When most of us think of spring, we think of a time to clean our houses and organize our lives. So why shouldn’t we apply that same way of thinking to our oral health? If you want to look your best for this spring and the warm summer months to follow, there’s no better way to do that than by improving the appearance of your smile. Of course, there are a variety of over-the-counter teeth cleaning products available, but if you’d like to try a more natural (and less expensive) method, there are plenty to choose from. Here are some natural ways to do a little spring cleaning on your teeth:
- Whitening toothpaste – Believe it or not, whitening toothpastes really do work. But you have to be consistent and use them for an extended period of time before you start to see the difference. One way to speed up the process is to brush your teeth immediately after you eat. Not only does this give you more exposure to the whitening agents in your toothpaste; it’s also great for your teeth and gums. And don’t forget to floss as well, at least once a day.
- Avoid foods and drinks that stain teeth – As is always the case, the best way to avoid a problem is to never have one to begin with. So try to stay away from foods and drinks that are most likely to stain your teeth. That includes tea, coffee, red wine, and foods like beets, tomato sauce, and blueberries, for example. If you do indulge in these foods and drinks, try to drink water afterwards, which will help to wash away any stain-causing residue.
- Avoid tobacco products – If you use tobacco, whether you smoke it or chew it, you can be certain that your teeth will turn yellow. Avoiding tobacco also makes sense for another important reason – it’s bad for your health. In fact, chewing tobacco is one of the leading causes of oral cancer.
- Use a hydrogen peroxide rinse – If you’ve ever read the label on a tooth-whitening product, you’ll most likely see hydrogen peroxide listed as one of the main ingredients. In fact, peroxide is one of the most effective ways to whiten teeth and eliminate bad bacteria from your mouth. To make a simple peroxide rinse, combine half water and half hydrogen peroxide, then swish around inside your mouth for 60 seconds or so.
- Use a baking soda/hydrogen peroxide paste – Baking soda is another great natural tooth whitener. To make a paste, just combine a small amount of peroxide and baking soda together until you achieve a very smooth paste consistency. Be sure that the paste is much thinner than regular toothpaste, since baking soda has a gritty texture that can actually damage the enamel on your teeth if it’s not adequately thinned with peroxide. Then brush your teeth first with your usual brand of toothpaste, and follow up by rubbing the baking soda/peroxide mixture on the surface of each tooth. Leave on for 30 seconds, then rinse thoroughly. The taste leaves something to be desired, but it’s an effective way to whiten your teeth and remove plaque as well.
Of course, no method of teeth whitening works as well as professional whitening products from your dentist’s office. But if you’re looking for a natural way to spring clean your smile, these methods are a great place to start!