ScienceDaily reports that Americans spend in excess of a billion dollars annually on products and services that promise to whiten their teeth. An at home teeth whitening kit is a tool that is at the top of that list.
Interestingly, there are some natural ways to tackle tooth whitening at home without spending a fortune on commercial solutions. There is no reason to fret about having dull, yellow teeth anymore when pearly whites are within your grasp.
Below are some creative ways you can take matters into your own hands to create the bright smile you deserve.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables
As it turns out, mom knew what she was talking about when she encouraged you to eat your vegetables. Many of these colorful, vitamin-packed treats are naturally abrasive cleaning agents that work their magic on tooth stains without jeopardizing your tooth enamel.
Try these for best results.
Brush Your Teeth with Crushed Up Strawberries
Not only are strawberries a tasty and sweet fruit that we love to eat, but we can also brush our teeth with them. The pulp from this scrumptious summer treat contains vitamin C that eliminates plaque. The good news doesn’t stop there, with strawberries also known to remove stains with their malic acid content.
Prevent Plaque that Darkens Your Teeth with Regular Oil Pulling
This traditional Indian practice has been used for removing bacteria before it becomes a dangerous plaque that causes dental health problems and darkens your pearly whites. Streptococcus mutans is a common bacteria found in your mouth that causes plaque to build up. Swishing your mouth with sesame oil is believed to be effective to reduce this bacteria with positive results as soon as a week after you begin using it.
Any oil will work for this purpose. Common oils used are coconut, sesame and sunflower oils. This preventative measure has proven to be completely safe for your gums, mouth and teeth.
As one of the favorite choices for oil pulling, coconut oil is a good pick. You only need one tablespoon to swish around your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes to get results. While there is no scientific proof that oil pulling works to whiten teeth, many practitioners claim that regular use does.
Brush with Baking Soda
There is little debate about the benefits of baking soda and how it can brighten up your teeth. It is hard to beat the price of this solution. You can mix some baking soda with lemon to form a paste for brushing.
The sodium bicarbonate or baking soda works as an abrasive to remove stains left on your teeth. The citric acid in the lemon operates as a bleaching agent. If your teeth are sensitive, you might want to skip the lemon juice since it can harm the enamel on your teeth, making them even more sensitive.
Some people mix baking soda with coconut oil or water to make their paste. The nice taste of the coconut oil combined with the antibacterial qualities attributed to it makes this a winning formula.
Use a Straw to Prevent Staining Your Teeth.
By using a straw to redirect coffee, tea, soda or red wine to the back of your throat away from your front teeth, you can avoid staining them. While it is probably true that you might be the only person at a dinner party drinking your red wine through a straw, this practice will protect your teeth from becoming dingy.
Eat Cheese After Your Meal
One approach to whiter teeth is to bolster tooth enamel remineralization. Choosing to eat cheese after a meal is believed to accomplish this goal, essentially strengthening your enamel. The casein in the cheese is what makes this happen.
The connection between strong enamel and white teeth is not always well understood. Tooth enamel is the protective coating over the dentin which determines how yellow or white your teeth are. While many stains can be polished off of your enamel, you must see a dentist to address dentin discoloration issues.
Brush and Floss Regularly
It is easy to overlook the importance of brushing and flossing for keeping a bright smile. Since brushing and flossing your teeth after every meal is the best way to prevent tooth decay and gum disease, it makes sense that preventing tooth decay which shows up as dark spots in between your teeth will make your teeth appear whiter.
While not everyone can brush and floss after every meal, it is crucial to try and brush your teeth and floss at least twice a day. As much as any other method mentioned, consistent dental hygiene is a basic and important step necessary for keeping your teeth their whitest.
Brush Your Teeth with Hydrogen Peroxide
Using hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash is one suggested way to brigthen up your smile. The important thing to remember is that you need to be sure the mixture is no greater than a 3% solution for best results. Some people dilute the 3% mixture most commonly sold at stores to a 1.5% mix to avoid possible harmful side effects.
Another preferred method for using this common household cleaner is to add it in with the baking soda. For best results, the ratio should be 2 to 1 favoring twice as much hydrogen peroxide as baking soda.
You should limit how often you use this paste to three or four times a week. If you use this mixture too often, it can damage tooth enamel.
Tap into the Whitening Power of Banana Peels
This list would not be complete without discussing one of the newest suggestions that is being touted all over the Internet. Many vloggers advocate using banana peels to whiten teeth.
While still a controversial idea, many supporters say they see results after two weeks, preferring this method as a gentle, safe and inexpensive fix for dingy or yellow teeth. Pro banana peel believers claim that the magnesium, potassium and manganese from the banana are absorbed by your teeth resulting in a whiter smile.
The way it works is you choose a ripe banana since it contains more minerals than a green one. With that said, be sure the banana is not overly ripe and black.
Peel back a single strip of the yellow peel leaving as much of the stringy flesh in tact as possible. Then rub the inside of the peel against your teeth until they are evenly coated with paste from the peel. Wait for ten minutes before brushing.
During the waiting period, it is important to keep your lips apart and open to keep from removing the paste from your teeth. It can be a bit awkward, but it is important to keep the paste on your teeth for ten minutes.
You should repeat this process daily for about two weeks to benefit from the full affect. Some people take a before and after picture for comparison purposes so they can see sublte color changes.
Go to the Dentist for Regular Cleanings
There is not substitute for getting a regular cleaning at your dentist’s office. They can remove plaque that is difficult to remove at home. They can also remove tough stains from regular eating and drinking habits.
The tools and expertise that your dentist brings to the table are hard to replicate at home. Most dentists recommend a cleaning every six months to maintain your health and a white smile. Some people with dental problems may need to get cleanings more frequently.
When you combine a regular cleaning at your dentist office with some of the above home practices, you increases the odds that your smile will continue to dazzle others far into the future.
Stop Using Tobacco Products
We have all been encouraged to stop smoking for a multitutde of health reasons. Unfortunately, chewing or smoking tobacco also wreaks havoc on our white smile. If you find it difficult to give up smoking for your lung and heart health, then maybe your vanity can provide some additional motivation.
Tobacco stains are difficult to erase, expecially if you smoke on a regular basis. Cutting back or eliminating this bad habit altogether will be a huge first step in the right direction to eliminate unsightly yellow and brown stains from your teeth.
Limit or Eliminate Beverages or Foods Known to Stain Your Teeth
Once you give up the tobacco, it is time to evaluate your diet for possible culprits that are compromising the white smile you desire. Common offenders are red wine, soda, coffee, and dark juices.
Some obvious compromises might be to switch from red wine to white wine. Another obvious way to limit the impact of these foods and drinks is to decrease the amount you consume. Brushing your teeth immediately after indulging in these troublemakers can also help prevent permanent staining.
With so many DIY methods & products available for whitening your teeth, you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on complicated and expensive procedures for a brighter smile. The good news is that many of the DIY solutions above are easy, fast, safe and affordable. There is no reason to continue feeling insecure about your smile.