What You Need to Know About Whitening Your Teeth
When you first meet a new person, what’s the first thing you notice about them? Their smile, of course! Smiles have been an essential part of human interaction for thousands of years. We’ve always known that smiles were good for making friends, attracting mates, and strengthening social bonds. And as long as we’ve known that, we’ve been coming up with ways to make our smiles brighter and shinier.
There are many ways that people have developed over the past thousands of years to keep our teeth looking their best, and regular brushing is just one of them. Folk methods for teeth whitening were developed long before the first formal dentist’s office offered teeth whitening. You may have heard of a few of these methods, or even tried them yourself. If you’re interested in teeth whitening at home, though, there are a few things you need to be aware of.
What You Need to Know About DIY Teeth Whitening Options
There are a few home remedies that people use when they want white teeth. They have varying levels of success, but none of the methods described below is as effective or safe as having a professional teeth whitening dentist take care of it. Still, there are some options available to you if you’re looking for DIY teeth whitening.
- Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda. The classic choice for DIY teeth whitening is a paste made of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda. This mix of mild oxidizer and mild abrasive can scrub and whiten your teeth, but can also damage enamel and cause sensitivity. For a slightly gentler solution, use lemon juice instead of hydrogen peroxide.
- Apple Cider Vinegar. This mild acid can help whiten teeth and break down plaque, but can also break down enamel and cause sensitivity and damage if overused. Be sure to use in moderation, no more than 2-3 times a week.
- Coconut Oil and Peppermint Leaf. This interesting combination is a good alternative to the more severe options listed above. Coconut oil contains trace amounts of lauric acid, a mild acid that can help break down bacteria on the surface of the teeth. This is a long-acting solution, so you’ll need to use it consistently for several weeks before you see any effect.
- Strawberry, Salt, and Baking Soda Scrub. Another “gentle” alternative to the stronger acids and oxidizers listed above, this mixture is recommended by some holistic health groups as a natural remedy. According to these groups, the malic acid contained in strawberries serves to gently break down bacteria, while the salt and baking soda scrub away plaque and stains.
Keep in mind that the solutions listed above are not long-term solutions to the problem of stained teeth. If you want your teeth looking like new, you’ll need to see a professional, and there’s no better place for that than Reconstructive Dentistry. Give us a call today to see how we can help you with your teeth whitening.