Your quest for a whiter more brighter smile could prove costly says a new study. Teeth whitening chemicals could be responsible for dental decay, according to researchers from Stockton University in the US. The culprit is hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in most tooth-whitening products. Researchers say that the chemical could damage the protein-rich tissue dentin underneath the teeth’s enamel.
The research is the work of Kelly Keenan, PhD, associate professor of chemistry at Stockton University in New Jersey and her undergraduate students. The results of the study will be presented at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting. The research focuses on the effects of teeth whitening on the inner layers of the teeth – the dentin instead of the tooth enamel (which was the subject of many teeth whitening studies before). Good Habits of People Who Have Great Teeth.
Kenna and her team found that the collagen in the dentin layer decreased when whitening strips were used on teeth. They also found that hydrogen peroxide breaks down the proteins in the dentin to smaller fragments.
"Our results showed that treatment with hydrogen peroxide concentrations similar to those found in whitening strips is enough to make the original collagen protein disappear, which is presumably due to the formation of many smaller fragments," said Keena in conclusion. Too Much Toothpaste Could Be Dangerous For Children Says CDC; What Are The Side Effects?
A whiter brighter smile can also be achieved with natural ingredients, which may not have the same harmful effects as the teeth whitening chemicals. Here’s a list of natural remedies for teeth whiteners for tooth discolouration:
1. Baking soda
A pinch of baking soda mixed with toothpaste can work wonders for your smile. The soda helps dislodge stains created by food and plaque film on your teeth. Use baking soda with toothpaste once or twice a week for squeaky clean pearly whites. 5 Oral Health Symptoms You Should NEVER Ignore.
Don’t like pineapple on your pizza? No problem. But you’ll love it in your toothpaste. Bromelain, an enzyme in pineapples, which is also added to some dental hygiene products, can remove stains on teeth. If rubbing pineapple slices on your teeth doesn’t sound fun, you can always snack on them.
3. Activated Charcoal
Another natural remedy for whitening discoloured teeth is activated charcoal. It’s funny how the darkest substance can give you the brightest smile. Activated charcoal is highly absorbent and is known to pull any impurities from the tooth surface. For whiter teeth, all you have to do is add a small amount of activated charcoal in your toothpaste every day.
Strawberries are the perfect snack for three reasons: they’re nutritious, they’re delicious, and they whiten your teeth as you eat them. Either you eat them or rub a slice against your teeth. Some also recommend mixing the strawberry pulp with baking soda and applying them directly on your teeth.
5. Oil Pulling with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is considered healthy despite the allegations against it. A little known fact is that it can also whiten your teeth according to those who practise oil pulling. Before you brush your teeth, swish some coconut oil around in your mouth for 10-20 minutes for best results. Many say that oil pulling can even arrest decay, although it’s yet to be proven.
Toothpaste manufacturers have marketed teeth whitening products, exploiting consumers’ insecurities about their smiles. Ads for such products imply that the colour of the teeth is indicative of one’s hygiene levels. But human teeth is never milk white and yellow teeth doesn’t necessarily mean poor oral hygiene.
Many factors determine the colour of your teeth, which include genetics, smoking-drinking habits, etc. Over-the-counter whitening products contain harsh ingredients such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, which can cause irreversible damage to the enamel and the dentin.
Teeth whitening can only give you cosmetic benefits. All you need for good dental hygiene are some good habits – brushing twice a day and flossing. But if you still want a pearly white smile, try these natural ingredients instead of chemical whiteners.