The following is a guest post by Open Care.
When you look in the mirror, do you see yellow teeth reflected back at you?
Do you long for a summer tan so that your teeth will appear whiter?
Unfortunately as we age, enamel—the white covering that protects teeth—breaks down, revealing the yellow dentin beneath.
This is especially frustrating when you consider how important a great smile is. For starters, it’s the first thing that people notice about you, and it has an impact on how they perceive your health and overall appearance.
Also, smiling has an effect on your mood and self-esteem. For example, have you ever noticed how fantastic you feel when you look your best?
A bright smile can elevate your self-confidence in social situations, making you more attractive not just physically but also, with your sparkling personality.
Fortunately, there are some easy things that you can do at home to whiten your teeth and improve your smile:
You’ve heard this one many times before but it still applies. Oftentimes, our favorite foods and drinks—red wine, coffee, sticky candy—are the worst offenders when it comes to yellowing teeth. After each meal or beverage, make sure to brush at least 2 minutes with a soft toothbrush.
Can’t get to the sink?
Swish your mouth with water a few times to rinse mouth free of acids that are damaging to tooth enamel.
Baking soda is a mild abrasive that provides one of the most gentle ways to remove surface stains. Simply sprinkle it over your regular toothpaste and brush as you normally would. Twice a month, brush with just baking soda alone for maximum results.
Although coconut oil pulling sounds odd, the oil itself has a number of health benefits, including an antibacterial effect on your gums. To try this, put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth before brushing your teeth in the morning. Then, swish it around and “pull” the oil through your teeth for 10-15 minutes.When you’re done, spit the oil out, rinse your mouth with water, and brush your teeth.
The oil will get into crevices in the mouth, helping to remove bacteria that even your tooth bristles can’t reach. If you decide to go this route, make sure you spit the oil into your trashcan so as not to clog drains.
Apple cider vinegar can be great at removing tough stains. Simply rinse your mouth with a tablespoon of it before brushing your teeth. However, you do want to be careful about the frequency that you use this method. Save it for those special occasions where you really want to look your best. The overuse of vinegar can cause your tooth enamel to break down over time.
Want to squeeze every last bit of use out of a lemon or orange? Surprisingly, the inside of the peels are very effective natural whiteners. Just rub the white stringy part of the peel on your teeth and follow it up with rinsing.
Strawberries, that is. They contain an enzyme—malic acid—which acts as an astringent to remove surface discoloration. For fun, just pop some in your mouth and chew (this may be your favorite whitening method of all!). Or you can mash-up some strawberries and run the juice over your teeth. After a minute, rinse your mouth out with water. Strawberries are high in Vitamin C which helps break down the plaque that leads to yellow teeth.
There are many types of over the counter teeth whitening trays out there, but they all work similarly. The trays are flexibly designed so they adhere to the shape of your mouth. Simply fill the tray with the provided whitening solution—or purchase pre-filled trays—and bite down on it. In a week’s time, you can expect your teeth to improve by 3-4 shades.
Strips are an increasingly popular method of whitening teeth at home. If you decide to try them, adhere the strips to your top and bottom teeth and then follow the manufacturer’s directions. In some cases, you’ll pull them off after a set amount of time. Other strips will dissolve in 15-20 minutes. Although they take time to see results, you should notice a difference of a few shades in 2 weeks.
With a paint-on whitener, you’ll apply a bleaching gel onto the surface of your teeth with an applicator brush. These are much like nail polish brushes in that they function similarly and are simple to use. Also, they make it easier to avoid getting gel onto sensitive gums. Most paint-on whiteners are applied twice a day for 30 minutes at a time and results can be seen in a few weeks.
While this is the most expensive at-home whitening option (they typically cost around $200), it also garners rave reviews from users. With these devices, you apply a whitening gel to your teeth. Then you insert a mouthpiece that combines heat and light to accelerate the whitening process and gives you professional results at home. To maintain the look, dentists recommend that you use the system once a month.
As you can see, there are a number of easy things that you can do at-home to keep your smile bright. These range from the inexpensive—buying a pint of strawberries—to the more costly at-home whitening device.
Pick something that fits into your budget and watch your teeth go from dull yellow to pearly white. You’ll love taking your new smile out in public.
OpenCare is changing the face of healthcare. With a suite of online booking and CRM tools, we enable health providers to deliver the best patient experience, as well as improve patient acquisition and retention. OpenCare enables health providers to publish available appointments online and connect with patients in need across the web. Getting started is free and in one click OpenCare integrates with clinic software.
Image Credit: Piotr Bizior – http://www.bizior.com