Teeth Whitening

2012-08-20-22_00_19You’re sitting in the audience watching as a girl steps on the stage. She flashes a smile and the audience goes blind by her perfectly white teeth. Man, she must have paid a fortune for teeth whitening procedures, crosses your mind. Maybe she did. But a brilliant smile can be developed right at home, using the same whitening tools that we’ve known about for a hundred years: baking soda and peroxide.

Modern Toothpaste

Modern toothpaste tricks the consumer. “Whitening” tooth paste contain little pieces of sand or sometimes even little balls of plastic, that scrape away at stains on the enamel. Get rid of the stain, and there is a white tooth underneath! Some of them contain hydrogen peroxide, which bleach the teeth as well. So after it scrapes away the top layer, it stains the second. I’d rather just… not do either of these.

The Cure:

  • An apple a day…
  • Cavity prevention toothpaste with flouride
  • Baking Soda & Peroxide 2:1 solution
  • Mouth Guard or whitening tray

The Science

An apple is not only good for you, but will naturally scrape across your teeth as you eat it. This will gently scrape away at tartar and stains.

Teeth are made of pores. Pores are microscopic holes. Although we can’t see them, if we did they would actually be cavities, they are there. These pores give the illusion of a grey tooth.  The smaller they are, the smoother surface our teeth will be. The use of anti-cavity toothpaste with fluoride helps to tighten these pores, and as a result give the illusion of a whiter tooth. This being said, modern whitening toothpastes should be avoided, as they actually tear open the pore and can make the teeth appear more grey.

Baking soda is a mild abrasive that will scrape away much more gentle than sand or plastic balls. Additionally, the reaction with the peroxide allows it to get into small crevices and pull the tartar away from the teeth and gums.

Whitening Schedule

  • 3x each week:
    • After brushing your teeth normally with anti-cavity toothpaste, use a mouthguard or whitening tray with a Baking Soda and peroxide 1:2 solution. Allow mixture to sit for 5-20 minutes. (Begin at 20, and decrease length as desired shade is reached)
  • 2x each week:
    • Instead of the anti-cavity toothpaste, use the baking soda and peroxide solution as toothpaste.
  • 2x each week:
    • Brush your teeth normally with anti-cavity toothpaste. Don’t forget to floss before you brush!

Once your teeth are at a good color, drop whitening process to once each week, to maintain.

Stain Prevention

Also, Whitening will help reverse staining, but the best way to have white teeth is to prevent staning! Two of the main causes of stains are

  1. Smoking
    • If you need help quitting, check out SmokeFree.
  2. Coffee
    • When drinking coffee, use a straw and don’t sqwish it in your mouth.