Did you know that teeth whitening can be done at home? Of course, going to the dentist will help you get the results you are looking for faster, but there are things that you can be doing right at home too. Having a pearly white smile will help to add more confidence to yourself and will give you a brighter smile that you can be proud of. The experts at Wentzville Family Dentist are here to share with you some easy ways to whiten your teeth. Keep reading to learn more.
If you’re less than thrilled with your smile, or maybe you’re even downright embarrassed to open your mouth, considering ways to whiten your teeth might hold the answers you’ve been looking for.
Why would you need to whiten your teeth? What’s referred to as “yellowing of the teeth” can be caused from multiple sources: certain foods, coffee, or smoking staining your enamel; plaque build-up, or an actual erosion of the enamel, exposing natural yellow bony tissue; or a poor diet that’s lacking nutrients to build and support healthy teeth and gums could be some of the causes. In any case, having yellow teeth can cause self-confidence and self-esteem issues and could even lead to serious health problems.
There are many products on the market to help whiten teeth, but with most having chemicals in their solutions, looking at natural ways to whiten your teeth may be more appealing and a healthier way to go.
A hot topic for some years now in the health industry has been oil pulling. This is not a new phenomenon. Oil pulling is a traditional Indian folk remedy used not only to aid in oral hygiene but also to assist in removing toxins from the body. Nowadays, instead of using sunflower or sesame oil as they originally used, coconut oil has been the oil of choice. Possibly because of its vast array of other health benefits, including killing bacteria, coconut oil is being used in modern-day oil pulling not just for its bacteria-killing benefits, but also for its possible ability to whiten your teeth. Although this has not been scientifically proven, many claim their smile is brighter and whiter because of oil pulling.
A product found in nearly every home, baking soda has the ability to safely scrub away stains on the teeth, revealing a whiter surface. Because baking soda has alkaline properties, it also assists in preventing bacterial growth. There’s a relatively large selection of kinds of toothpaste that contain baking soda, which has been proven to eliminate plaque from teeth more effectively than kinds of toothpaste without it. Certainly an option to use it without buying the baking soda infused toothpaste, simply mix with water and brush to achieve desired results.
Perhaps you’ve used hydrogen peroxide to clean cuts, scrapes and other wounds in an attempt to prevent infection. Did you know you can use this natural bleaching agent by swishing it in your mouth (then spitting it out of course!)? It’s advised to use a 1.5-3% solution. Anything stronger may lead to gum irritation or tooth sensitivity. And long-term consistent use could lead to erosion of tooth enamel. Use sparingly as a mouthwash prior to brushing or mix with baking soda to create a paste, kill bacteria in your mouth and potentially whiten that smile.
Another commonly stocked item in the home, apple cider vinegar, also boasts anti-bacterial and germ-killing properties. Limiting this to occasionally seems to be the recommendation, as does rinsing your mouth with water after use. Frequent contact can cause erosion of tooth enamel and may soften teeth. It does, however, seem to have a bleaching effect on teeth and is often used to naturally whiten and brighten teeth.
Many sing the praises of citrus fruit, like lemons and oranges. Similar to the effects of apple cider vinegar, lemon is also known as a natural tooth whitener but can also cause damage to enamel if used consistently and long-term. It’s advised to use sparingly and to always rinse your mouth after.
Tooth care can be made considerably easier if you spend a bit of time on preventive measures, trying to avoid yellow stains or enamel erosion in the first place.
The first line of defense is eating a balanced, nutrient-packed diet. Growing up, we were all told to drink our milk so we have strong teeth and bones. True that milk is packed with calcium and most are fortified with Vitamin D, but dairy products aren’t the only foods we need in our arsenal of healthy eating. Almonds are a great source of calcium and protein and are low in sugar. Celery, carrots, and apples all have the “crunchy” quality in common, which means they help the mouth produce saliva when being eaten. This saliva rinses away bacteria and food particles, leaving your mouth and teeth less susceptible to infections. Leafy greens are packed with calcium, folic acid, and B vitamins that promote oral health.
In addition to adding specific foods is the avoidance of others in an attempt to prevent the yellowing of the teeth. Coffee, soda, highly processed foods that are filled with sugar and highly acidic to the body, smoking and even taking too many antibiotics can all wreak havoc on your tooth enamel, leaving them dull and yellowed.
As you can see, there are so many little things that you can be doing in order to whiten your teeth. Make sure not to do all of them and especially not all of them within the same week. Although your teeth may get whiter, they also will become very sensitive which will be hard to eat or drink, especially if it is really hot or really cold. We hope this list helps and will have you on your way to a beautiful sparkling smile in no time.