Safest Teeth Whiteners
The safest ways to whiten your teeth explained
Everyone wants gleaming white teeth. Unfortunately, over time, teeth can lose their white sheen and become discolored or yellow.
These stain the surface of your tooth enamel, which causes it to become yellow. Thankfully, various at-home remedies can treat these stains and make them disappear.
Here are some things you can do at home to keep your teeth white:
A major cause of yellow teeth is plaque. If plaque hardens, it accumulates minerals that develop into tartar. This accumulation gives tartar a yellow appearance.
The best way to prevent plaque and tartar is to brush regularly. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing for 2 minutes twice a day to prevent plaque buildup.9
Many people fail to brush properly with manual toothbrushes. They either don’t brush sufficiently, thoroughly, or long enough.
Using an electric toothbrush is a great way to quickly improve your brushing quality. Many models have timers to ensure you brush for 2 full minutes, with 30-second intervals for each quadrant of your mouth.
The vibrations also remove plaque buildup.
Flossing your teeth can keep them whiter for longer periods. This is because flossing helps remove food particles that get stuck between your teeth. Flossing also reduces plaque buildup in difficult-to-reach areas.
Acidic and dark-colored foods and beverages can cause your teeth to become yellow.
Consider limiting your intake of these foods to reduce your risk of stained teeth.
If you do consume them, try using straws and rinsing your mouth with water afterward. Milk is a great beverage to neutralize acids as well.
There are many foods out there that can stain your teeth.
But there are also foods that can actually keep your teeth white for longer periods. Dairy products, for example, strengthen tooth enamel. Some fruits and vegetables can lead to more saliva production, which helps remove surface stains.
Other foods and beverages include:
Of course, these foods won’t replace brushing and flossing. But they can help keep plaque at bay.
Various teeth-whitening products are available for purchase over-the-counter (OTC).
Many of these products use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which are bleaching agents that can whiten teeth without scrubbing away tooth enamel.
For safety reasons, these products often contain lower levels of hydrogen peroxide than those used in dental offices.
Learn about the safest ways to whiten your teeth.
At-home teeth whitening kits are safe if used according to the manufacturer’s directions.
Sometimes peroxide-based whitening products can cause tooth sensitivity or gingival inflammation. But these are temporary side effects that usually occur when high concentrations of peroxide are used.
For safety, most at-home whitening products contain between 3 and 15 percent hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. This is lower than the 15 to 43 percent in products used by dentists.
Long-term and improper use of teeth whitening products can negatively affect dental health, according to some studies.3
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends consulting your dentist before using any at-home whitening products.2
There are a variety of other methods that claim to whiten teeth naturally. But there’s no scientific proof that they’re effective.