We all want a striking white smile, but between coffee, tea and sugary drinks that stain our teeth, it’s hard to achieve. There are a lot of ways to naturally whiten teeth and brighten your smile, but many people aren’t aware of how to start or which remedy to try first.
The most important thing to remember is that your oral health should be top priority. Regular check-ups and cleanings with your dentist will ensure your mouth is in tip-top shape at all times, so you don’t have to worry about gum disease or painful cavities on your quest for dazzling teeth.
Check out these five tips to whiten your teeth and get that megawatt grin you’ve been longing for.
5. Start Using Baking Soda
Brushing with baking soda doesn’t sound appealing. While it may lack the minty freshness of your favorite toothpaste, baking soda has a lot of advantages for your teeth. For starters, baking soda been proven in the Journal of Clinical Dentistry to be more effective at cleaning teeth than products that don’t contain any of it.
Baking soda neutralizes acid and breaks down plaque while simoltaneously breaking down stains and whitening your teeth.
A natural home remedy, sodium bicarbonate is a mild abrasive that can remove light stains and brighten your teeth. Older stains won’t be impacted as much, though, so if you need a deeper cleanse, you’ll want to move onto the next tip.
4. Switch to a Whitening Toothpaste
There are many toothpastes on the market designed specifically to enhance your smile. Your dentist may be able to recommend a good brand to you. Many people go to TheCountryDentist looking for ways to whiten their teeth and get those coveted pearly whites that will shine through in photos.
Yellow and stained teeth aren’t unnatural, but they are a bother when you find that every year, your smile becomes increasingly duller. Whitening toothpastes won’t magically whiten your teeth, though. Real effects can take anywhere from two to six weeks to set in, but if you’re a heavy coffee or tea drinker, you’ll undo any progress as soon as you reach for your mug.
Many whitening toothpastes have an instant, illusionary effect thanks to a chemical called blue covarine. This substance adheres to the surface of your teeth when you brush, making yellowed teeth appear whiter. While this may be great at first, you’ll find that it wears off quickly and can also lead to greater damage to your teeth’s protective enamel.
When you buy a whitening toothpaste, look for one that has the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance. This proves that the product not only removes surface stains but also won’t cause undue harm to your teeth.
3. Go for Charcoal
Charcoal broke into the beauty market last year and has since been used as everything from a natural teeth whitener to a face mask. Charcoal-based toothpastes absorb stains and lift them from the surface of your teeth without wearing down the enamel or being overtly abrasive.
An activated charcoal teeth whitener might be a buzzword in the beauty market now, but it’s actually been around for over 150 years. In 1843, an American physician used charcoal to save a patient who had ingested mercury chloride. Since the, people have experimented with the substance and discovered its widespread applications.
Activated charcoal isn’t what you’ll find on your grill, though. This type of charcoal has been processed at a high temperature to become “activated.” The final result is a black powder made from coconut shells, bone char, coal, sawdust and even olive pits. The activation process removes any harmful properties that could hurt humans, so you don’t want to ever use standard charcoal designed for work or cooking on your body.
2. Prevent Stains
There are several ways you can prevent stains from your teeth and keep your smile bright. While you may still wish to enhance your smile, prevention is an important (and often overlooked) aspect of oral health. Consider washing your car. There’s no point in paying for an expensive wax if you’re just going to go off-roading right after, is there?
The same goes for your teeth. Investing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in expensive whitening products and procedures will be for naught if you only engage in activities that will stain your teeth all over again.
The first way to prevent stains is by cutting back on coffee, tea, kombucha and other foods and drinks that stain your teeth.
Some people want to brush immediately after consuming one of these yummy drinks or snacks, but you should wait. You can (and should!) rinse with cold water, but you should always wait 30 minutes to an hour before you actually brush. The acidic properties in many teeth-staining foods and beverages soften enamel, so brushing too soon can wear it down further and lead to tooth decay, cavities and more.
1. Practice Better Oral Hygiene
How long do you brush your teeth? The American Dental Association recommends you spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth twice a day. You should also be cleaning between your teeth daily; whether you prefer floss, interdental brushes or a another approved method is up to you, and the American Dental Association confirms scientific evidence doesn’t support one form of cleaning over the other. Each individual should find the best practice that works for them.
In addition to regularly brushing for the right amount of time, you should also seek to eliminate sugary drinks and foods from your diet as much as you can. Not only will you probably feel a lot better, but you’ll also be protecting your teeth and preventing cavities.
Teeth whitening is closely related to your oral health. You should be careful which types of home remedies you try since many are highly abrasive and may actually cause damage to your teeth’s enamel. Talking to your dentist about your options, using dentist-approved products and practicing better oral hygiene are the best ways to add some sparkle to your smile.