Tooth bleaching using professional or home kits can be expensive. Here are some simple tips to keep your teeth white without breaking the bank
1. Oral Hygiene
This is the most important part of keeping your teeth white, bright and healthy. Brush at least twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. An electric toothbrush can give your teeth a better shine. Flossing is vital to prevent food building up between the teeth - this is not only unsightly but can lead to the build up of bacteria in the mouth. Rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash will also prevent the build-up of plaque which can cause yellowing of the teeth. Visit your dental hygienist regularly - a simple scale and polish can instantly whiten and brighten your smile. If you have had dental restorative treatment, such as crowns, bridges or dental implants, remember that these will not change colour with the rest of your natural teeth.
2. Whitening Toothpaste
There are a number of toothpastes on the market specifically designed to gradually whiten your smile. These can both remove stains and bring out the natural whiteness of your teeth. These can be an inexpensive alternative to bleaching treatments.
3. What to eat / drink
Eat fresh fruit and vegetables - for example apples, celery and carrots act as natural tooth whiteners. Other crunchy vegetables such as broccoli, cucumbers and raw sweet potatoes help to dissolve stains - they act as a 'scrub' for your teeth. Strawberries and oranges are also natural bleaching agents due to their acidity. Make sure you floss after eating these foods - they're quite likely to get stuck in between your teeth!
4. What not to eat / drink
Try to avoid tannin-rich products (tannin is an organic compound that can stain the teeth) such as coffee, tea and red wine. Fizzy drinks can erode the enamel of your teeth - try to avoid these as well, or at least drink them through a straw to limit contact with the teeth directly. Tobacco is also a major factor - avoid smoking and chewing tobacco as this causes severe yellowing of the teeth - not to mention many other health issues.
5. Some natural tooth whitening home remedies
You will have heard of a lot of natural whitening techniques, but here are my top three: Be warned - none of these are for regular use.
i) Substitute your toothpaste for a home-made one: mix baking soda, lemon juice and a pinch of salt (don't use too much lemon juice as this can erode your enamel). This removes stains on your teeth - but use this rarely and sparingly.
ii) Strawberries: mash up some strawberries and rub them over your teeth. This can polish and brighten your teeth. Remember to brush your teeth afterwards to remove the sugar and acid contained in the fruit - you don't want this sticking on your teeth.
iii) Apple cider vinegar mouthwash - you can use this to gargle or rinse with, or even mix with a little baking soda to use to brush your teeth.