4 Home Remedies to Whiten Teeth
DIY Recipes and Tips for a Bright White Smile
Proper Brushing: What You Might Not Have Known
It doesn’t matter how many whitening treatments you apply, if you’re not following proper dental hygiene you’re wasting your time.
“The recommended brushing time is between 2 to 3 minutes per session with a minimum of two brushing sessions per day,” says Dentist Marielaina Perrone, DDS.
Family Dentist Mark Burhenne, DDS stresses that proper technique is also necessary so you don’t wear down your enamel. “Brush after meals and use a gentle, small, circular motion while tilting the bristles at a 45 degree angle toward the gum line,” he explains. “And remember that no matter how long you brush, it doesn’t replace flossing.” Do that at least once a day.
DIY Strawberry Whitening Paste
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
In a small bowl, mash a strawberry well. Mix in the baking soda. Using a damp toothbrush, brush the mix onto your teeth. Leave on your teeth for five minutes, rinse your mouth and then brush and floss as normal.
Try doing this twice a week until you achieve your desired results.
DIY Hydrogen Peroxide + Baking Soda Paste
2 tablespoons hydrogen peroxide
2 tablespoons baking soda
In a small jar or other airtight container, combine the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. Mix them together to form a smooth, thick paste. (You can keep this paste stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks).
After brushing and flossing your teeth as you normally would, wet your toothbrush and apply a small amount of this paste (cover the bristles). Then brush your teeth for two minutes, avoiding the gums, as this can lighten them as well. Now rinse the toothbrush and brush your teeth with clean water for two more minutes. Rinse your mouth with warm water.
Do this one to two times per week, until you reach your desired shade. Then reduce usage, and do this only one to three times per month.
Simple Baking Soda Super-Charge
This one’s great because it doesn’t require almost any additional effort outside of your normal brushing routine.
Small pinch of baking soda
Spread toothpaste on your toothbrush. (Bonus trivia: that little swipe of toothpaste on your brush has a name: nurdle. Kind of cute.) Then sprinkle a pinch of baking soda onto the toothpaste and brush your teeth as normal.
Repeat once per day for about a week and then do only once per week as maintenance.
Banana Peel Rub
Simply rub the inside of a banana peel all over your teeth for two minutes. Then brush your teeth with your regular toothpaste.
You can do this everyday until you’re satisfied with the shade of your pearly whites.
Tricks to Prevent Staining
In addition to trying these whitening recipes, also take these measures to help prevent teeth staining.
Things we commonly ingest that stain our teeth: coffee, tea, sodas, wine, acidic foods and beverages, blueberries.
When possible, try consuming these drinks through a straw so that they bypass your teeth, having less of a chance to stain them. (Blueberries through a straw, you’re wondering? Think smoothies).
But when straws are out of the question (we know you’d get weird looks drinking wine through a straw), Dr. Burhenne says that you can also reduce the staining effects of these foods by brushing and floss after consuming them.
Note that if you’ve just had acidic food or drinks, rinse your mouth out with water, but wait an hour or so before brushing your teeth as this could accelerate the wearing down of tooth enamel and staining.
But if you’ve consumed teeth staining foods or drinks and it’s going to be a long while before you get your hands on a toothbrush, just make sure that you rinse your mouth out with water (swish it around your teeth thoroughly).
Also, “Eating cheese or sipping water while you enjoy your wine can neutralize the acidic effects of the wine,” says Dr. Burhenne. An excuse to eat more cheese? Yes, please.
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