Who doesn’t love the look of a gleaming smile? Healthy white teeth are an excellent way to improve your self-esteem and confidence. However, as we age and continue to expose our teeth to various foods, drinks, and other substances, they may begin to discolor.
The best way to get your teeth looking stunning again is to speak to your dentist about a professional whitening treatment. However, there may be some more “natural” methods you can try at home first if you’re not ready to pay for a full whitening service.
Let’s take a look at the most effective yet natural steps you can take to improve the appearance of your smile at home.
1. Reconsider Your Diet
The first thing you can try if you want whiter teeth is a change in diet. Start by avoiding the products which might be more likely to stain your teeth. These include drinks like coffee, fruit juices, and red wine. Certain foods like tomatoes, curries, and balsamic vinegar can affect teeth whiteness too.
Next, try to eat more of the foods that benefit your teeth. Coarse vegetables like broccoli require more chewing for you to break them down. This helps to improve saliva production and buff away stains. Nuts and seeds can be natural exfoliators, while pineapple products help remove stains while reducing inflammation in the gums. Don’t fall victim to the rumor that orange peel can act as a natural whitener. Oranges are highly acidic and could weaken your tooth enamel.
2. Experiment with Natural Whiteners
Before you use any substance on your teeth – even one considered to be natural – it’s best to speak to your dentist. Dental professionals can offer advice on the products most likely to be beneficial to your smile. For instance, brushing with activated charcoal could be a safe way to minimize stains on your teeth, but it could cause more damage if you use it instead of standard toothpaste and flossing.
Apple cider vinegar is another product (similar to orange peels) that some people believe can reduce teeth stains. However, like oranges, vinegar is highly acidic, which could damage the tooth enamel and increase your risk of tooth decay. An alternative is to brush with salt and turmeric (our ancestors used to brush this way, along with putting mustard oil into the mixture). The curcumin in this spice contains anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Mixing it with oil and salt results in a concoction that helps reduce teeth stains.
3. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda
Baking soda is frequently used in various cleaning products because of its natural ability to exfoliate and remove stains. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent which can also be effective in killing bacteria. Using a combination of one tablespoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide could make your teeth whiter.
Use the paste to brush your teeth carefully and regularly after getting approval from your dentist that the process is safe. Remember, brushing with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda should not replace your standard brushing schedule.
4. Consider Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an increasingly popular solution for various tooth issues. According to some people, oil pulling with coconut oil can whiten your teeth, improve your oral health, and even freshen your breath. However, don’t expect to end up with sparkling white teeth overnight. As long as you don’t have an allergy to coconuts, this method should be safe enough to try.
Place a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for between 15 and 20 minutes to remove bacteria. You can then brush your teeth to remove the excess oil. After using this strategy for a while, you may start noticing a difference in oral hygiene.
5. Maintain Your Brushing and Flossing Schedule
Despite what some companies suggest, the best way to get white teeth is to practice good oral hygiene consistently. Regularly brushing your teeth twice a day, making sure that you get every tooth with your brush to banish any plaque. Flossing will also help to remove bacteria that cause plaque so that you can minimize your risk of stains.
You can find some toothpaste, mouthwash, and even flossing products that claim to deliver whiter teeth. However, any product used correctly to keep your mouth clean and healthy should make a positive impact. Stick to your routine and avoid any activities that might harm your teeth, like smoking or eating too much sugar.
Know When to See a Dentist
As you get older, there’s a chance that your teeth could naturally get more discolored or appear a little more yellow than usual. While changing your diet and making a few natural updates to your routine can be helpful, you can enhance your efforts with professional services.
If you feel sensitive about stains or discoloration on your teeth, inquire about cosmetic dentistry services from our Layton and West Haven dentists. We offer procedures that are cosmetic yet safe in nature, from porcelain veneers to teeth whitening. We can restore your teeth to their beautiful, white state so that you can smile with the utmost confidence.