If there’s one beauty feature everyone wants to achieve, it’s a set of dazzling, white teeth. When your teeth look good, you’re more likely to show them off – and there’s a reason those chompers are often admirably called your “pearly whites.”
The desire for white teeth has led to the creation of a billion-dollar industry: the at-home whitener. You’ve probably seen them in your local grocery store. Toothpaste, whitening strips, large contraptions that promise to bleach your teeth with LED lights…
Do these things actually work?
The answer is that they do – though just how effective they care is up for debate. In fact, there are plenty of at-home remedies you can use to keep your teeth looking their brightest. Here are just a few of our favorites.
Proper Oral Hygiene
First and foremost, everyone should practice proper dental hygiene all the time. Regular brushing and flossing will prevent a vast array of oral health problems, from cavities and tooth decay to periodontitis (aka severe gum disease).
But even if you’re not worried about those issues (which, for the record, you should be), good oral hygiene also offers a cosmetic benefit. See, most tooth discoloration is caused by bacteria and food particles sitting along your gum line. If you brush your teeth and floss, those particles are wiped away – leaving you with a clean, clear, beautiful mouth!
Make sure that you brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day. You should also floss once each day and use a mouthwash once a day for a little extra cleanliness.
A Tooth-Friendly Diet
You probably know that tooth discoloration is caused by the things you put into your body. For example, smokers’ teeth become dingy and yellow because of the smoke they’re constantly inhaling. However, smoking, drinking red wine, or guzzling coffee aren’t the ONLY ways to stain your teeth. Many healthy foods can also impact your pearly whites.
Foods like blueberries, blackberries, soda, and tomato sauce can also leave lasting stains on your teeth. So, one easy way to minimize tooth stains is to avoid these foods! Of course, you may not want to eliminate pasta or blueberries from your diet (and we don’t blame you). If that’s the case, there is another option: up your intake of fibrous fruits and veggies.
Foods like apples and celery sticks are extra rough, and they can act as natural toothbrushes as you chew. While these foods are hardly as efficient as a toothbrush (and should NEVER be a replacement for traditional oral care), they can help scrub away new stains before they have time to settle on your teeth.
Whitening Toothpastes and Strips
Alright, let’s discuss those at-home remedies. Whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, and bleaching trays are actually effective. They are formulated with peroxides and bleaches, which will slowly penetrate stains on your enamel and cause them to fade.
Are at-home whitening kits a substitute for professional whitening? Not really. The results are usually more subdued than a professional treatment, and they do take a few weeks of constant use to see results. However, if you’re looking for a cheap, effective way to slightly whiten your teeth for a special occasion (say a wedding or prom), these products can be a great bet.
Regular Dental Visits
We’ll admit it: this last tip isn’t exactly an “at-home” option. However, regular dental appointments are an important part of your oral hygiene routine, and professional cleanings can make a big difference in the way your smile looks!
Whether you need professional dental whitening or just a routine cleaning, the TruBlu Dentistry team is here to help you.