Bleaching teeth: the best home remedies and whitening methods

Teeth whitening: There are these teeth whitening methods

Flawless teeth represent beauty and health. Over the years, however, discoloration on the teeth. Home remedies, tooth cleaning, whitening – we reveal simple tricks for white teeth and give an overview of professional methods for gentle teeth whitening.

Pearl white, well-groomed and radiant – this is how our teeth should be. But not everyone is born with naturally white teeth. The tooth color is genetically determined and gets darker and darker over the course of life. It is not only age that causes teeth to darken; eating foods that are rich in pigment also leads to discoloration. Red wine and cigarettes in particular, but also coffee and black tea as well as beetroot and blueberries leave yellow or brown spots. The deposits are stored in the surface of the tooth enamel and are difficult to remove. In addition, the teeth become more susceptible to discoloration as they age, as the enamel surface becomes rougher over time – pigments can penetrate more easily.

Toothpaste and baking soda are said to whiten teeth

Whitening toothpaste, as is available in any drugstore, is said to help against stains and discoloration. But be careful: The abrasive components of the miracle white pastes often cause the teeth to become rougher. Then new pigments can be stored even better – the recoloring effect is enhanced.

Care should also be taken with baking soda. The home remedy is an insider tip against the annoying discoloration. And indeed: After two minutes of brushing with a toothbrush dusted with baking soda, the teeth appear whiter. The reason for this is that baking soda also has an abrasive effect: If it is mixed with water, a foam is created that – like sandpaper – grinds the surface of the tooth and the dirt particles deposited there. However, this also attacks the tooth enamel. Incidentally, the so-called abrasion is also a problem when using the currently popular toothpastes and teeth whitening products with activated carbon. The teeth become noticeably rougher, stain quickly and are also more susceptible to plaque and tartar. Baking soda also irritates the gums.

White teeth with fruit

Fruits are milder: strawberries are said to have a brightening effect. The vitamin C contained in the popular fruits dissolves plaque, the teeth appear whiter. Some fruits are crushed to whiten teeth; the musts are applied to the teeth and act for two minutes. Lemon juice also bleaches teeth. Rinse your mouth with the sour juice of a fresh lemon for three minutes. Rinse with clear water and do not brush your teeth for a few hours.

But be careful: Both the ascorbic acid of the strawberry and the citric acid are a burden on the tooth enamel. The application should therefore only be made after consultation with a doctor and at most every two weeks.

Professional teeth cleaning against discoloration

The dentist can also remove stubborn and annoying discolouration of coffee, red wine and cigarettes as part of professional tooth cleaning. The professionals remove tartar and discoloration with special equipment. In addition, they have all teeth in view and can polish out small cracks with gentle pastes or use individual grinding pastes depending on the degree of discoloration. However, this does not make the teeth really whiter – all stains and soiling are removed; the teeth look clean and healthy again. The individual tooth shade remains. Professional tooth cleaning costs around 70 euros, and many health insurance companies cover part of the costs.

Care should be taken when bleaching at home

If the removal of discoloration is not enough, bleaching can help. The teeth are bleached with chemical agents – mostly hydrogen peroxide. The chemical releases oxygen, which splits the discoloring dyes through oxidation. The pigments lose their color effect. However, whitening strips and gels that are freely available in drug stores and pharmacies contain a maximum of 0.1 percent hydrogen peroxide – this is what the European Cosmetics Regulation wants. The reason: hydrogen peroxide is extremely aggressive, a health hazard for consumers should be excluded. Due to the low concentration, the hoped-for brightening effect can be disappointing. In addition, if the bleaching strips are used improperly, the chemical can irritate the gums.

Teeth bleaching at the professional

The dentist brightens the teeth with up to 35 percent hydrogen peroxide as part of a professional whitening. The professional applies the concentrated whitening agent directly to the tooth, the surrounding gums are covered with a protective paste beforehand. He then activates the bleaching agent with light or soft laser beams. During the 45-minute process, the peroxide decomposes and the active oxygen that is produced bleaches the teeth. Thanks to the strong concentration of hydrogen peroxide, bleaching can usually be done in one or two sessions.

In another procedure, the dentist places a less highly concentrated bleach on a specially adapted plastic splint. This is worn on the teeth for about an hour. Successes are visible after two or three repetitions. The dentist can rule out damage and disorders in advance. He can also check whether teeth whitening is possible at all due to the current condition. Because professional bleaching pastes should also be used with caution due to the aggressive chemicals – they are not recommended for exposed tooth necks or carious teeth. Even those with sensitive teeth should rethink the procedure.

In addition, dead teeth are just as little bleached as fillings. The whitened tooth enamel should definitely be hardened with fluorides after the treatment. However, professional bleaching at the dentist costs: Depending on the procedure and practice, 300 to 1000 euros are incurred for bleaching the teeth. The result will last a lifetime with excellent oral hygiene.

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Christina Cherry
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