Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic service in the world – and it’s easy to understand why.
Just as we all have different hair and skin color, we also all have different “tooth genetics.” Some people will be more affected by yellowing and discoloration of the teeth than others, for example.
Lifestyle also plays a significant role in how healthy your teeth look. The frequency in which you smoke tobacco, drink coffee, brush and floss your teeth, and practice good oral hygiene has a big impact on both the health and appearance of your teeth.
What sucks about teeth whitening? Well, first it can be expensive and time-consuming. A professional teeth whitening can cost up to $650 US. Second, most of us despise going to the dentist. Some polls report up to 80 percent of people have a fear of visiting a dental office. Hey, there are some fears we just don’t get over!
So, can we just bypass the dentist’s chair and take care of this whole teeth whitening thing ourselves?
Yes. In fact, we’re going to discuss not one, but five ways that you can whiten your own teeth! Better yet, all of these methods are inexpensive, requiring little more than common pantry goods and some patience!
Here are 5 ways to whiten your teeth at home:
1. Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a potent antibacterial agent. When combined with baking soda, the result is a great homemade toothpaste. You may also choose to use half water and half hydrogen peroxide for a good oral rinse.
When peroxide is added to baking soda, the latter helps to remove more plaque from your teeth. Clinical studies show that properly using Arm & Hammer baking soda as an oral agent reduces “mean plaque scores compared to using (other) baking soda-free products.”
2. Brushing after drinking or eating
While effective, brushing your teeth after drinking or eating isn’t always feasible (at work and school, for example.) But brushing after eating or drinking has some real benefits; namely, it improves overall oral hygiene and prevents teeth yellowing.
If you feel comfortable brushing your teeth in the office bathroom, keep on keeping on!
3. Coconut oil
Right when we think we’ve discovered all of the myriad health benefits of coconut oil, we find something else fascinating.
In a study published in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Hygiene, researchers write, “Edible oil-pulling therapy is natural, safe and has no side effects. Hence, it can be considered as a preventive therapy at home to maintain oral hygiene.” The reason why coconut oil is an excellent preventive treatment is that it has powerful anti-bacterial properties.
All you need to do is put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and swish for about 20 seconds. Something else you can do: put a few drops on your toothbrush and brush per usual!
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help remove the teeth of pesky stains that seem to stick around. As a natural antibiotic, it also helps preserve the health of our teeth and gums.
The compounds found within ACV, including acetic acid, enzymes, magnesium, potassium, and probiotics contribute to the overall oral health benefit of ACV. In fact, some studies show that ACV works equally well as other commercial whitening products – and without all the chemicals!
Because ACV is acidic, it’s recommended to brush against with regular (preferably non-fluoride) toothpaste. You can also use your finger to rub ACV on your teeth, then rinse with water or a hydrogen peroxide mix!
5. Fruits and vegetables
Slowly eating certain fruits and vegetables can help remove surface stains and food particles from your teeth. Celery, apples, carrots, and strawberries are all excellent food choices.
Strawberries are particularly effective due to their abundant amount of vitamin C and healthy enzymes. Not only can you chew this delicious fruit, but you can also mash a couple of strawberries and brush! Brushing with some strawberries two to three times per week is recommended.
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