At Home Whitening Tricks & Tips
I love coffee! I live off of coffee. It keeps me going throughout the day. But yellow teeth as a result… NO THANKS!
I often get asked what whitening tricks there are to do at home to maintain or whiten a smile. Before I tell you my own personal tips and tricks, I wanted to say that I have absolutely zero financial investment of any sort of whitening product, and that these opinions are of my own. I am about to share with you what I have found works over the years with my own teeth.
So here are my tricks:
1.) Brush with Baking Soda
I love baking soda for two reasons. First, it is a very mild abrasive powder that gently scrubs stains off your teeth. Second, it is more basic in pH, which essentially means it is a cavity-fighting agent. My recipe is: mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water, and use it to brush your teeth a few times per week. I am not a big fan of the bland and gritty taste and texture of plain baking soda, so I often opt for a toothpaste that already contains baking soda in it.
2.) Rinse with Hydrogen Peroxide
I have my patients rinse with Hydrogen Peroxide prior to sitting in the dental chair. Hydrogen Peroxide is a natural bleaching agent and it kills bacteria in your mouth. It just helps my patients have an overall cleaner mouth, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Warning: Hydrogen Peroxide does not taste super good, but it is effective in both whitening and reducing bacteria in your mouth.
3.) Wear a Nightguard
The outside portion of our tooth is called enamel. When people grind their teeth, some of that enamel wears off and exposes the dentin. Dentin is the second layer of the tooth and is and will always be yellow. You cannot whiten dentin. You can only whiten enamel. Wearing a night guard will prevent you from wearing off the whiter part of your tooth, the enamel.
4.) Eat Calcium Rich Foods
Foods such as milk and cheese are healthy for you and keep your enamel from eroding and exposing the yellow dentin underneath. We want to keep that enamel layer nice, healthy and strong with calcium rich foods. I’m all about eating healthy, so my daily diet consists of calcium rich foods like fish and spinach.
5.) Use an Electric Toothbrush
My favorite electric toothbrush is the Oral-B iO Series Toothbrush. It has a whitening function on there that helps gently scrub and take off stains. The toothbrush circulates in the same rotation as the polisher your hygienist uses. I have had many electric toothbrushes over the course of my career, but this one has exceeded my expectations and has gone above and beyond the other electric toothbrushes out on the market.
Flossing takes out the plaque between your teeth. When plaque sits on your teeth too long, it becomes tartar. This tartar or calculus is thick and yellow. It’s also hard to get off. My favorite floss is Cocofloss not only because of its fun flavors, but also because it is a thick and fibrous floss that scrubs between your teeth.
I will say though… I do whiten my teeth professionally in the office maybe once a year. I really don’t get them whitened in my office very often, even though I have the material and resources to do so, and that is because I don’t find the need to.
I will whiten my teeth with Opalescence BOOST in my office and then do the above tricks and tips I shared throughout the year. The BOOST whitening just gives me that extra burst of white for big events that I attend such as TV show filmings, weddings and major reunions. I often put on red lipstick for big appearances so it makes my teeth look ever whiter.
People often ask if I do anything special beyond all of this… and the answer is No. I absolutely cannot live without coffee, and there is a sign in my coffee nook in my kitchen that says… “Coffee is my true love.” I don’t even drink my coffee through a straw!
There’s no big secret to maintaining white teeth. There are so many whitening toothpastes and products to choose from… making it extra confusing! When it comes to products, I always make sure I choose products that have the ADA Seal of Acceptance. They are products that have gone through rigorous studies to get that seal. They are products that I know are safe and effective. There are a lot of “interesting” products on the market that promise a lot of effects. But be wary and always look for that ADA Seal. Follow my tricks and tips above, and good chances are… you’ll probably achieve those whiter teeth you are looking for!
Thanks for reading!
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