Pearly white teeth are something we’d all love to be proud owners of, but such an asset does entail a certain amount of maintenance. There are those, of course, who are born with naturally bleached enamel. You lucky rascals, you. Then there are those whose colouring isn’t as striking, which doesn’t necessarily mean that their canines and molars are in bad form. It is only with the rise of Photoshop and the media that we’ve become so focused on a milky pigment for them that we’ve come to equate such a hue with health. In any case, there are several ways and means to combat plaque and consequently, bring out an ivory glow.
Many opt for the professional route of having their teeth whitened. However, quite a percentage of people who have sensitive teeth decline this procedure as it can further unnerve their fangs. Luckily, we’re here to present to you some alternative solutions and tips to brightening that smile.
Let’s start off with the basics:
Go to the dentist – Yes, many of us don’t like dentists. Yes, a lot of us are scared, as they are often armed with needles and strange machinery. Yes, they do cost. However, going to the dentist will lessen the chances of you knocking someone out with unbearable bad breath. By having a check up every six months, your dentist will be able to notify you on what’s going on in your gob, and h/she will be able to give them a thorough clean, reducing plaque that is often the main cause of that yellowish hue none of us are a fan of. They’ll also be able to professionally guide you through the best channels for a whitening solution.
Brush your teeth – Twice. Do not let it just be part of your morning routine. Discipline yourself into giving them a scrub just before you go to bed. If you’ve eaten something acidic, give yourself 30 minutes before brushing, as the acidic residue will break down enamel through the motion of the bristles. Try to also brush them after you’ve consumed a sugary snack. This will stop plaque from hardening and evolving into tartar, which is even more stubborn to remove.
Lessen your caffeine and cigarette intake – Coffee is one of the main culprits of teeth staining. Your daily fuel-up, along with the string of smokes throughout the day, quicken the staining process. They are also responsible for bad breath. Instead of sipping coffee throughout the day, try to consume it at a specific time in the morning, and then apply mouth wash or have a good scrub to eliminate any pigmentation and any lingering odour. If you are addicted to these two, a regular dentist appointment every three months is recommended… and don’t forget to show up. Don’t just book it and not… Look, just man up and go.
Choose the right toothpaste – Many brands offer special toothpastes which are specifically designed to whiten teeth. It may take a while to find one whose intensity agrees with you best, so be ready to shop around. However, they are only effective if you take up the habit of brushing twice a day. If you want to see results in a fortnight, you’ve got to commit to this routine.
Change and maintain your toothbrush – If the bristles are sticking out after 3 months, then it’s time to change it. Find an intensity that is best suited for you, but make sure that all the bristles are in tact, as there must be full contact with the groves in your teeth.
And now for the more unorthodox methods:
Oil pulling – This Ayurvedic method can involve olive, sesame or coconut oil. In the morning, before you’ve had any breakfast and while you’re going about your routine, take a spoonful of your preferred oil and swirl it in your mouth for 20 minutes. Coconut oil is the most beneficial because of its antioxidant properties and Vitamin E content. The oil will disintegrate bacteria in your mouth, and once you’re done, spit it out in a bin and not your sink, as it can clog up your drains, especially if you plan on doing this on a daily basis. Brush your teeth afterwards to complete the cleaning process.
Strawberry Mixture – Strawberries contain malic acid which is an ideal stain and plaque remover. You can create a paste with this fruit when combined with baking soda, which can be used in the same way as a toothpaste. Mash up 3 strawberries and mix with ½ a teaspoon of baking soda. Dip your toothbrush in the paste and brush for a few minutes. Spit it out after and rinse. Do make sure you use baking soda and not baking powder, as they are not the same in the least.
Baking Soda and Lemon Juice Mixture – Speaking of baking soda, many remedies include this ingredient because of its abrasive properties. Simply add enough lemon juice until a workable paste is formed. The acidity of the lemon juice will break down plaque, but do be careful as it can also strip down enamel. Dip your toothbrush into it and work around your teeth. Spit it out and rinse.
Apple Cider Vinegar – This product is used for everything. If it’s good enough for surface stains and salads, then it’s bound to be good enough for our teeth. You may either mix this liquid with half a teaspoon of baking soda, or just use it as a substitute for mouth wash. Again, this is a natural product that must be used on a regular basis if you want to see considerable results.
These methods are, of course, alternatives, and none will surpass the professional guidance and care by your dentist. It is vital that you consult your dental hygienist every 6 months in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums.
Have you tried any of these? If not, which one would you be willing to try?
Let us know in the comment section below!