But if you’re looking to transform your stained choppers into a sparkling smile, there’s plenty of ways to do it. In fact, here are just 10 things you can do on your own to get brighter, whiter teeth at home.
DIY Whiter Teeth #1: Quit smoking
It’s no secret that the nicotine and other ingredients in cigarettes are harmful to your health, causing cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung disease, diabetes, and more. On top of that long list of issues, smoking also tarnishes your beautiful smile. The tar and nicotine in the tobacco you’re smoking quickly seep into the pores in your teeth, and this causes that yellow/brown blotchy discoloration. Yuk.
One of the first steps to getting whiter teeth all on your own is to kick that ugly habit. Not only will your body thank you for it, but your teeth will too. Same goes for chewing tobacco, by the way.
DIY Whiter Teeth #2: Use teeth whitening kits and treatments
This is probably the easiest and most effective way to get whiter teeth all on your own. Teeth whitening treatments used to be a lengthy process that required you to go down to a clinic, pay some professional a boatload of money, and sit through a painful procedure to procure a whiter smile for yourself. Thank goodness for modern advancements!
Today you can order a teeth whitening kit online, have the kit delivered to your door, and administer the teeth whitening treatment all by yourself and in the comfort and convenience of your own home.
There are several different types of treatments, including LED teeth whitening kits, whitening toothpastes and gels, and touchup whitening pens. Use the one that works best for you, but all of them are effective, easy to apply, and a helluva lot better than the old-school clinical option.
DIY Whiter Teeth #3: Try oil pulling
Oil pulling is not a 100% proven method for whitening your teeth. So be aware of this before you try it out. At the same time, so long as you do it properly, it won’t do any damage either. So oil pulling can be worth a shot if you’re up for it.
Use a gentle oil like organic coconut oil so you don’t have a nasty taste in your mouth. Take a teaspoon or two into your mouth, and rub it on your teeth. Now leave it there for several minutes, ideally up to 30, but no less than 10. Spit out the oil, rinse out your mouth, and brush your teeth to achieve the whitening effect. DO NOT swallow the oil. Yuck!
DIY Whiter Teeth #4: Mind your teeth after you eat and drink the real culprits
While you should always mind your teeth after partaking of food, there are certain foods and drinks that are notorious for staining your pearly whites. Coffee, tea, alcohol (particularly red wine), soda, and some dark berries are particularly good at discoloring your teeth. Many dentists recommend avoiding these foods and drinks altogether to prevent teeth staining. But if you are the type who can’t say no to their cuppa, then all is not lost. Simply keep a toothbrush and toothpaste handy and scrub down quickly after you’ve had your morning coffee or evening brandy. It’ll also keep your breath feeling and smelling minty fresh. Win-win!
DIY Whiter Teeth #5: Eat more fruits and veggies
You’ll hear a lot about the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables for various health reasons. But did you know that these products can also help you keep your teeth whiter? That’s right. Particularly high water content produce (strawberries and pineapple in particular) can help cleanse your teeth, removing the plaque and other bacteria that form along your gum line, causing tooth decay and staining. What’s more, chomping down on those crunchy veggies will stimulate saliva production, further rinsing the mouth of harmful bacteria, acids, and food particles that can settle on your teeth. Finally, higher levels of vitamin C may also minimize plaque buildup, making teeth stay cleaner and healthier all around.
DIY Whiter Teeth #6: Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
It’s pretty simple. When your mouth gets dry, plaque builds up, enamel begins to erode, and teeth inevitably yellow. One way to prevent this from happening is to stay hydrated throughout the day. The water will not only rinse out your mouth from leftover food particles that might be hanging around after a meal, but the saturation will also keep your mouth moist, preventing harmful enamel erosion.
DIY Whiter Teeth #7: Use an apple cider vinegar rinse
Apple cider vinegar is another homemade remedy that some people use to whiten their teeth. Once again, this method needs to be used sparingly and can’t be recommended as a daily treatment option. If you are keen on trying the apple cider vinegar option, though, you can make a rinse by mixing roughly 1 teaspoon of the stuff into 3 ounces of water (you can make as much as you want, but follow these proportions). Again, this method should only be used intermittently with safer and more reliable teeth whitening options.
DIY Whiter Teeth #8: Or a hydrogen peroxide wash
Hydrogen peroxide is used to disinfect wounds, clean out cuts, and generally as a washover for sanitizing areas. And guess what, it can do the same thing in your mouth. Hydrogen peroxide will kill the bacteria in your mouth very effectively. But WAIT! Before you go swigging a bottle of the stuff, it’s not that simple. While you’ll find hydrogen peroxide in many whitening toothpastes, using the substance on its own may cause gum irritation and sensitivity in the teeth. For this reason, it’s not really recommended to use hydrogen peroxide directly on the teeth on its own. Instead, look for a whitening product with this mixed into the ingredients for a boosted whitening effect.
DIY Whiter Teeth #9: Or a baking soda scrub
Baking soda seems to be the cure-all for health nuts. From soothing canker sores to natural deodorant, baking soda packs a powerful punch and heals what ails ya. And since it is mildly abrasive, baking soda can also help clear away some of those pesky stains on the surface of your teeth in a mild, non-damaging way.
More good news, since baking soda is alkaline, your mouth will become an unfriendly environment for bacterial growth. Bye-bye bacteria, hello whiter teeth. You can use a little on your toothbrush to scrub away at stains. Just don’t do this all the time, or you may notice adverse effects.
DIY Whiter Teeth #10: Understand prevention
Obviously, the number one way to keep your teeth white is to practice good oral hygiene. Everyone knows that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Good oral hygiene includes:
- Brushing after you’ve eaten
- Flossing regularly
- Using mouthwash when you can’t brush or floss
- Going for regular checkups to your dental hygienist
Love Yourself More With a Whiter Smile All on Your Own
Making a pearly white smile has never been easier. Don’t buy into expensive gimmicks that require you to make long commitments, spend thousands of dollars, or drive you crazy. There are plenty of at-home options for whitening your teeth naturally and inexpensively. And even the professional teeth whitening kits with LED lights and specially-formulated gels are available for just a few dollars. Sparkling white teeth aren’t reserved for Hollywood anymore!