Who doesn’t want to flash that whiter-than-white, ultra-shiny celeb smile? But, unless you’re lucky enough to have naturally pearly whites, they can come at a price. A visit to the pros can be costly and time consuming, and we’ve all heard about the harmful effects conventional treatments, like teeth bleaching, have on tooth enamel. The good news is that you can get whiter teeth from the comfort of your own home. Just don’t expect overnight results!
The Long-Term Plan
Getting whiter, brighter teeth in a safe way is not an overnight effort, although you may wish it was. Before you jump in, dig out some photos of yourself smiling so you can track your progress and stay motivated. Next, choose a tactic from those suggested below and stick to it. Also, check out what makes teeth discolor and dull in the first place — if you’re overdoing it with caffeine and cigarettes, for example, you might have to rethink elements of your lifestyle.
Teeth Whitening Tactics
- Commercial Whitening Toothpastes
First up, the most obvious solution – commercial ‘whitening toothpastes’. The truth is that the majority of these products, which contain some kind of peroxide, actually don’t help because they are not on the teeth for long enough to do any whitening or bleaching.
So, what about home remedies?
- Oil Pulling
This old-school detox method not only whitens teeth safely, it also helps reduce gingivitis and tooth decay. It takes 20 minutes a day of swishing oil around your mouth. If oil isn’t for you, try using a coconut oil paste. Simply heat 1 cup of coconut oil till it liquefies. Add 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 5-10 drops of natural spearmint essential oil and mix.
- Baking Soda
Baking soda is not as abrasive on the teeth as some might say. To gently whiten your front teeth, let the soda dissolve from a powder into a solution as it mixes with your saliva. As soon as it becomes liquid in your mouth, its stain-removing properties will kick in. Beware not to scrub it in too hard.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Solution
Diluted apple cider vinegar will boost the stain-removing properties of any toothpaste. Dilute it with a ratio of 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar. Mix it with a totally natural toothpaste and brush as normal.
Clays, especially white kaolin clay, are unique in their ability to be low abrasive yet still polish teeth effectively and remove stains. Focus on the front teeth as the clay mixes in with your saliva.
Powdered turmeric is another natural tooth whitener. The only downside is that while it whitens the teeth, it stains everything it touches — your bathroom sink, clothes, etc. Still, one has to suffer for beauty, right?
The bottom line is that, when it comes to teeth whitening, patience is key. There are no overnight miracles to get that healthy, sparkling smile.