, you will have great success with the home remedies for teeth whitening listed above. The best way to whiten teeth naturally is to take care of them every day. Brushing and flossing twice a day, regular dental checkups, and teeth cleaning all contribute to the overall health of your mouth.

An Apple a Day

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” or so they say, and it will make your dentist happy too. The malic acid in apples gives saliva production a boost which helps wash away bacteria. Apples have a lot of fiber too, so chewing on them also stimulates saliva production.

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