A gleaming bright smile is incredibly important. Nobody wants a dull, yellowed grin that they have to hide from view. Stained teeth can often be the sign of larger problems like unhealthy gums, diminishing enamel, and overall poor dental hygiene. But don’t despair! There are some great ways that you can brighten your smile right at home. If you’re looking to improve your smile and get your dental health in line, call us at White Smiles Family Dentistry.

-Common Causes

Before we look at ways to whiten your teeth, we need to take a look at common things that lead to yellowing or browning of teeth. Many of the culprits are food and drink. Coffee, tea, soda, and any particularly acidic or processed foods can stain teeth if not handled properly. Smoking cigarettes is a sure way to turn your teeth brown, and it doesn’t do your breath any favors either. Ignoring proactive oral hygiene like regular brushing and flossing will also lead to stained teeth. It can also be the result of thinning enamel, which happens as you age. Keep in mind, white teeth don’t necessarily mean healthy teeth. Gum disease and cavities can still crop up, even in the brightest smiles.

-Regular Brushing After Eating or Drinking

Now that we have an understanding of what can cause a stained smile, we can get into treating it. Brushing your teeth after you eat or drink something will help prevent staining before it sets in. We realize this isn’t easy, as you’re not always somewhere that makes brushing your teeth an easy task to accomplish. It takes persistence and dedication, but you can see improvement even by just doing this more often than you do currently.

Avoid smoking cigarettes and drinking too much coffee or soda when you can. Improving your overall dental hygiene and eat a healthy diet will help prevent yellow teeth as well. Drinking staining beverages can’t always be avoided, but using a straw with soda and reducing your coffee intake will have a noticeable effect on your smile. Drinking water after a meal can help wash away stains before they set in.

-Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

No, you didn’t take a wrong turn and end up back in science class. This combination can really work! Because hydrogen peroxide is antibacterial, it can work wonders as a whole mouth and gum cleaner, as it will keep your mouth free of germs. You can make a simple mouthwash with half water and hydrogen peroxide, which you can use just like the antiseptic mouthwash you get at the store. Because hydrogen peroxide is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial agent, it helps keep your breath fresh as it fights off odor-creating bad bacteria. It also helps whiten teeth and provides natural protection against gingivitis and periodontitis.

You can also mix hydrogen peroxide with baking soda to create a homemade toothpaste that helps remove plaque from teeth more effectively. To use this technique properly, it should be applied after brushing with your normal toothbrush. Because baking soda is very gritty, it’s important to make sure you have enough hydrogen peroxide in the mix — if there isn’t, the gritty sandpaper-like texture of the baking soda can wear the enamel off your teeth. A good way to judge this is the consistency of the paste. If it’s runny, you did it right. It shouldn’t be gritty or stiff at all. To use this, rub the paste on your teeth for around 30 seconds, then rinse your mouth out well.

-Coconut Oil

You may be shocked to learn coconut oil pulling is an effective natural teeth whitener. There are a couple of different methods you can employ for this to work, both taking place after your normal teeth brushing. The first is to put a spoon of coconut oil in your mouth, then swish it between your teeth anywhere from five to 20 minutes. Otherwise, you can apply a few drops to your toothbrush and brush it on that way. Some people also apply the coconut oil to the corner of a clean washcloth and rub it on with that. Because coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, it can help protect and clean your gums, too!

-Apple Cider Vinegar

Another natural antibiotic, apple cider vinegar works great on especially tough stains on teeth, like coffee and tobacco. Because it contains acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics, and enzymes, apple cider vinegar is able to kill germs that cause stains and bad breath while promoting the growth of beneficial probiotic bacteria. Its natural acidity also breaks down plaque and any other harmful substances that may attach itself to teeth. However, it should be applied with care.

Just like all acids, it can break down tooth enamel if you brush too hard or too much. After you brush with apple cider vinegar, brush again with a normal, non-fluoride toothpaste and rinse your mouth out well. To apply it, use your finger to rub the apple cider vinegar on your teeth for around a minute. After that, a healthy rinse with water or your hydrogen peroxide mouthwash will do the trick.

We hope these techniques will help you find the brighter, whiter smile you deserve. However, some stains will be too tough to handle on your own. In those cases, you need a professional cleaning, and there’s no better oral health professionals to do the job in Albertville than White Smiles Family Dentistry. We want to brighten your day and your smile!