When some people think about teeth whitening, they imagine an expensive process for which you need both significant sums of money, and the time to sit down with a dentist for regular and strenuous appointments. While home whitening methods have existed for many years, they’ve faced the stigma of inefficiency.
But what if you could have white teeth, at home, without spending a fortune? In this article, we highlight ways to accomplish exactly that, with easy to follow recommendations that virtually anyone can follow, all from the comfort of their own home!
Adjust Your Lifestyle
One of the easiest and most natural ways to whiten your teeth is to simply make a few lifestyle adjustments. There are certain behaviors that many people already know to cause yellow or stained teeth. For example, smoking over time will yellow your teeth. Most people who do smoke report that they notice a pretty dramatic staining on their teeth from the tar and nicotine in cigarettes. Some even describe their teeth as browning!
Coffee and red wines are similarly known to leave their mark in the long run. So what does this mean? No coffee ever again? No more wine with dinner? Not quite. Moderation is key. You can still have your morning cup of joe or glass of cabernet to unwind after a long day; you just need to adjust your oral health routine to allow for cleanings to prevent the tannins in these types of foods to build up on your teeth.
Reducing your intake is one way to improve the situation, and you may also be well served to consider changing out known staining agents with more teeth-friendly options. For example, white wine is easier on your teeth than red, and many teas are known to be gentler than black coffee. A cup of green tea will provide a caffeine boost and can be satisfying if you crave warm drinks while posing less of a staining risk! You just have to play around with different drinks and foods to find alternatives that fit your needs.
Fortunately, some foods can actually be good for the coloration of your teeth. For example, strawberries and pineapple are both known to promote whiter teeth. The bromelain in pineapple and malic acid in strawberries, for example, can help to whiten your teeth if eaten regularly! Other foods like broccoli, apples, and oranges can be whitening, too, along with tons of other snack-worthy options.
A high calcium diet will also improve teeth color, along with your overall oral health. Your body needs calcium in order to function and getting enough of it each day is essential for your bone health, especially, including that of your teeth.
A Better Oral Hygiene Routine
No one is pointing any fingers here, but the fact of the matter is that if you are an average American, chances are your oral hygiene routine leaves something to be desired.
The typical person only brushes their teeth once a day, usually for less than a minute, and they skip flossing altogether. Taken with the fact that most dentists recommend 2-3 sessions of 2 minutes per day, and it becomes clear that there is a significant deficit.
Naturally, the best and most impactful way to keep your teeth white is to make sure that your cleaning routine is in line with what the dentist recommends.
This means that you need to take the time to brush multiple times a day for the full two minutes. You also need to floss at least once per day and wear night guards or other dental appliances as directed by your dentist or orthodontist.
Once you have your adult teeth and have lost all of your baby teeth, you will not grow more if you experience damage. Curating a better oral hygiene routine not only helps whiten your teeth but also protects them in the long run!
While there are lots of great bleaching options available, some may wish to supplement their routine with more holistic techniques. For those of you that want to try something that is on the natural side, consider using cleaning agents such as baking soda (yes, it really can be used for anything) or apple cider vinegar.
Though not particularly pleasing to the pallet, both solutions are known to lift stains and promote beautiful smiles. Some people also believe that swishing vegetable oil in their mouth may serve to lift stains, though this method is unproven, and, frankly, a little gross. Coconut oil is also popular for this method, which is also known as “oil pulling”.
Even broken open charcoal capsules are a common choice, which does actually have some support within the dental industry. The charcoal works to lightly abrade the teeth, removing surface stains and creating a whiter, brighter appearance.
No matter what option you end up going with, it is certainly easier and safer with tested and quality controlled products at your side.
It turns out that charcoal may be a little bit more versatile than you may have imagined. Sticking with the same idea mentioned above, products that contain charcoal are generally great for removing surface stains and as a preventative product. In addition to being great on the BBQ, it is also known as a natural way to lift impurities. In that same vein of thought, charcoal floss is a product that has been created to remove bacteria from your mouth, while also leaving the place a little shinier than it was before it arrived.
And though sliding charcoal through your mouth may not sound appetizing, it’s actually not nearly as gross as you might imagine. The string itself is no different than any other floss in terms of the physical sensation, and it is mint flavored so that you don’t have to worry about any gross tastes either. The mint completely masks any slight charcoal flavoring, which is usually not even very present in non-flavored charcoal products, as is.
Long story short? If you are going to floss (and you really should) charcoal floss provides an edge that will boost the whiteness of your teeth. Why not go for a product that could give you a leg up on the whitening game?
Full disclosure, this method has not been fully proven, but it will appeal to people who have decided to up their fruit intake anyway in the ongoing quest for whiter teeth: according to some, fruit peels (think banana, orange, etc.) can have whitening properties when you rub them against your teeth.
The theory is that the citric acid present in many fruits will serve to lift stains and other impurities that cause yellowing. Some swear by it while others are on the skeptical side, but in any case, it’s natural, it’s affordable, and it’s likely fairly refreshing. Just be careful, as citrus can be abrasive and may damage the enamel if left on too long.
Upgrade Your Arsenal
To give your routine a bit of a boost, you may even consider upgrading your manual brush to an electric handle, which will significantly increase your ability to whiten your smile and kill bacteria while you do it.
Electric toothbrushes can be affordable (though some certainly are not) and virtually all of them are at least twice as effective as manual toothbrushes. Studies show that electric handles tend to prevent tooth decay and gum disease at a much higher rate than other options, which is a major advantage in its own right.
Couple this with the fact that higher-end units tend to have features that are more conducive to whitening (including “whitening modes” and even phone applications that track progress) and it becomes clear that better equipment has its benefits.
You can even get electric toothbrushes with built-in water flossers that can make flossing easier than ever before, especially for those with glued retainers or other dental appliances. With the market always looking to create something new, you never know what attachments may be offered in the near future!
Teeth Whitening Kits
For more comprehensive care, we also can’t neglect to mention the tooth whitening kit. These products may feature whitening wands, strips, toothpaste, etc. all designed with the specific purpose of helping you to get whiter teeth.
Though often pricier than some of the more holistic options on our list, whitening kits are often highly effective and can be acquired at a very attainable price. Offering the ability to whiten your teeth at home without worrying about sky-high dentist fees, these kits are a popular option that is perfect for those who want to whiten without paying the professional price tag.
If you struggle to get those hard to reach places when flossing, a floss pick might be just the help you need! These little plastic picks have a piece of floss extended between them and offer a surface to grip, allowing you to reach further into your mouth and floss more effectively.
While not necessary for everyone, these can be a very helpful tool and work well to ensure you can comfortably get those back teeth at each flossing session. That little bit of extra gripping space truly goes a long way and makes the entire process a lot easier!
Plus, they are perfect for taking on the go if you need a discrete option during the day to help keep your teeth clean and feeling fresh! Just toss a few in your bag or briefcase and you are all set!
Consider The Full Picture
Think about it: if you spend a lot of time, effort, and your hard-earned cash on whitening in order to create a pretty picture, you want to have a frame that accents it, right? If your teeth are white, they are going to be drawing more attention than ever to your mouth area, so be sure your lips are well taken care of, too!
Using a lip treatment to nourish your lips and keep them plump, full, and moisturized is a great way to do this, especially since you can find a fantastic product at just about any price point. Some of them even include anti-aging properties and plumping effects!
Exfoliating your lips to remove dead skin and increase the cell turnover rate, which creates the appearance of smooth, soft, youthful lips. If you are going to invest in your teeth and work to ensure they are shiny and white, you may as well invest in your lips, too, to complete the look! A good lip exfoliator will help you achieve that easily!
Trust the Process
Whitening your teeth is a process. While some products can give immediate results, they often cannot be used frequently since they can do some serious damage to your enamel. The key to whitening your teeth safely is to invest in a quality whitening product and follow the directions closely to ensure you are doing everything you need to.
Not only will this ensure you get the whitening results you want, but also works to protect your teeth.
As you can see, the road to whiter teeth is wide, with many different paths available for all types of people. Whether you are looking for a holistic approach or something with a little more oomph there are options available for pretty much everyone.
There are hundreds of different brands with varying formulas that all work differently to provide whitening results. It may take some experimentation but there is a whitening product out there that is perfect for your teeth and whitening desires. You just have to trust the process and follow the recommended steps to get to the whiter, brighter end result.
The good news? In the quest for whiter teeth, you are likely to attain better oral health in the process. More brushing, more flossing, and more oral attention all add up to create a pretty substantial shift in your overall oral care. It is a true win-win and in the end, you’ll have teeth that are healthier and whiter! You can’t go wrong!