Everyone yearns for a bright, “100-watt” smile. But, given our lifestyle habits, it can be quite difficult to achieve this. From smoking to excessive caffeine consumption and bad oral habits to unhealthy diet habits, there are a number of factors that are causing our naturally white teeth to turn yellow. But before you head over to get teeth whitening treatments or products, here’s some shocking news. A new research claims that while using teeth-whitening products can make your smile brighter, they might also lead to tooth damage. The researchers from the Stockton University in the US found that hydrogen peroxide — the active ingredient in whitening strips — can damage the protein-rich dentin tissue found beneath the tooth’s protective enamel. Human teeth are made up of three layers — the outer tooth enamel, an underlying dentin layer and connective tissue that binds the roots to the gum. Dentin makes up most of the tooth and has high levels of protein — most of which is collagen. When the teeth come in contact with hydrogen peroxide, the major protein in the dentin is converted to smaller fragments, which could make the original collagen protein disappear according to Associate Professor Kelly Keenan.

Instead of using teeth whitening products, here are some tips you could try to whiten your teeth:

Give up tobacco and smoking. This will lead to stains on your teeth and make them look yellow.
Schedule regular scaling and cleaning appointments with your dentist. This will ensure thorough cleaning of the teeth and hence prevent teeth discolouration.

A popular teeth whitening DIY is to mix baking soda and lemon juice together and then applying this mixture on the teeth. If you keep this on for 1 minute, you could see some teeth whitening effects. Both the baking soda and lemon juice work to make the skin appear brighter.

Drink water or rinse your mouth after consuming foods that have a tendency to darken the teeth – like black tea and coffee, sodas, red wine etc.

Never forget to floss your teeth. You must floss at least once a day to prevent cavities and keep your teeth clean.

Eat foods like cheese and apple. have you ever noticed how clean your teeth feel when you bite into a crisp apple or bite into a block of cheese? Both are known to be very good for cleaning the teeth enamel.

Boost your calcium intake to help your teeth strengthen and prevent decay which could make your teeth look yellow or black.