Everyone wants that Hollywood smile but there is a problem. That problem is finding the right solution for YOU. Every person is different and so the means and methods by which you obtain and maintain a shining smile need to be top-notch and something which you can recommend to your friends without feeling guilty. So, what are the best methods? We’ve collected 20 of our favorites in different ‘flavors’ so that we can try to find a more personable solution that will fit you. For those that like chemical options, we’ll have some, and for those who prefer natural remedies we’ve got you covered there too. Without further ado, let’s talk about the Top 20 ways to whiten your teeth so you can see which solutions you like the best!
First and foremost let’s get this out of the way. Stop avoiding your dentist. Now, we know that it’s a bit uncomfortable but you should keep in mind the fact that regular visits will keep you in tip-top shape, whereas skipping those visits leads to those prolonged (and often painful) type appointments. It’s ironic, yes, but the best way to avoid the dentist is to schedule when you see them.
2. Practice SSA (stain safety awareness)
Certain foods are going to be stain0safety hazards. Blueberries are a good example. Coffee and certain teas are other common examples. So, do you have to give up on these tasty treats and beverages? Of course not, just be aware of what you are consuming and consider an extra brush or rinse if you start moving into the danger zone. Stains are much easier to avoid then they are to remove, you know?
3. Eat foods that clean your teeth
Delta Dental of Washington and other web sources agree, there are some foods that you can add to your diet that actually help to clean your teeth! Raw, crisp fruits and vegetables, for instance, help to rub away plaque as you enjoy nature’s bounty. Look for ones that are high in water content as well as they can help to keep your teeth well-rinsed. Crunchy nuts make you salivate more, further helping to cleanse your teeth (but watch out for the salt content!). To give this a try, get some small, sealable sandwich baggies and make yourself some tooth-friendly snack packs to carry to work with you and you’ll soon see that it WORKS.
4. DIY Whitening toothpaste
Colgate, makers of those popular toothpastes which we all know and love, have a recommendation for those of you at home who want to make your own toothpaste. The old staple of peroxide and baking soda is still around for a reason and that reason is that it really WORKS. In order to take advantage of this, simply mix together two parts Hydrogen Peroxide to 1 part Baking Soda, mix well, brush, and let the paste stay on your teeth for a minute or two before rinsing. You’ll be happy that you did!
5. Whitening strips work as-advertised
Some of us prefer natural whitening and others of us feel that it is a bit, well, antiquated. For those of you out there who want something that is quick and proven to be 100% effective there is always the option of whitening strips. Now, keep in mind that with these chemicals you are essentially ‘stripping’ layers to get to the white beneath but like anything, if used in moderation this is a very successful strategy to consider.
Online health experts such as Healthline.com advise that that advice about apple-cider vinegar that Gramma used to swear by is absolutely correct… to an extent. Apple cider vinegar is highly acidic and a little bit rubbed onto stains can work wonders but you need to keep in mind that like chemical whitening strips it does this by stripping enamel. This means that regular use can be BAD for your teeth so save it for use every now and again and you’ll be just fine.
7. Don’t fear the floss
Some people brush religiously but for some reason they shun the awesome power of floss. Perhaps it is time constraints? We know that it takes extra time to floss every day, twice a day, but not only will you get quicker with practice, you’ll be getting those pesky bits of food that get trapped between tooth and gum that can encourage tooth decay in difficult spots. So don’t fear the floss, it is well worth your time.
“Just be sure when you are flossing that you are doing it right.”
Just be sure when you are flossing that you are doing it right. Loop the floss in your fingers and get between every tooth, changing floss frequently to make sure that you are always using clean and effective floss. Be careful around those gums as well and enjoy the minty freshness that comes from a good, thorough floss!
8. Hollywood cheats (and you can too!)
Veneers are an option that was not only developed for Hollywood’s elite but is still in use by them today. Those perfect smiles that you see are often the result of the Veneer process, where the original tooth is slightly-scored by your dentist to allow the affixing of semi-permanent, perfect white ‘fronts’ on your teeth. It is probably the most expensive option on the list but if you save up a bit and speak with your dentist about payment options then you might be surprised to learn that you too can have a Hollywood smile!
9. Charcoal paste
Some people like to brush with activated charcoal but sites like NewsMedical.net advise that it is very abrasive as well, and as such too much charcoal-brushing can actually be bad for your teeth. Charcoal is great for stains, however, so why not try a compromise? Applying charcoal paste to your teeth and letting it sit for 2 -3 minutes can help to absorb some of those pesky stains while minimizing your abrasion worries. It’s a win-win!
10. Whitening gel trays
Whitening gel, like whitening strips, is absolutely effective. It also works quickly and this explains the popularity of this solution. Just remember that it is hard on your teeth as well and minimal exposure is recommended. Try it once and then hold off before doing it again or better, check with your dentist to ensure you won’t be opening yourself up to worries later by using the gel.
11. Coconut oil with mint
Oil-pulling is an Ayurvedic method that has been in used in India for thousands of years and people practice it still all over the world. Proponents for oil-pulling say that is a great-tasting, effective way to whiten teeth that is especially good to consider if you have sensitive gums. It is a little time consuming, however. To do this, mix a tablespoon of coconut oil with a drop of mint extract and swish it around your mouth for a good 10 or 15 minutes. The coconut oil and mint will thoroughly clean out your mouth and leave you with a good taste afterwards. Try it, you might like it!
12. Control your calcium
One thing that people forget is that you need to make sure that you are getting enough calcium. Adding calcium-rich foods to your diet is an easy way to do this, but if you are lactose intolerant there are always vitamin options. Just make sure that you are getting enough for healthy teeth and strong bones!
13. Plaque disclosing tabs – Not just for kids!
Do you remember those little red pills that the dentist used to give you to see if you were brushing your teeth thoroughly enough? They are still out there, you know, and if you want to give yourself a quick test then they come in handy in a pinch. Just don’t swallow them (use only as directed!).
14. Ever heard of a Miswak?
A Miswak is a natural toothbrush, typically made from the Salvidora persica tree. Historians say that Miswaks have been used for as long as 7000 years and while we cannot prove that, we are certain that Miswaks have been around for at least a FEW thousand. Brushing with one is accomplished by stripping an end by cutting or chewing and rubbing the rough bristles on your teeth, rather like regular brushing. Studies indicate that a Miswak cleans more thoroughly than a plastic toothbrush and you can get them online so why not try one for yourself?
15. Lemon peels
Chewing on lemon peels is another option for tooth whitening that you might not have considered. It is believed that the chemical D-Lemonene in the peels is what makes it work and a study done in 2010 found that a concentration of D-Lemonene at 5% was effective in removing stains caused by smoking and regular tea drinking.
16. Smokers: Consider E-cigs
Delta Dental of Washington and other sites ‘in the know’ recommend that if you cannot stop smoking an E-cig is a possibility for minimizing damage. It is not a ‘get out of jail free’ card, however, as Delta Dental also warns that the nicotine present in those E-cigs can also lead to more tooth grinding, so if you go this route then at least you know that while there is less chance of staining there are still some pitfalls.
17. Quick-rinse kit for Wine and Juice lovers
WebMD, always a good source of medical advice from experts, warns that you need to be careful when it comes to red wine and fruit juices which are colorful (and therefore, prone to stain). In order to ensure that your taste-buds are not denied, why not make a quick-rinse kit to carry in a purse or pack for those days when you will be imbibing? One quick trip to the bathroom is much better than one long trip to the dentist, after all.
When you are taking care of your body don’t neglect your teeth. Those energy and sports drinks are great for giving you vitamins and bursts of energy but they typically come with the cost of high sugar
“They typically come with the cost of high sugar content”
content. The rinse kit can help or you can simply add a brushing session after you shower at the gym or get home from your jog. It only takes a few minutes and after 2 -3 days of getting into the habit you’ll never notice the time involved. Trust us on this.
19. Don’t overdo the Fluoride
A little Fluoride is good for you but you might not know that too much of it can cause a condition called Fluoridosis. Sites like National Academic Press warn that you should be aware of your intake. If your local water is high already in fluoride content then consider a less high-fluoride paste when you do your cleaning to help avoid overdoing things. Now, you are probably wondering how on earth you are going to test fluoride levels on your own but relax… a simple phone call to your water provider is all that is needed. They have the information on hand and they will share it readily, then you can just discuss your fluoride intake with your Dentist.
20. Whitening Toothpaste
We know that this option is both wildly popular and unpopular depending on where you fall on the subject of chemical solutions. Yes, whitening toothpaste works but yes, it can also be hard on your teeth. For best results, why not ask your dentist if it is a good option and if so, what brand they recommend. That way if a friend scoffs you can always smile brightly and ask where they earned their Dental Degree!
While we can’t please everyone, we hope that a tip or two on this list has tickled your fancy and will enter your regular tooth-care regimen soon. All of these tips and techniques come highly recommended and with an assortment of the natural and the chemical we like to think that there is a little something here for everyone. Just don’t gloss over that first recommendation, folks, because regular dentist checkups are VITAL. Seeing them every few months voluntarily is much better than the alternative!
Delta Dental of Washington; “What to eat to keep your teeth”
Colgate; “DIY Teeth Whitening Paste”
Healthline; “7 side effects of too much apple cider vinegar”
News Medical; “Charcoal Toothpaste: Benefits and Risks”
National Library of Medicine; 2010 study; “Effect of Toothpaste Containing D-Limonene on Natural Extrinsic Smoking Stain: A 4-week Clinical Trial ”
Delta Dental of Washington ; “E-cigarettes: Is Vaping bad for your teeth?”
WebMD; “Teeth Stains:Tips to keep your teeth white”
National Academic Press; “4 Effects of Fluoride on teeth”