Home remedies that will actually whiten your teeth
Think about all the things in life you want. Is there a big promotion that you’re really gunning for? A potential romantic partner who’s caught your eye? The secret to getting everything that you’ve ever wanted, and the secret to a lot of things in life, is confidence. Charisma and self-assuredness come from within, so if you feel confident, then you’ll be confident! A bright white smile can be the key to unlocking the confidence and force of personality that’s been inside you all along. It might sound a little cheesy, but it’s true! Your smile is a big part of how you present yourself to the world, and if you have confidence in your smile, you can have confidence in yourself as a whole.
The proof is really in the results. Did you know that a full 61% of people who whitened their teeth reported that it made them feel more confident? That’s a huge number! For all those people, knowing that they had dazzling white teeth helped them unlock their potential and be the charming and charismatic person they were always meant to be. Once you’ve found your smile, you can see the results in your personal and professional lives. 58% of people reported that they were more likely to get a job they were applying for after they had their teeth whitened. A white smile doesn’t just change how you feel about yourself, but it also affects how other people see you. 65% of people reported that whitening their teeth made other people see them as more professional, and 59% said they were seen as more outgoing. You know that you’re an exciting and dynamic person, so why shouldn’t your smile reflect that?
Whitening Your Teeth The Natural Way
There are a million and one different ways of whitening your teeth, and each one comes with advantages and disadvantages. People have been whitening their teeth for thousands of years, using a wide variety of methods. Ancient people used to chew on small sticks that they pulled off trees, the idea being that the chew sticks would rub away stains and dislodge little bits of food that got stuck between their teeth. The ancient Egyptians were a bit more sophisticated and used a solution of ground pumice and white vinegar to bleach their teeth clean. This is actually not too dissimilar to how modern teeth whitening systems work, although the chemical compounds we use nowadays are a lot safer and more effective than vinegar. The Romans used to brush their teeth with urine, which is probably the most disgusting teeth whitening method ever attempted. Still, it did work! The ammonia in urine can actually help bleach stains off your teeth, although it must have made their breath smell pretty awful. The point is, there’s a long history of teeth whitening in our world, and we now have the benefit of thousands of years of knowledge.
Most modern-day teeth whitening systems work by applying a solution of diluted hydrogen peroxide to your teeth, which bleaches them clean and wipes away stains. This has been studied pretty thoroughly and found to be pretty safe for your enamel, but there’s always the possibility of damaging your teeth. It’s extremely important to always follow the instructions on the box to avoid eating away at your enamel and to stop using any peroxide-based product if you notice a lot of pain in your teeth. Some people prefer not to use chemicals like peroxide on their teeth for this exact reason. That’s totally understandable! When it comes to your body, the only person who can decide what goes on is you. If you don’t feel comfortable with peroxide-based whitening products, there are plenty of more natural alternatives out there you can try. In this article, we’ll go over a few different home remedies that will leave your teeth looking cleaner and whiter, as well as offering some information on how to avoid stains in the first place.
Before you go about trying any of these natural cures for your teeth, it’s important to keep in mind that none of these remedies are meant to be used in place of your regular dental hygiene. They’re meant to be used in addition to brushing and flossing your teeth, not as a replacement! The American Dental Association recommends brushing your teeth twice a day, every day, and flossing once per day to clean the hard-to-reach spaces in between your teeth. If you’re not following those recommendations, then no amount of whitening is going to make your teeth better or healthier. The ADA also recommends that you visit your dentist once every six months or so for regular cleaning and so they can check out your teeth and make sure there aren’t any issues. Nobody likes going to the dentist, but it’s a vital part of keeping your pearly whites nice and healthy. You should also consider your dentist to be an excellent resource for any questions you might have about teeth whitening! Nobody knows more about your teeth than your dentist, so if you have any concerns or questions, don’t be afraid to speak up! Here’s a little secret: dentists actually love talking about teeth, so they jump at the opportunity to drop some knowledge on their patients!
Tartar And Plaque
There are a ton of different ways that your teeth can become discolored in the first place, and knowing what they are can help you prevent them from happening in the future. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, as Ben Franklin used to say, although he really should have taken his own advice when it came to taking care of his teeth - he ended up losing a ton of them after taking mercury pills as an attempted cure for kidney stones. Still, it’s a good sentiment and one definitely worth following. If you take good care of your teeth, they should stay pretty white on their own. Of course, nobody’s perfect, and this is easier said than done, but a good foundation of dental hygiene is the best first step towards a whiter smile.
The most common cause of stains and yellow discoloration on your teeth is regular, everyday plaque. You’ve probably heard all about plaque from your dentist, but it’s worth going over again. Plaque is essentially just a thin, sticky biofilm made from a mix of leftover food, saliva, and bacteria. If it sounds pretty gross, well, that’s because it is! Plaque sticks to your teeth after you eat and can make them look discolored. It’s naturally very thin and almost colorless, but if you let it build up, it can create a yellow appearance on your teeth. However, the biggest problem with plaque is that the bacteria in it can eat away at your enamel, gradually wearing it away.
Enamel is the hard outer layer of your teeth, and it’s very important. It’s actually the hardest and toughest substance in your entire body, and it protects the softer inner layers of your teeth from being damaged when you chew your food. Enamel may be pretty tough, but it’s not entirely unbreakable. Bacteria can chew away at it, causing it to thin or even be eaten away entirely. This is a big problem because, unlike most parts of your body, enamel doesn’t contain any living cells. That means that it can’t regenerate after it’s been damaged! If your enamel is worn away, it’s gone for good, and that’s bad news for your tooth. Wearing away at your enamel can also cause your tooth to look more yellow since the layer underneath, called dentin, is more yellow in color. As your enamel thins, the dentin starts to show through, and it makes your tooth look less white. These are all excellent reasons to take care of your enamel and not let it be damaged! Luckily, plaque is pretty easy to get rid of. It might be pretty sticky, but it still comes right off when you brush your teeth. That’s why it’s so important to brush regularly! If you don’t let plaque stay on your teeth for long, then that means less time with bacteria eating away at your enamel.
If you let plaque build up on your teeth for too long, it can become a much bigger problem. After 48 to 72 hours, plaque can mix with minerals from your saliva and turn into yellow, rocky looking deposits called tartar. Tartar is kind of like plaque to the extreme, and it allows bacteria to keep eating away at your enamel while also making your teeth look even more yellow than plaque alone. Even worse, tartar is nearly impossible to get off your teeth. Unlike plaque, which can easily be brushed away, tartar has to be scraped off your teeth by your dentist or other professional. Tartar is a pretty common condition, with nearly 70% of American adults having some tartar on their teeth, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take it seriously. Since you can’t brush tartar away after you get it, that means you have to be extra careful about avoiding it in the first place. Try not to skip any days of brushing and make sure you’re thorough when you’re doing it. Your enamel will thank you!
Stains On Your Teeth
Besides plaque by itself, another common cause of discoloration on your teeth is staining. Staining can come from any number of sources, but it’s usually caused by leftover residue after eating or drinking. There are two kinds of stains: extrinsic stains and intrinsic stains. Extrinsic stains are by far the most common and are also luckily the easiest to get rid of. As the name suggests, extrinsic stains cover the outside of your tooth and are usually yellow in appearance. However, the color can change depending on what it was that caused the stain. For example, dark red substances like red wine or beets can leave reddish stains on your teeth, and coffee can leave brown stains. The best way to get rid of extrinsic stains is to regularly brush your teeth. Enamel is very slick and slippery, so stains have a hard time sticking to it. Plaque and tartar, on the other hand, are much more porous, so stains stick to them easily. This means that the more plaque you have on your teeth, the more they’re going to stain. However, it also means that the stains are often stuck to the plaque on your teeth and not the enamel itself. This is good news for you because you can just brush the plaque away, and the stains go with it!
Intrinsic stains are a little different and are more challenging to get rid of. Unlike extrinsic stains, intrinsic staining goes deeper than just the surface level of your tooth and can’t be brushed away. This makes them much harder to remove. Intrinsic stains can happen if you allow extrinsic stains to seep deeper into your tooth, but they’re more commonly caused by medication, medical conditions, or overexposure to fluoride. They’re usually smaller than extrinsic stains and appear as small dark spots on your tooth. If your enamel has been worn all the way down, intrinsic stains can form on the exposed dentin just from plaque alone, so be careful to brush your teeth regularly and protect your enamel. Oftentimes intrinsic stains are impossible to remove and have to be covered up with veneers or crowns.
Whitening Your Teeth With Baking Soda
Now that you know the root causes of the discoloration of your teeth, it’s time to get into some ways to make them nice and clean again! One of the most commonly recommended home remedies for whitening your teeth is baking soda. Baking soda is mildly abrasive, which means it can actually rub away the stains on your teeth if you brush with it. It’s also a base, which means it’s higher up on the pH scale. Bases, also known as alkalis, can be useful for keeping your teeth clean because they can change your mouth’s pH balance, making it less acidic. A more acidic environment is better for the harmful bacteria that damage your enamel, so baking soda is a good way to make their lives a little more complicated and hopefully even kill some of them off. It’s worth noting that baking soda isn’t going to cause a dramatic change in the color of your teeth, but if you use it regularly, you might notice a gradual whitening of your smile. The most common application of baking soda is mixing a little bit of it with some water to create a paste and then brushing your teeth with it. However, you should keep brushing your teeth the regular way too! Like all of these natural cures, baking soda is meant to be an addition to your regular dental habits, not a replacement.
You can also buy toothpaste that has baking soda included if you don’t want to take the time to mix up your own paste. Most of the studies relevant to baking soda as a tooth whitener were actually performed on baking soda toothpaste, so there’s not a ton of actual scientific evidence backing up the use of baking soda by itself. However, all these studies were very positive and showed that toothpaste with baking soda does a significantly better job of cleaning and whitening your teeth than regular toothpaste does. If you do decide to brush your teeth with baking soda, try to keep it to no more than once or twice a week. Like any abrasive substance, baking soda can actually be harmful to your enamel if you use it too often, so try to be careful. Your best bet is to brush your teeth twice a day with regular toothpaste or toothpaste containing baking soda and then use the baking soda and water mixture only once or twice a week for that extra whitening power.
Oil pulling is another very common home remedy for whitening and cleaning your teeth. It’s very old, dating back thousands of years to the ancient Indians, but it’s still in use all over the world today. Oil pulling involves taking a small amount of oil and swishing it around in your mouth. This collects up any debris that’s caught between your teeth, as well as killing and washing away bacteria that can damage your enamel. The ancient Indians used sunflower or sesame oil, but many people today prefer coconut oil because of its health benefits and pleasant taste. There’s not a ton of scientific evidence behind oil pulling, but plenty of people swear by it as a natural way to keep your teeth clean and healthy. One added bonus of oil pulling is that there’s pretty much no way to damage your teeth with it, so there’s no reason not to give it a try! There are also a few studies that suggest it can actually reduce the number of harmful bacteria in your mouth, although more research is required to be conclusive. If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to make your mouth a little cleaner every day, oil pulling is a great choice.
Another wide-spread option for cleaning your teeth the natural way is activated charcoal, a substance made up of a bunch of materials like coconut shells and finely ground burned wood. Activated charcoal is very different from the standard charcoal you use for barbecuing and is made from a ton of different materials. It has a bunch of different medical uses because it’s highly adsorbent. That’s not a typo - it’s adsorbent, not absorbent. The difference is that adsorbent materials can bind tightly to potential toxins in your body instead of just absorbing them. Activated charcoal is often given in cases of drug overdoses, so it can bind to the drugs in your system and neutralize them before being naturally passed from your body. It’s this quality, as well as its abrasiveness, that makes activated charcoal a popular choice for teeth whitening. However, there’s not much evidence out there to suggest that activated charcoal really works to clean your teeth. On the contrary, the ADA recommends against using activated charcoal because it’s so abrasive that it can damage your enamel. If you’d still like to try it, activated charcoal can be purchased as a powder or in a range of dental products.
Foods That Whiten Your Teeth
There are also many different foods that can clean junk off your teeth and make them whiter just by eating. Apples, for example, are high in malic acid, which is a compound found in most toothpaste brands. Malic acid encourages saliva production in your mouth, which helps wash away bacteria and debris on your teeth. Just chewing on an apple slice can also help clear away stuff caught between your teeth. Another great fruit for cleaning your teeth is a pineapple. Besides being delicious and healthy, pineapples are the only food that contains bromelain, a chemical that has anti-inflammatory and cleansing properties. There’s not a ton of research into bromelain yet, but some studies have found that it actually cleans your teeth about as effectively as peroxide does, but without any of the potential damage to your enamel. This is potentially great news, and you could end up seeing more and more whitening products containing bromelain hitting the shelves.
Cheese is another healthy snack that’s great for keeping your teeth nice and clean. Just chewing on a piece of hard cheese promotes more saliva production, which is great by itself, but cheese is also full of minerals like calcium and phosphorus, which help strengthen and protect your enamel. Calcium can strengthen your teeth the same way it strengthens your bones, so cheese is an excellent choice if you’re looking to give your enamel a little extra protection. Cheese is also full of lactic acid, which can help fight tooth decay as well. Finally, even though it’s not a food, it’s worth mentioning that drinking water is one of the best things you can do for your teeth. Water also encourages saliva production, and it can wash away any little bits of food that get caught in your teeth. Water is also a great alternative to other drinks like soda, which can be harmful to your enamel.
If you’re finding that none of these home remedies are doing the trick for you, you can always try more modern methods of cleaning your teeth, like Snow’s teeth whitening system. Snow is the most technologically advanced system for teeth whitening on the market, so you know you’re getting the best possible solution for your teeth whitening needs. Whiter teeth are within your reach, so whether you’re brushing with baking soda or whitening with Snow, now is the best time to get started on your teeth whitening journey.