Dentist appointments. For me, these two words are cringe-worthy and should be avoided at all costs. I have an irrational fear of dentists. Well, I don’t know that it’s an irrational fear. Getting poked in the mouth with mini metal weapons sounds legitimately scary. I digress…
Still, many people face their fears every year to receive whitening treatments for that glamorous, Hollywood smile. The trouble is that professional and even over-the-counter treatments are expensive (I’d rather spend my money on gourmet ice cream), not to mention painful, and present various side effects.
You can avoid those expenses by giving yourself a home whitening treatment that’s organic and healthier in the long run. Try out these three ways to whiten your chompers:
1. Fruits and Veggies
Some home remedies are a little hard to do because of the awful taste, like baking soda or hydrogen peroxide. Doesn’t it sound much more appealing to snack on carrots and strawberries instead? Plus, they’re healthy for you too!
Fresh, raw vegetables help whiten your teeth because their coarse texture works almost like a brush to remove food and stains. Like any food, they’ll also produce saliva, which naturally protects your teeth with its mixture of proteins and minerals.
Fruits create this same effect as well, but strawberries are especially known for their teeth-whitening properties through vitamin C and malic acid. Prepare strawberry toothpaste by crushing them into a juicy pulp and rubbing it onto your teeth with a toothbrush. Uhm – YUM! Leave it on for about a minute, and then rinse and brush thoroughly with regular toothpaste.
2. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is currently a popular and curious method for teeth whitening. It’s done through oil pulling, which involves rinsing one’s mouth with oil for about 15 minutes to remove bacteria and promote fresh breath.
Coconut oil (located in your local grocery store) is likely the more popular choice not only for its appealing taste but for its health benefits like killing bacteria, burning fat and moisturizing skin to name a few.
To perform oil pulling, swish a tablespoon of coconut oil around your mouth for about 15 minutes. The oil removes bacteria by dissolving and “pulling” it from your teeth. Brush and rinse your teeth afterwards.
3. Change Your Diet
We are what we eat, and the foods you consume play a major part in teeth strength and appearance.
Milk is a no-brainer for strong bones and a healthy smile, and you’ll find milk in other delicious products such as yogurt or cheese (try staying away from the chocolate). Dark green vegetables, like spinach or broccoli, contain iron that protects enamel by building a protective, acid-resistant coating. A little cream or milk in your coffee or tea also makes it harder for these dark beverages to stain your teeth.
Cut back on the junk food. Sweets and soda stick to your teeth and erode them if not cared for properly afterwards. Avoid those sugary foods, and if you can’t give up soda, drink through a straw to keep it from touching your teeth.
Avoid Whitening Treatments
They remove protective enamel and increase tooth sensitivity to hot and cold. Over-bleaching can also give them an unnatural color like gray or blue.
Avoid Highly Acidic Foods
As natural and effective as lemon juice and orange peels are, their high acidic content is more damaging than helpful. Keep your treatments extremely limited if you rinse with lemon juice, and always brush your teeth after you’ve finished.
Brush and Floss
While it’s a bit extreme to brush after every time you eat, it doesn’t hurt to brush after you’ve consumed foods or beverages that are more likely to stain, especially if it’s wine or coffee, the dirty dynamic duo.
Simple and Natural
Far less expensive than a trip to the dentist, these natural remedies may not be a quick fix, but they are a healthier, gradual step to whiter teeth. All it takes is a little patience and a few changes in eating habits. Happy whitening!