It is popularly considered that the most important social asset of a person is his or her “smile” and a great smile is often synonymous with “white teeth”. Over the years, your once “white and bright” teeth slowly tend to turn darker, fading from a sparkling white to a dull shade of butterscotch, probably because of years of drinking coffee, cola or wine, eating certain kinds of food or smoking.
Teeth whitening has become quite a rage today and there are tons of options available that can be bought over the counter such as lasers to teeth whitening kits to whitening strips to complex gels. Not only are cosmetic dentistry and store-bought teeth whitening solutions very expensive, they also contain harmful chemicals that can have negative effects in the long run and cause problems like gum and tooth sensitivity. In addition, these treatments focus only on the symptoms rather than the root cause of the problem, meaning that after a while, the stains on the teeth come back, creating a vicious cycle, where you are spending more and more money to keep your teeth white and shining.
Here is a quick and easy DIY method by which you can get white teeth at hardly any expense and without resorting to costly whitening treatments and products. This homemade solution when used along with professional oral care products, can be a great way to brighten your smile.
An easy and natural way to whiten your teeth is simply to use a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide to clean your teeth. This mixture is a sure way to remove tooth discoloration and make your teeth ultra-white and also give them a super-clean feel.
Moreover, this simple “quick fix” solution is one that you can put together easily with just two ingredients, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, right in your home.
Whitening Your Teeth at Home
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), most of the dental products today used for cleaning teeth contain carbamide peroxide that breaks down into hydrogen peroxide, which is a bleaching agent. Studies reveal that generally bleaching the teeth is safe and does not cause any harm. The DIY solution to whiten teeth at home using everyday ingredients like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide in moderation can give you a brighter smile.
Hydrogen peroxide is available in most drugstores and it is usually sold in opaque brown-colored bottles so that the hydrogen peroxide does not react with light. Usually, a 2-3 percent solution of hydrogen peroxide is considered to be safe for oral use.
Hydrogen peroxide is a great total mouth cleaner that can be used to clean your teeth and gums. It is an antibacterial agent that keeps your mouth germ-free. Studies show that hydrogen peroxide keeps the bad bacteria that cause bad breath at bay, as it has antibacterial and antiseptic properties and also helps to keep your breath fresh. You can mix a little hydrogen peroxide with an equal quantity of water and use it as an antibacterial mouthwash. Apart from helping to whiten your teeth, hydrogen peroxide also protects against many gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis.
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate is a common household ingredient that has various uses, from being used in baking recipes or as a leavener to make dough rise to unclogging drains, removing smells or cleaning carpets. Baking soda is a crystalline mineral that is produced when carbon dioxide is passed through sodium carbonate. The crystals are then dried and crushed into a fine powder for domestic use.
Baking soda can help to neutralize the acids produced by the bacteria present in plaque, which can destroy the tooth enamel if not checked. This makes baking soda a suitable ingredient for whitening teeth. Also, since baking soda is crystalline, it is slightly abrasive and when applied on the teeth, can help to scrub away the stains and residual deposits. Baking soda also dissolves in water easily and so it can clean the teeth thoroughly by penetrating into the grooves more deeply. The most important reason why baking soda is a good ingredient for teeth whitening is that it is 100% natural and safe.
Whitening your teeth using baking soda definitely has its advantages; however, this is not a substitute for brushing your teeth with regular toothpaste. Baking soda cannot kill bacteria and can lead to the formation of cavities. This is why, it is vital to follow the baking soda whitening practice by brushing using toothpaste, flossing and then rinsing.
How Does the Mixture of Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide Work?
When baking soda is combined with hydrogen peroxide, the chemical reaction causes the release of free radicals that help to break down the molecules that cause stains on the tooth enamel. Peroxide, which comprises oxygen and water, helps to bleach the teeth and also eliminates bacteria. The baking soda is mildly abrasive and helps to remove the stains and plaque in the teeth. Baking soda also has antimicrobial properties that neutralizes the bacteria present in the mouth, while making the teeth clean. A paste made of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide not only helps to whiten your teeth, it can help to soothe sore gums too.
Making the Whitening Paste at Home
What You Need
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen Peroxide (2-3%)
- Soft toothbrush or Q-tips
Procedure to Make the Whitening Paste
- Take a tablespoon of baking soda in a small bowl or cup. To this add a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide (2-3%).
- Mix the ingredients well and make a paste that has the consistency of a regular toothpaste.
- First, brush your teeth with your regular toothpaste.
- Then, dip your toothbrush or a Q-tip into the paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and coat your teeth with the paste.
- The paste can be applied to your gums with your fingertips and gently massage the gums to stimulate them.
- Leave the coat of paste on your teeth for around 2 minutes without brushing.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly with water so that no trace of baking soda or hydrogen peroxide is left behind.
What You Should Be Careful About
You must use the whitening paste made of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide only twice or thrice a week. Using baking soda excessively can cause your teeth enamel to get worn out over time and cause sensitivity in the teeth. Also, baking soda does not contain fluoride, which is the main ingredient in toothpastes that prevent dental cavities and helps to strengthen the teeth. So, maintaining your regular oral care using a regular toothpaste is important.
Also, baking soda is very gritty just like sandpaper and can erode your teeth enamel, which does not grow back. So, when making the whitening paste, ensure that you mix in sufficient quantity of hydrogen peroxide with the baking soda. You should have a runny paste that is not stiff and the paste should also be very smooth, not gritty.
Is the Baking Soda-Hydrogen Peroxide Paste Safe?
Both hydrogen peroxide, as well as baking soda are safe for oral use. Baking soda is a very common ingredient used in homes for cleaning and it is sometimes even used in the kitchen. It is also one of the main ingredients in all commercially sold toothpastes.
Hydrogen peroxide that is 2-3% is also safe for oral use. However, if you are still doubtful, take a look at the bottle that has an indication that it is safe to use as an “oral rinse and deriding agent”.
This home remedy is not only easy and simple but inexpensive too. Following the whitening routine using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can definitely make your teeth whiter and your smile brighter in no time.