If you are a habitual coffee and tea drinker, whitening your teeth is essential. But for people with sensitive teeth, a non-toxic teeth whitening strip with natural ingredients is a great solution. Your teeth won't be blindingly white, but they will whiten by a few shades.
Hydrogen peroxide is the active whitening ingredient. Tooth whitening products can damage the protein-rich layer of the teeth. Researchers have found that the hydrogen peroxide in whitening strips can damage dentin.
Sodium hydroxide can cause skin and eye irritation.
Non-toxic teeth whitening strips will hopefully whiten my teeth and gums without the tooth and gum sensitivity associated with hydrogen peroxide.
Why do I have white spots on my teeth?
Often, white spots on the teeth are caused by one of these factors:
Fluorosis - the white spots on my teeth fall under the category of fluorosis (most likely caused by my dad, the dentist, being over-eager with fluoride treatments). Fluorosis occurs when children ingest large amounts of fluoride while their teeth are still developing. Too much fluoride (from fluoridated toothpaste, treated water or supplements) can cause tooth enamel to become discoloured and look chalky white.
Enamel dysplasia - Enamel dysplasia can cause teeth to develop milky, yellow or brown spots. This occurs as a result of high fever, nutritional deficiencies or side effects of medication, as well as smoking during pregnancy and premature birth.
Demineralization - When oral bacteria build up on your teeth, they release acids that cause demineralisation of the enamel, resulting in chalky white spots. This is mostly caused by improper brushing and is common in those with braces.
As I mentioned earlier, I developed permanent white spots on my teeth as a child, but these have become less noticeable over time. Each time I whitened my teeth, the spots on my teeth would turn white. However, a few days after I stopped the whitening process, these spots became less noticeable.
How to avoid coffee and red wine staining your teeth
Brush and floss your teeth an hour before you plan to start drinking coffee. Stains can darken the plaque film on your teeth, so brushing and flossing beforehand to remove plaque will help reduce stains.
When you have finished drinking, rinse your mouth with water. Prevent coffee or red wine from hanging on to your teeth by brushing water in your mouth.
Don't brush your teeth right away! Wait at least 30 minutes after you have finished your drink before brushing your teeth. The acids in red wine and coffee work with your toothbrush, causing wear and tear on your enamel and possibly inadvertently leaving your teeth vulnerable to long-term damage.
Brush your teeth daily with a nano-hydroxyapatite toothpaste such as Boka Ela Mint toothpaste and do not rinse your mouth after brushing. Nano hydroxyapatite works by filling in micro-cracks in the tooth enamel. One of the benefits of using hydroxyapatite toothpaste (which I have experienced firsthand) is that the surface of the teeth appears white and shiny.
Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings!