Whitening your (not so) pearly whites doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg. In a world where you can get high-quality teeth alignment in the comfort of your own home, it stands to reason that you can also whiten your teeth at home. There are inexpensive, effective teeth-whitening options available today. Whitening can be done at home in safe and natural ways, but before you follow a DIY teeth whitening recipe on the internet, there are a few things you should know.
Your teeth are porous, so they soak up the color of things you eat and drink. Each time you drink a red wine or eat something dark like a berry, you stain your teeth a little bit. Over time, these stains build up and yellow the overall color of your teeth. Over time, as you eat a normal diet, your teeth naturally change color. The only way to reverse this change is through active stain removal tactics like teeth whitening.
Though normal, everyday foods will yellow your teeth over time, there are foods that stain your teeth more than others. Dark colored sodas, coffee, red wines, berries, tea, beets and soy sauce are extreme tooth-staining culprits. Smoking also yellows teeth significantly.
Knowing which foods are particularly tooth-staining can help you remember to use a straw, make conscious eating choices, and watch for signs of teeth yellowing.
Teeth can also turn yellow for non-diet related reasons. Certain medications can yellow your smile and excessive fluoride intake and dry mouth also play a role. Genetics is also a large contributing factor to yellowing teeth.
Before trying any of these at-home, DIY teeth whitening methods, it’s highly recommended that you consult with your dentist first.
This DIY teeth whitening hack has been around for a long time because it works. Mix equal parts fresh lemon juice and baking soda in a bowl creating a thick paste and brush on your teeth for about two minutes. This DIY teeth whitening mix may not taste amazing, but it will whiten your teeth.
Lemon juice has brightening properties that have long been used to brighten and clean everything from countertops to skin. The acidity of the lemon juice helps it permeate the pores of your teeth and remove the stains. The baking soda acts as a neutralizer so that the lemon juice does not damage your teeth. The baking soda also works as a gentle scrub to open the pores of your teeth and help remove old stains.
This trick can brighten your smile, but for a truly whiter grin, you can repeat once every 4 or 5 days for a few months.
Be careful with lemon juice, as it can eat into your teeth enamel if left in your mouth too long. Rinse your mouth thoroughly after brushing your teeth with lemon juice and baking soda.
Though it may seem counterintuitive to blacken your teeth with charcoal to whiten them, this trick actually works. Using activated charcoal in your teeth brushing regimen can whiten and brighten your teeth, and it’s a non-aggressive way to keep those pearly whites sparkly.
You must buy medical grade activated charcoal, or charcoal that has been specifically designed to whiten teeth. Grabbing old charcoal from a fire pit or grill will not do the trick. Once you have a jar of activated charcoal, dip a wet toothbrush in the powder and brush it onto your teeth. Let the charcoal sit for at least 45s seconds to a minute to soak into the pores and attach to the stains — then brush your teeth as you would with toothpaste. After you are done brushing, rinse your mouth out and brush your teeth with a regular toothpaste.
Because the chemical makeup of activated charcoal allows it to bind to stains and lift easily with water, charcoal makes an excellent DIY teeth whitener. Because the charcoal is not harmful to your teeth in any way, this teeth whitening trick can be done daily.
Oil pulling has long been a somewhat debated teeth whitening trick but many people swear by its effectiveness. In order to oil pull, individuals take coconut oil and swish it around their mouths for 15-25 minutes before brushing their teeth. This method works by not only extracting stains near the surface of your teeth but by improving your overall oral hygiene as well.
Oil pulling also helps reduce the plaque and bacteria in your mouth which leads to a healthier mouth and body, and in turn, a much whiter smile. This method of DIY teeth whitening is completely safe and does not harm the enamel of your teeth in any way. Oil pulling may be a good option for those with particularly sensitive teeth.
Rubbing lemon rinds across your teeth is another way to whiten them. Less acidic than hacks that use straight lemon juice, this trick harnesses the whitening power of lemons in a less aggressive way. Though some people may be fine using lemon juice in their teeth whitening recipes, those with sensitive teeth can use lemon rinds to achieve a similar effect.
Lemons have long been used to bleach everything from skin to hair, and whitening your teeth with the rind gives you controlled access to that bleaching power. Always rinse your mouth after rubbing citrus rind on your teeth to protect your enamel.
Perhaps the most effective way to keep your teeth white is to brush them regularly and at the appropriate times. If you have just consumed a food that is known to stain teeth, brush your teeth as soon as possible. It may sound simple, but it works. No matter how many whitening tricks you try, if you are not brushing your teeth twice a day, and after you smoke or eat tooth-staining foods, you will quickly reverse the benefits of DIY teeth whitening.
You can use a homemade or store-bought whitening toothpaste for added benefit, but overall, your oral health and teeth whiteness depend a lot on brushing. Brushing helps get rid of the stains before they settle, removes plaque and bacteria, and keeps teeth strong and healthy. A healthy and clean mouth leads to whiter, brighter teeth.
No matter what DIY teeth whitening trick you choose, listen to your body. If you abuse a particular teeth whitening method, you may be in danger of eroding the enamel of your teeth, creating tooth sensitivity, and damaging your smile. If you feel that one method is too harsh for your already sensitive teeth, find something that works for you. There are several different natural DIY teeth whitening options, making it easy for everyone to find something that works for them. Remember to be patient as you whiten your teeth — perfect pearly whites do not happen overnight.