Who doesn’t dream of possessing a dazzling smile which will show off your pearlies to perfection. However not everyone can afford costly and repeated visits to the dentist to get brilliant white teeth. So here are a few tips on whitening teeth which are cost-effective, can be done in the comfort of your home and best of all, natural.
Get the basics right
In order to whiten teeth, you cannot jump over the basic rule of oral hygiene – which is to keep your teeth clean by brushing and flossing. Ideally you should brush after every meal but if that is not possible, at least twice a day - once in the morning and again at bed time. Also, it’s a good idea to brush after meals where you think the food might stain your teeth like after eating chocolates or drinking coffee. According to dentists, it is better to brush with gentle, circular strokes for a longer while rather than short, vigorous strokes that go to-and-fro. Make sure that you brush for at least two minutes – you may not think much about this fact but it is surprising how most adults rinse off far earlier than that. Also don’t forget about flossing. This is particularly necessary to remove the staining between the teeth. No matter how white your teeth may be they will never be healthy when set up next to those puffy red and receded gums.
One of the oldest ways to whiten teeth naturally is using baking soda. This chemical which is used in a host of food preparations, can be used to whiten your teeth too. Most dentists agree that it's safe to use and best of all, it works fairly quickly too. You can use it alone on a damp toothbrush or mix it with toothpaste to help neutralize the salty taste. For best effect, use this along with your regular regimen of brushing with toothpaste and after a few days, you are sure to notice
Berry berry good
Strawberries are one of the best natural teeth-whitening remedies. This is because the berries are rich in malic acid which acts as an astringent to remove surface discoloration. Combined with baking soda, strawberries become a natural tooth-cleanser, buffing away stains that get left behind after the consumption of various foods and drinks. Crush a handful of strawberries to a pulp, then mix with the baking soda until blended. Use a soft toothbrush to spread the mixture onto your teeth. Leave on for roughly five minutes, then brush thoroughly with toothpaste to remove the berry–baking soda mix. If possible, floss your teeth too since this will help get rid of any strawberry seeds. Rinse thoroughly. Dentists believe that this mixture could be used applied once a week; very frequent application could harm the enamel of your teeth due to excessive exposure to the acid in strawberries.
Go the peroxide way
One of the most popular home remedies for teeth whitening uses hydrogen peroxide; this is not only cheap and most people have it in their houses. The downside though is that you might feel some burning in your gums, but you'll be left with clean, whiter teeth. Typically, most people will see results within a couple of weeks but it can happen much sooner. The safest way to use hydrogen peroxide on teeth is to dip your brush into a small amount of peroxide and then brush normally. Be sure to rinse thoroughly and at all costs do not swallow. Another way to use it is by dipping a cotton swap in the solution and gently rubbing it into your teeth, front and back. Some people also use the solution to gargle in which case you can brush your teeth as you normally do and then swish for about a minute. Follow up by spitting it out and rinsing thoroughly with water but be careful to avoid swallowing it.
As weird as it gets
In the days before fancy whitening creams and gels, one of the most effective ways of whitening teeth was to use wood ash. Hard ash wood contains caustic potash, better known as potassium hydroxide, the tiny crystals of which work to whiten teeth essentially by scrubbing away plague in hard to reach places. However, using wood ash often or scraping too hard can wear down your tooth enamel, so it's best to avoid using it for long periods of time. To apply wood ash to your teeth, you can put it directly on your toothbrush or mix it with a small amount of toothpaste.
Watch what you eat
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that are hard or crispy. Crispy fruits like apples have abrasives that help lift the stains away from the teeth. Also eating hard foods like carrots or celery are known to get rid plaque build-up on teeth. Apart from the texture of such foods that are directly helpful for scraping away stains, they are enriched with all sorts of vitamins and minerals which promote overall health and immunity.
However it is not enough to include particular foods into your diet for white teeth. No matter what you eat and what steps you take to repair teeth discoloration, unless you give up the source of those stains, there will be little difference in the long run. So you need to avoid foods and drinks, particularly those that have caffeine in them, such as coffee and tea, red wine and sodas. These types of drinks are known to cause the teeth to have that yellowish look to them. So cut down the number of cups of coffee you have in a day and stay off sodas which are no good as it is. Save the glass of red wine for special occasions. If you feel like you just cannot do without these types of drinks then at least try drinking them with a straw. This will cut down on the liquid touching your teeth.
Give up smoking
Almost everyone knows and agrees that smoking is bad for health. But few know that it is one of the major causes of dental problems among the smokers. The nicotine in cigarettes not only leads to yellow stains on teeth but is also responsible for bad breath, gum diseases and increased incidence of tooth decay.