7 Safe Ways to Brighten Up Your Smile at Home
Nothing makes an impression like a bright smile that would light up anyone’s day. Humans regularly express themselves using their mouths. From our loud words to wide, photogenic grins, our attention is often drawn to mouth movement, and consequently, teeth.
Unfortunately, many of us are insecure about our smiles and the state of our teeth. We often cover our mouths when we laugh or give close-lipped smiles to the camera for a quick photograph due to several reasons.
One of these is having discolored teeth, which is common for most people. The constant wear and tear to our teeth’ outer layer, the enamel, can expose the yellowish dentin underneath and lead to intrinsic staining. The many foods we love to eat can cause extrinsic staining, especially from pigmented foods and drinks.
To avoid the look of teeth discoloration, keep reading to learn these seven effective and safe ways to show that bright white smile to the world!
Change Your Diet
The food we eat affects our body’s different parts and functions, including our teeth’ strength and coloration. The effects can vary from staining our teeth and wearing them down to their enamel, to strengthening and restoring our teeth’ health. The result largely depends on the food we eat.
Changing what we eat to a healthy diet is one of the best and most consistent ways not only to get that bright white smile but also to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Vitamin C is well known and often referred to as ascorbic acid. It has many important functions to keep our body healthy and working, including protecting and maintaining healthy skin, cartilage, and bones like teeth.
Eating vitamin C-rich foods and supplements can boost the effects this vitamin has on your body, including your teeth whitening.
Deficiency in Vitamin C was found to be associated with the loss of your tooth’s protective outer layer. Further, Vitamin C serves as protection against minocycline, a pigment that has been found to contribute to staining.
Fruits with high amounts of Vitamin C and various enzymes positively affect teeth coloration.
Both papaya and pineapple are known to contain enzymes that break down protein. It reduces the buildup of plaque and bacteria on the surface of your teeth.
Strawberries, watermelons, and the two mentioned fruits, in particular, have often been cited as the best fruits to whiten teeth stained by different foods.
Limit Your Consumption of Staining Foods
The food we eat is one of the biggest causes of extrinsic staining, particularly when we eat or drink pigmented foods.
The following favorite foods are well known to stain your teeth:
- Wine, specifically red wine
- Tea, specifically black tea
- Dark berries
Foods with strong pigmentation and food coloring, like pastries dyed with strong colors, have been found to cause discoloration of your teeth.
Those who eat Korean favorite foods such as kimchi and curry, as well as food using tomato sauce, show significant discoloration of teeth.
Avoiding the consumption of these kinds of food can stop extrinsic teeth staining before it even occurs.
Increase Your Calcium Intake
Calcium Phosphate makes up the white color of our bones. In addition to pigmentation, this compound also works to keep our bones healthy, strong, and completely repaired.
Drinking and eating calcium-rich foods such as milk and cheese have been found to counteract discoloration caused by staining foods.
It is suggested that coffee drinkers add milk to their coffee to reduce the effect or consume cheese and other dairy products after drinking coffee or wine.
Practice Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is the practice of swishing the mouth with oil.
The practice started in ancient India and was believed to heal various diseases and promote multiple health benefits. In addition to teeth whitening, oil pulling also decreases bad bacteria and plaque clinging to the mouth’s surface and even reduces bad breath.
Practicing oil pulling reported fewer negative side effects in comparison to those using mouthwash while still being effective as a teeth whitener over regular constant use.
To practice oil pulling regularly:
Prepare one tablespoon of oil. You can use these easily available commercial oils:
- Coconut oil
- Sesame oil
- Olive oil
- Sunflower oil
Rinse and swish the oil around your mouth for as long as 5 to 20 minutes, to your comfort.
Spit the oil out once done. Remember that oil can clog pipes such as the sink and it’s better to dispose of the oil through the trash or a paper towel.
If done successfully, the oil should turn into a thin and milky white color.
Rinse your mouth with warm saline or tap water. It is recommended to brush your teeth afterward.
It’s best to do this daily, before breakfast, on an empty stomach. Be careful not to swallow the oil as it contains harmful toxins.
Regularly used for food, baking soda is a common and easily available household item. This makes it a popular choice for at-home alternatives for teeth whitening.
Studies show that baking soda increased the effectiveness of toothpaste and other oral hygiene products. Simply mixing one part baking soda and two parts water to form a paste creates a possible toothpaste substitute for teeth whitening.
Meanwhile, do-it-yourself (DIY) methods are also effective, albeit less so than dental care products. While successful in lessening teeth stains, the abrasiveness of the DIY methods could also pose the risk of wearing down the teeth. Thus, it has to be done with care.
Similar to baking soda, Hydrogen Peroxide is often used in toothpaste and other teeth whitening products as a bleaching agent.
Used alongside baking soda, many toothpaste kinds demonstrate bleaching effects through hydrogen peroxide to whiten the teeth. Its bleaching effect occurs through the oxidation of the teeth’ organic bases instead of changing their organic content.
A higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide in teeth whitening products means higher effectiveness of teeth whitening.
The use of hydrogen peroxide makes it possible to use alongside baking soda as a DIY method. Instead of water, adding hydrogen peroxide can increase the effectiveness of the baking soda toothpaste substitute.
Charcoal has been used in a variety of ways, from cooking to writing and heat production. Activated charcoal is made through high-temperature exposure of regular charcoal which develops porous spaces. Similar to regular ones, activated charcoal is often also used for beauty, health, and dental practices.
This type of charcoal works by “trapping” toxins in its porous spaces. From there it can carry these harmful compounds out of the body.
Like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, activated charcoal has also been used as an ingredient for different oral care products.
The Charcoal Blast Whitening Toothpaste from Vivo Per Lei is a product that uses powerful activated charcoal to whiten the look of the teeth and leave your mouth feeling fresh and clean after use.
Brush Your Teeth Regularly
Nothing is more sure than regularly brushing and flossing your teeth to have a happy and healthy mouth.
After every meal, brushing your teeth would discourage bacteria’s growth and the piling up of plaque and food residue from your meal. It combines the abrasive effectivity of cleaning your teeth with a toothbrush and the benefits of multiple chemical techniques to leave your mouth clean.
Regular brushing would also decrease the effect of staining foods like coffee and wine on your teeth, preventing and lessening discoloration.
You can’t just simply run your toothbrush over your teeth. Here’s a guide for maximum effect when brushing teeth:
- Place a sufficient amount of toothpaste, about a centimeter long, on your toothbrush
- Rinse your mouth to remove loose food residue.
- At a 45 degree angle, brush the outer surface of your teeth in short strokes. Make sure to cover the entire surface up to the gums.
- At the same angle and brushstroke, clean the inner side of your teeth. Once you reach your front teeth’s inner surfaces, change the angle to brush your teeth with a gentle up and down motion.
- In quick, medium-length strokes, brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth. Move your toothbrush in a back-and-forth motion.
- Brush your gum line gently.
- Brush your tongue from the back to the front to remove food residue and bacteria sticking to the surface of your tongue.
- Spit out the accumulated saliva and foam. Rinse to get rid of the residue.
Choosing the right toothpaste is important to properly brush your teeth. As mentioned earlier, multiple toothpaste brands and types make use of ingredients such as baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and activated charcoal. One such example is the Charcoal Blast Whitening Toothpaste which uses activated charcoal to promote whiter-looking teeth.
Consider the different components of toothpaste to pick the best toothpaste for you.
Just like toothpaste, using the right toothbrush for you when brushing your teeth can affect regular brushing effectiveness.
Some toothbrushes have different densities of bristles. Some are hard or soft, which changes their ability to reach places and scrub plaque and stain on your teeth’s surface.
Using Commercial Teeth Whiteners
While many of the ways to whiten the look of your teeth listed above involve easily available ingredients such as baking soda, oil, and fruits, commercial teeth whiteners are often a much more sure, tried, and tested way to whiten the appearance of your teeth.
Whitening toothpaste containing baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and activated charcoal is only one of the dental products available to help lessen the look of teeth discoloration.
Whitening strips, and tray-based teeth whiteners are also available to use at home from your dentists or over the counter.
One such product is the Charcoal Blast Teeth Whitening Powder from Vivo Per Lei, which provides a teeth whitener alternative without harmful ingredients. It works to reduce the appearance of stains and boost the overall appearance of your gums and teeth. It even comes in both mint and cinnamon variations.
The Final Bite
There are multiple methods easily available from the grocery, over the counter, or through an online shop, that can give you that bright-looking smile you’re aiming for.
Many of these have been in practice since ancient times, supported now by multiple studies, while others are still being further researched to prove their effectiveness. From natural methods to commercial products, these all work to whiten the look of your teeth.
Don’t be frustrated if it takes a bit of time to notice these effects — some results show only after consistent practice.
Remember to consult with your dentist before trying one of these methods to ensure your health and safety. Choose your whitening way with care and give the world a bright smile.