For many people, having white teeth gives them an extra boost of confidence. Unfortunately, your lifestyle and eating habits could cause unsightly stains on your pearly whites. If you’re looking for ways to whiten your teeth, here are some tips you could try.
1. Brush and Floss Regularly
There are good reasons why we’re told to brush and floss daily. It promotes strong, healthy teeth, prevent decay, and reduces the chance of staining or discoloration. For the most part, teeth usually become discolored generally due to aging and plaque buildup. The American Dental Association recommends that you brush twice a day using a soft-bristled brush and a fluoride toothpaste. This helps remove food particles and plaque trapped between the teeth and under the gum line. In addition, toothpaste contains fine abrasives that gently remove stains on the teeth for a whiter brighter smile. Don’t forget to floss then rinse with an antiseptic or whitening mouthwash daily.
2. Use an Electric Toothbrush
Electric toothbrushes can keep your pearly whites beautiful and bright! These special toothbrushes can scrub off more surface stains than a regular toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes use a built-in vibration mode that makes the bristles vibrate for a deeper clean. Some of them also have special settings designed for massaging the gum or whitening the teeth. A downside to these fancy toothbrushes is they cost a lot more than standard toothbrushes. The average cost is around $20 to $200!
3. Avoid Teeth-Staining Foods and Beverages
Almost anything that can stain a white cotton cloth may stain your teeth. This includes certain fruits, vegetables, spices, additives, and drinks. Some of the culprits may be sitting in your food pantry right now. Common offenders are pomegranates, dark-colored berries, turmeric, curry, coffee, dark-colored soda, red wine, and green or black tea. They contain substances that discolor or stain the teeth. It is especially important to stay away from these foods after using whitening products or undergoing a teeth-whitening procedure. If you consume any of these foods, remember to brush your teeth afterward or rinse your mouth with water.
4. Try Teeth-Whitening Foods
Stains can become permanent over time, particularly in people who practice poor dental hygiene. To avoid this and help your teeth stay white, you can eat foods that help wash away extrinsic stains or food particles from the teeth. They include foods such as apples, pears, celery, carrots, oranges, seeds and nuts, and broccoli. Yogurt, milk, raw onions, and strawberries can also help get the job done. Some of the foods cause excess saliva to form in the mouth that washes away food residue from the teeth surface and keep your smile white. Similarly, chewing sugarless gum stimulates saliva action that helps neutralize acids in foods that stain the tooth’s enamel.
5. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking water after you eat is a healthy practice that helps keep teeth clean and white. Practice drinking water after each meal. The best time to do so is about 30 minutes after eating. Always rinse after drinking sugary or dark-colored beverages, e.g., coffee, wine, or cranberry juice. Swish the water around in your mouth to help it get between the teeth. Water washes away the food particles and acids known to leave stains on the surface or between the teeth.
6. Stay Away from Cigarettes
Want your teeth to appear whiter and brighter? Then stop smoking. Cigarette contains tobacco, a substance than stains teeth, and is all-around bad for your health. Using tobacco frequently or for a long time causes brown stains on the surface of the tooth’s enamel. The nicotine stains may also penetrate the pits and grooves of the teeth. Since brushing alone does not remove the deep stains left behind from smoking, you may need to get professional teeth whitening from your dentist. You can also try the home remedies mentioned here.
7. Do-It-Yourself Teeth Whitening Products
You can easily get rid of superficial stains using over-the-counter teeth-whitening products. Popular products you’ll find on the market are tooth-whitening kits, strips, toothpaste, gels, or rinses. They typically contain mild bleach, abrasives, or chemicals that work to brighten yellow or brownish-looking teeth.
Teeth-whitening kits are generally great for tea- or coffee-stained teeth. The active ingredient carbamide peroxide is a bleach that helps remove surface and deep stains. Some kits come with a peroxide-based gel, which you will apply on your teeth using a small brush. Depending on the product, you may have to let the gel sit for about 45 minutes a day for two to three weeks.
8. Brush with Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are known for their antibacterial and stain-fighting properties. You may make a paste by mixing 2 tablespoons baking soda with 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide. Dab the paste on your toothbrush and brush for 2-3 minutes.
Hydrogen peroxide helps lighten teeth stains, including those caused by nicotine. Meanwhile, baking soda has a mild abrasive action that scrubs away the stains. Discard the excess paste and make a fresh paste each time you need to treat stains or discoloration. You may agree that this natural home care method is not only effective, but it is also an inexpensive way to whiten your teeth.
9. Apply Apple Cider Vinegar
Acetic acid is the main active ingredient in apple cider vinegar (ACV). Acetic acid is known for its antibacterial and teeth whitening effects. A study done on the teeth of cows claims that apple cider vinegar has a bleaching effect. You may brush your teeth or rinse with ACV by diluting it in water or mixing it with lemon juice. However, you should limit the use of ACV to a few times a week. Use the apple cider vinegar and lemon juice mixture only once a week since the mixture can wear down your tooth’s enamel if used too frequently.
10. Make a Tooth Mask with Activated Charcoal
Some people believe that activated charcoal can whiten teeth by removing stains caused by plaque, coffee, and wine, etc. Activated charcoal is made from various natural substances ground into a fine-grained black powder. You can use it as a whitening toothpaste or a mask placed over the teeth.
The substance work by lifting away the stains caused by toxins on the teeth. You can easily make a charcoal paste by mixing one half of a tablespoon of activated charcoal powder with a few drops of water. Apply the paste to the teeth and let it sit for 2-3 minutes before rinsing it off.
11. Dental Checkups and Chairside Bleaching
In addition to daily brushing and flossing, seeing your dentist at least twice a year can help you keep your pearly whites sparkling. Your dentist has special tools that remove stains from the tooth’s enamel, pits, and grooves. They may also use a special teeth-whitening product, like a whitening gel. Otherwise, you may choose to undergo a whitening procedure, such as laser teeth whitening.
Whitening procedures eliminate stubborn stains that do not budge with brushing, flossing, or natural remedies. The main drawback of professional teeth whitening is it comes at a cost. But if you can afford it, then you’ll agree it’s worth the while.
12. Get Dental Veneers
Dental veneers are an expensive yet effective way to get whiter teeth that can last a lifetime. Veneers are essentially tooth-colored shells made from composite or porcelain placed over the top surface of the teeth. Many people get them to restore the appearance of teeth that are chipped, cracked, misaligned, or discolored. Porcelain veneers are known to be highly stain-resistant and can keep your teeth white for many years. However, you will still need to care for your veneers the same way you do your natural teeth.
The Bottom Line
Brightening your smile can be simple and easy without breaking the bank. You can achieve this by avoiding foods, drinks, and bad habits that discolor the teeth as well as trying DIY teeth-whitening products. Also, remember professional teeth-whitening services are available from your dental specialist. Whatever option you choose, the idea is to accomplish a brilliant smile that leaves a lasting impression.