Tooth whitening products use hydrogen peroxide to remove embedded particles in the microscopic cracks in the tooth surface. Once these stains are removed, your teeth look whiter. Caps and crowns are made of porcelain and do not develop tiny cracks in which food and stains can become embedded. It is because of this that you can't whiten crowns or caps. If you plan to use whiteners on your teeth, you should use them before the dentist matches your cap or crown to your own teeth. If your teeth become yellow over time, you can re-whiten them back to the original colour to match your crown or cap. Replacing your cap, using herbal whiteners and make-up tricks might also help your teeth to look more white.
Be realistic. Trying to whiten your caps or crowns is not effective. Whiteners only work to remove stains embedded in tooth enamel. Crowns and caps are made from porcelain and do not become discoloured in the same way as permanent teeth.
Whiten your teeth before you have the cap or crown put in place. Once your teeth are a colour you are comfortable with, the dentist will match the crown or cap to your newly whitened teeth. As your teeth yellow over time, you can use a whitener that will bring all of your teeth back to the shade of your crown or cap.
Use whiteners according to the package directions, usually once a day for 30 minutes. Many people like the convenience of whitening strips, but other options include putting a whitening solution in mouth trays that have been moulded to fit your mouth. Of these two options, the white strips are less obvious and not as messy as the trays. Both types can be purchased over-the-counter. Your dentist can also whiten your teeth, but this option is quite expensive.
Order a replacement cap from your dentist if you have had your cap for some time and are dissatisfied with its colour.
Colour your gums. To make your teeth look whiter without using a bleaching product, you can use a soft toothbrush to apply a very tiny amount of red food colouring to your gums. This trick, according to make-up artist Andrea Claire, will give your gums a healthy red colour and won't stain your teeth.
Avoid foods that stain your teeth as much as possible. These include dark sodas, punch, wine, coffee or tea. If you must have your coffee or tea, you can use toothpastes or mouthwashes to counteract the staining.
Refrain from tobacco products. Smoking and chewing tobacco are not only bad for your overall health, they will make your teeth dingy and yellow.
Try brushing your teeth with baking soda. Many whitening toothpastes include baking soda in their formulations because its grittiness helps to remove stains from teeth. You can also use regular baking soda from your pantry. Just pour a little into the palm of your hand and mix with one or two drops of water to make a paste. Apply the paste to your toothbrush and brush as usual.
Brush your teeth with an herbal toothpaste. Indian Ayurvedic medicine recommends toothpastes containing Miswak, or Salvadora persica. This plant is commonly known as the "toothbrush tree." You can purchase this toothpaste online or at some speciality shops.
Use clove oil, tumeric, crushed strawberries, crushed sage or mustard oil individually or in combination. Some people recommend mixing mustard oil and tumeric with salt and using this as a toothpaste. Other people have had success brushing with crushed strawberries.
Gargle and rinse your mouth with hydrogen peroxide or a whitening mouthwash after brushing. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that is sometimes added to whitening mouthwashes.
Tanning naturally or using a tan-in-a-can may create the illusion of whiter teeth. Just be sure your tan looks natural.
Use lipstick or lip gloss with a blue base, such as pink or shades of red.
When you whiten your teeth, you may experience some minor gum irritation. This should go away in two or three days. If you use hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice or other tooth-whitening home remedy, be careful not to overdo it. Using these items over a prolonged period of time can wear away the tooth enamel.
Tips and warnings
- When you whiten your teeth, you may experience some minor gum irritation. This should go away in two or three days.
- If you use hydrogen peroxide, lemon juice or other tooth-whitening home remedy, be careful not to overdo it. Using these items over a prolonged period of time can wear away the tooth enamel.
- DaVinci: Teeth Whitening Questions
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- Garden Web: Tooth Whitener for Crowns and Caps
- Best Health Magazine: Makeup Tricks to Make Your Teeth Look Whiter
- Teeth Whitening: Teeth Whitening Guide
- Herbal Remedies and Treatments for Teeth Whitening