For many, white teeth are seen as an essential part of an attractive smile, appearing clean, feeling great while speaking, or feeling confident about one’s appearance in general. While having darker or yellow teeth does not directly indicate worse dental hygiene, white teeth appear cleaner and are a very attractive trait. Dental visits are expensive, however, and while they are important for dental hygiene and care, they are not the only option for achieving whiter teeth.
The easiest long term option for whiter teeth is to swap regular toothpaste for whitening toothpaste. This seems obvious, but it is a very simple lifestyle change that can help with a long term transition to whiter teeth. While some people have stated they noticed an immediate difference, most do not see a noticeable difference for a few months.
In addition to whitening toothpaste, whitening mouthwash is a lesser known option that can assist with the whitening routine. While there are many homemade whitening mouthwash recipes, the safest bet is to buy an expert-made and tested mixture from the store. Unless otherwise stated, these are safe to use daily in addition to whitening toothpaste and only include a small dose of hydrogen peroxide. While whitening mouthwashes do not produce an immediate effect, a noticeable difference is often achieved after about three months.
Another at home option for those needing more immediate results is the whitening strip. These are perfect for those looking to whiten their teeth for a specific event or night out. While they are very effective, they can damage the enamel and cause gum pain after more than a few uses. The ingredients weaken the teeth, and whitening strips actually lose effectiveness over time as more layers of enamel are removed and the darker under layers of the teeth show through. The strip treatment is fantastic for a quick fix though, and presents an extremely noticeable difference after one treatment.
A fantastic natural alternative for whitening the teeth is an activated charcoal mixture. Activated charcoal mixtures made specifically for the teeth are ground very finely and they will gently brush and wash the teeth much like toothpaste, causing no damage. The activated charcoal can help pull impurities from the teeth, and doesn’t even need to be used every day to be effective. While brushing with an activated charcoal mixture creates the best results over a long period of time, many state that it has noticeable effects after the first use.
A common homemade remedy is a combination of baking soda and lemon juice. Essentially, the combination of the basic baking soda and acidic lemon juice creates a mixture that is neutral enough to not damage the teeth, but still utilize the bleach-like properties of the lemon. It is important to take extreme caution while trying any homemade method, and to not experiment or use this regularly as it can have a long term negative effect on the teeth. It works great in a pinch, though, for a quick and cheap whitening session.
While all of these methods have shown results and are safe individually, it is important to take the process slow and test only a few methods at a time to protect the teeth. While an extreme change might show results sooner, damage to the enamel cannot be reversed. With just a couple of these methods at most, however, obtaining whiter teeth is a realistic and affordable option without even taking part in expensive professional whitening sessions.