We are all exposed to gorgeous smiles on a regular basis. This exposure has raised the bar on what it means to look attractive. Even 100 years ago, a discolored smile would indicate that a person was older and possibly unhealthy. We know that, centuries ago, there was already a desire for brighter teeth based on archeological evidence that indicated methodology such as rubbing teeth with pumice. Let us start by saying don’t do that. There is a reason why pumice didn’t last long as a potential teeth whitener! Does that mean there are no natural ways to reverse discoloration? Maybe not.
Recently, there have been a few trends that have made waves through social media. Each is said to whiten teeth, and each is completely natural. So is professional teeth whitening, by the way. Here, we discuss the pros and cons of each.
When you think of the pitch-black, sooty charcoal that your parents used to grill on, you may immediately question the validity of charcoal as a teeth-whitener. There is a caveat. The charcoal that people are whitening with is activated charcoal, the kind that is used medicinally, not on the barbeque. Charcoal is activated by super-heating the basic form, causing chemicals to become trapped in pores. This activated form of charcoal is then sold in tablet or caplet form. It is believed that applying this substance to teeth, and leaving it on teeth for several minutes, will remove stains because of the chemicals in an activated charcoal bind to the plaque and other debris on the surface of enamel. Using activated charcoal may work, over time, just be very prepared for a mess, and take care not to get black paste on surfaces that will stain.
This common spice, like charcoal, may appear to be anything but a teeth-whitener due to its golden-yellow or orange hue. The method is the same – apply turmeric paste to teeth and let it sit – and the action on teeth is also similar to charcoal. When turmeric is gently brushed and then rinsed from teeth, surface stains should go with it. The downside to this method is that turmeric does have a relatively unique and strong flavor. The upside is that the curcumin in turmeric helps fight inflammation.
There is value to home-remedies, especially when they work. However, the inconvenience of some remedies may mean that they are not able to be maintained. To get the white smile you want without a long wait, or a stained sink, call our Shakopee office at (952) 445-6657.