I love food and drinks, but sometimes my habits lead to stained teeth.
Drinks that can lead to stained teeth (and keep me energized) include things like:
- Energy drinks
- Red Wine
- Carbonated beverages
Foods that can lead to stained teeth include things like:
- All kinds of berries like blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries
- Tomato-based sauces
- Citrus fruits
One of the legends that I keep hearing about for an easy fix is to use Hydrogen Peroxide to whiten your teeth.
I wanted to find out if this truly works, and it looks like it may work!
What are the ways to use hydrogen peroxide on your teeth? Dentists will tell you that direct contact works best (using a paste), but hydrogen peroxide can also be used as a rise.
Hydrogen peroxide as a rinse:
You can buy that brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide at most grocery stores. You know the one from your childhood! Your mom used it on your ears after swimming.
This usually is 3% hydrogen peroxide, so it is best to dilute the solution.
- Mix the hydrogen peroxide with water. Recommendations usually call for equal amounts of water and hydrogen peroxide and water. You could also try three parts water to one part hydrogen peroxide your first time. Most recommendations talk about a half cup to a half cup. It is easier to try small measuring amounts like a tablespoon of each.
- Swish this mixture around your mouth for about 30 to 90 seconds. It is recommended that you don’t go longer than 90 seconds, especially if you didn’t dilute the mixture very much.
- Stop and spit out the mixture if it is hurting your mouth. Also do not swallow the mixture. The abrasive material can cause issues if swallowed.
Hydrogen peroxide as a paste:
- Mix a couple teaspoons of baking soda with a little hydrogen peroxide in a dish
- Begin mixing the solution with a spoon
- Add a little more hydrogen peroxide until you get a thick paste (smooth and not gritty)
- Use a toothbrush to apply the peroxide paste to your teeth for two minutes (same as brushing teeth normally in circles)
- Leave the paste on your teeth for a few minutes.
- Lastly, rinse the paste with water. Swish water around your mouth until the paste is gone.
Make sure you remove all of the paste before moving on with your day.
Does the Science Make Sense?
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), many products today use carbamide peroxide. This agent breaks down into hydrogen peroxide as the bleaching agent.
The ADA recommends that you speak with your dentist before starting a regimen to understand the potential side effects. In concentrations of more than 10%, the chemical is potentially corrosive to mucous membranes or skin, and can cause a burning sensation and tissue damage.
Regarding hard tissues, short-term mild to moderate tooth sensitivity can occur in up to two-thirds of users during early stages of bleaching treatment. Sensitivity is generally related to the peroxide concentration of the material and the contact time; it is most likely the result of the easy passage of the peroxide through intact enamel and dentin to the pulp during a five- to 15-minute exposure interval.
Are there other Home Whitening Techniques?
Two other home techniques that are mentioned by some include Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil and Peppermint Leaf.
Apple Cider Vinegar
There has not been as much written about Apple Cider Vinegar as hydrogen peroxide, but many still claim value as a home remedy.
In addition to a household product, Apple cider vinegar is know to contain natural whitening properties.
Similar to hydrogen peroxide, you can use the solution in a few ways.
First, you can gargle apple cider vinegar. Many will tell you that this carries similar results, but it may take weeks to see results.
If you decide to make a paste, you will want to try two parts vinegar to one part baking soda. Apply and rinse similarly to the way you would use the hydrogen peroxide paste.
You can also use the solution as a mild mouth rinse along with your daily oral care routine.
Coconut Oil and Peppermint Leaf
The research is likely the most sparse and inconclusive with coconut oil and its ability to fight bacteria. That said, many consider its stain fighting properties as more developed. When combined with peppermint leaf, you can remove some surface bacteria and enjoy the minty taste to finish.
Similar to Apple Cider Vinegar, this is not an immediate solution. Although not immediate, results may be best when used over time.
Good luck with these home remedies after consulting with your dentist. They can be fun and less expensive than over the counter products!
If you would rather be preventative than reactive, there are also some ways to prevent tooth staining (mostly from your favorite drink)
Ways to Prevent Tooth Staining from your favorite Drink
1. Drink though a Straw
Drinking coffee or your favorite drink can prevent the drink from coming in contact with your teeth.
Therefore, this can help prevent staining of your teeth.
2. Rinse your mouth after that stainworthy drink
When you finish your favorite teeth-staining drink, grab a bottle of water and swish! This can even double to help your breath not smell!
3. Brush your teeth
Before your drink has a chance to settle on to your teeth, try to brush the stain away.
4. Floss your teeth
Did you know that stains can hide between your teeth? Flossing every day can help keep those stains away from the spaces between. The bonus is that you won’t have to lie to your dentist 🙂
5. Visit the Dentist for cleanings regularly
Keep the deep cleaning going on a regular schedule!
6. Use an Electric Toothbrush
The dentist often will recommend this because they do a better job than the traditional tooth brush. They may be a little expensive up front, but in the long-term these can help lead to whiter and stronger teeth!
7. Consistently Use Mouthwash
Some of these also include whitening properties and are easy to add in to your daily schedule!
8. Don’t Sip your Drink. Crush it!
Sipping gives drinks more time to hang around your teeth. Drink it quickly to get your caffeine fix!