Teeth yellow naturally over time, but you don’t have to live with yellow teeth. If you want a bright, white smile, one of the best options is to visit the dentist for a professional whitening treatment. Dentists use stronger products than those you can purchase over the counter, and they are careful to protect the rest of your mouth.
Having a white smile can boost your confidence and improve your oral health. However, even the best professional treatments aren’t permanent. You may be able to maintain the whiteness if you avoid stain-causing substances like coffee, red wine, tomatoes, and dark sodas, but you likely don’t want to have to sacrifice your favorite foods and drinks to have white teeth.
Luckily, there are steps you can take at home to counteract staining and maintain your professionally whitened smile. You may not know it, but ingredients you use on a regular basis can fight staining and keep your teeth nearly as white as they were when you left your dentist’s office.
When using any of these whitening techniques, remember that certain chemical processes can wear away your enamel. The techniques listed below should only be used a maximum of twice a week, and aren’t a replacement for professional teeth whitening or for brushing with a fluoridated toothpaste twice a day.
Since strawberries are a red fruit that can stain your clothing and carpets, you might be surprised to learn that they can actually remove surface stains from your teeth. They aren’t effective as a stand-alone whitening method, but if used as a weekly addition to your standard oral health regimen, they can prolong the effects of your professional whitening.
Strawberries work as a whitener because they contain malic acid, which dissolves stain-causing plaque buildup.
To use this method, take a few strawberries and mash them into a pulp. Add a little bit of baking soda to solidify the pulp and increase the whitening effect. Spread the mixture onto your teeth and leave it there for a few minutes. Using a soft toothbrush, carefully brush off the mixture, and then rinse with water.
Make sure to floss immediately after brushing to remove any strawberry seeds. They can get trapped between your teeth, but flossing should remove them all.
This traditional Indian spice has been used to treat a variety of ailments throughout history, including inflammation and arthritis pain. Due to its anti-inflammatory nature and abrasiveness, it’s also a great at-home teeth whitener. It will polish your teeth, remove surface stains, and heal any developing sores along your gums.
Mix the dried powder with either coconut oil or water to make a paste. Apply the mixture to your toothbrush, and brush as you would with toothpaste. Because turmeric tends to stain things yellow, consider spitting into a trashcan rather than the sink. Rinse carefully to remove the yellow film from your teeth.
Once the turmeric is rinsed away, you should notice a significant improvement in color. Again, this technique should only be used once or twice a week to prevent irritation and enamel erosion.
3. Orange Peel
Some fans of home whitening remedies suggest using lemon juice, but the juice can do more harm than good. Lemon and orange juice both contain high levels of citric acid, which can quickly wear away the enamel along with the stains.
Orange peels are a good alternative because they aren’t as acidic as the juice. Orange peels are rich in vitamins and minerals, including limonene, a natural solvent. The peels work as a natural breath freshener as well.
Rub the white inner side of the orange peel over all your teeth. Rinse carefully to remove any traces of citric acid, then brush with your usual toothpaste.
Brushing too quickly after exposing your teeth to citrus fruits can wear away the enamel, so make sure to wait a few minutes or rinse first if you eat an orange or drink lemonade.
4. Salt Water
Salt water provides a wide variety of oral health benefits. It raises the pH level of your mouth, making it harder for bacteria to thrive. It is a disinfectant and pain reliever, particularly after surgery or if you have a sore throat. Brushing or rinsing with salt water once in a while will not remove the bacteria and surface stains from your teeth, but it will help you have better oral health in general.
Add half of a teaspoon of salt to one cup of warm water, then stir until the salt has dissolved completely. Let your toothbrush soak for a few minutes. Brush as usual. After brushing, rinse your toothbrush thoroughly.
You can use the same ratio to make a salt water mouthwash. Swish the mouthwash around your mouth for a few minutes to treat any developing sores and kill bacteria.
None of these techniques is a viable substitute for professional teeth whitening. They only treat surface stains, not deep staining. However, consider using some of these inexpensive, easy, and natural ideas after having your teeth whitened to prevent stains from re-forming.
For more information about how to maximize your teeth whitening experience, talk to the dentists at Silverado Family Dental.