Whitening your teeth with over-the-counter products can be expensive and time-consuming. However, natural products used consistently can whiten teeth without straining your budget!
Basics for a Whiter Smile
Keeping your teeth healthy and white begins with good basic oral hygiene. Sticky plaque, formed by bacteria, needs to be removed at least twice a day with a good, soft-bristled toothbrush. Remove the plaque between teeth with floss, and visit your dentist every six months to keep a healthy smile.
Snack and Drink Guidelines
What we eat – and what we don’t – can have a large impact on keeping teeth white. Sugary snacks and other sticky foods, as well as fruit juices and sodas, provide a good home for bacteria that turns to yellow plaque. Dark beverages like wine or coffee also stain our teeth.
Avoid accumulating plaque on your teeth by sticking to fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products and whole grains. Drink water or milk instead of sugary drinks. Crunchy foods like apples and carrots help fight plaque naturally.
Four Products to Whiten Teeth
Most of us have products in our homes that naturally – and inexpensively – fight plaque.
- Baking Soda – This natural teeth whitener is non-toxic and safe to use on a regular basis. It can be mixed with water or hydrogen peroxide to make a paste, or it can be mixed with your regular toothpaste to get the benefits without the bitter taste. Because baking soda is abrasive, limit use to two to three times per week.
- Peroxide – Mix equal parts of peroxide and mouthwash – swish before brushing for about 30 seconds.
- Vinegar – When brushing your teeth, dip your toothbrush in vinegar repeatedly and brush all of your teeth with it. Vinegar can also be used as a mouthwash – swish around for thirty seconds to a minute before or after brushing. The taste can be strong and rather unpleasant, so apple cider vinegar is a good alternative.
- Citrus Fruits – Citric acid is a great-tasting way to whiten teeth. Use the juice of a lemon, lime or orange on your toothbrush two to three times a week. The white part of the fruit can also be rubbed on the outer surfaces of your teeth, or you can hold a wedge of fruit against your teeth for a couple of minutes. Because of the acid content, three times a week is plenty for this natural tooth whitener.
With basic good oral hygiene and these natural products, keeping your teeth healthy and white can be simple and inexpensive!
Kelly Wilson is a busy mom who recommends regular dental visits, like to this Dentist in Silverton, Oregon.