If you want to have sparkling white teeth, know that professional teeth whitening treatments are expensive. Luckily, if you want to whiten your own teeth, you can do a few things at home. While the methods in this article may not match the results obtained from professional services, they can at least help whiten teeth and save a lot of money. Remember, you should always consult your dentist before trying any home remedies to avoid tooth decay. By following these few simple steps, you can have white teeth in just a few weeks.
Using Bleach Strip
Purchase a whitening strip that has been approved by the American Dental Association (ADA ). This kit contains two sets of strips that can be attached to both the lower and upper teeth. Go to the pharmacy or drugstore and buy a whitening strip. Look for products that have been approved by the ADA to ensure their safety.
Read and follow the instructions provided by the product you are using.
At this time, Crest is the only brand of whitening strips approved by the ADA.
Do not use products that are not approved by the ADA. Some whitening strips contain harsh chemicals that can damage tooth enamel and irritate gums. For a list of ADA-approved whitening products, visit https://www.mouthhealthy.org/en/ada-seal-products/category-display?category=Bleaching+Products.
Brush and floss as directed. This is to remove any build-up of dirt on your teeth that could block the whitening gel or prevent the strips from sticking properly. Brush, floss, and rinse your teeth as usual before you attach the strips.
Not all whitening strips require you to brush your teeth first. Be sure to check the product instructions for use.
Press the whitening strip against the teeth. Open your mouth and bend your lips back so that all the teeth are visible. Peel off the strip covering and press the sticky side against the front of the lower teeth. Run your finger along the strip to strengthen its stickiness. If any part of the strip exceeds the tooth size, fold it over to the top of the tooth. Repeat the same steps on the upper teeth.
Most products don’t provide distinct strips for the lower and upper teeth, but double check the case to be sure of this.
Wash your hands thoroughly before you handle your teeth.
Let the strip stay for 10 to 45 minutes. The time it takes to apply depends on the strength of the whitening gel. So you have to follow the instructions that the product provides. While waiting, you can lie on your back with your mouth slightly open to prevent saliva from covering your teeth.
Reduce the frequency of swallowing when the strip is attached. You can ingest some of the bleaching chemicals, which can irritate your stomach.
Do not consume food or drink when the strip is attached to the tooth. Leave the strips in place, and do not touch or move them.
Remove the strip of bleach when the time comes. When the allotted time has elapsed, grasp the end of the strip with your hand and gently peel off the strip. Repeat this step on the other strips. Discard the strip and don’t use it again.
Leaving the strips on for longer than recommended may not increase the effect. This can actually irritate the teeth and gums.
Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before putting them in your mouth. Wash your hands again when you touch something.
Rinse mouth to remove any remaining gel. Use plain water or a mixture of water and mouthwash in equal proportions. Gargle with the mixture, focusing it on the front of your teeth to remove any remaining gel.
If you have a lot of gel stuck to your teeth, clean it with a toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Cleaning the remnants of the gel is important because the adhering gel can cause white spots on the teeth.
Repeat this treatment as often as possible according to the instructions provided by the product. Each product gives different instructions, ranging from 2 times a day for one week, to 1 time a day for 2 weeks. Always check the product packaging and follow the instructions given.
Stop using the whitening strip if your teeth feel very sensitive or irritated. Consult a dentist and ask what to do.
Clean the Mouth with Whitening Products
Choose an ADA-approved whitening toothpaste. Some products sold in the market are designed to whiten teeth. Look for a toothpaste that contains baking soda or hydrogen peroxide (both of which are the main ingredients of whitening). Check if the product has the ADA seal, and use the product as usual.
Whitening toothpaste can not give immediate results. This method takes several weeks to scrub the stains off your teeth.
Your teeth won’t get whiter even if you brush harder. This can actually damage the teeth because the enamel is rubbed.
Get a cheaper option by brushing your teeth with baking soda. Whitening products are usually expensive, and you can substitute baking soda for an easier and cheaper option. Put a small spoonful of baking soda in a cup and mix it with a few drops of water. Mix the two ingredients together until you get a paste-like texture. Next, apply the paste on the toothbrush, then brush your teeth as usual.
After using baking soda, rinse your mouth thoroughly with water or mouthwash. Baking soda left on your teeth can irritate or erode enamel.
You can also mix baking soda with regular toothpaste for the same effect. Apply a normal amount of toothpaste on the brush, then sprinkle baking soda on the toothbrush before you use it.
Use a 1.5%-3% hydrogen peroxide solution to rinse your mouth. Many whitening products contain peroxide, and you can get a cheaper option using a mixture with a lower percentage of peroxide. Mix equal amounts of peroxide and water in a cup. Next, put the mixture in your mouth after you brush your teeth and rinse your mouth for 1 to 2 minutes. Spit out the mixture and rinse your mouth with plain water.
This mixture should not be swallowed as it may irritate the stomach.
Peroxide can be found in pharmacies or drug stores. Be sure to buy low-concentration peroxide to avoid irritation of the mouth.
You can also mix baking soda with peroxide (instead of water) to make a whitening paste. Remember, this mixture tastes bad. Dilute it with water if you can’t stand the taste.
Practicing Good Oral Hygiene
Brush and floss twice a day to keep your teeth healthy. While this may not remove stains, good oral hygiene is very important to avoid the build-up of additional stains and keep your teeth healthy. For best results, use a brush with soft bristles and a fluoride-containing toothpaste. After brushing, floss between all teeth to remove any remaining food.
The best time to brush your teeth is in the morning after eating and before going to bed. If you are used to brushing your teeth 3 times, do it also after lunch.
Do not brush your teeth more than 3 times a day because it can erode the enamel and make the teeth weak.
Clean your teeth with floss at least once a day. The best time is at night, after you brush your teeth and before going to bed.
Use mouthwash to prevent stains that appear from residual bacteria. Brushing your teeth can’t get rid of all the bacteria in your mouth. After brushing your teeth, rinse your mouth for about 1 minute with an ADA-approved mouthwash to prevent plaque and stains from forming on your teeth.
Always use mouthwash that has the ADA seal.
If the mouthwash is too strong or has a minty taste and makes your gums burn, dilute the mouthwash with an equal amount of water.
Do a tooth cleaning every 6 months to remove stubborn stains. Visit the dentist for a professional cleaning according to your schedule. This is useful for maintaining dental hygiene, finding cavities, and keeping teeth healthy and white.
You can also consult a dentist for a professional teeth whitening procedure or get whitening products that you can use at home.
Limit consumption of foods and drinks that can stain teeth. The best method for keeping teeth white is to prevent stains from forming. Items that often stain teeth are coffee (especially black coffee), red wine, and dark soda. Reduce the intake of this drink so that the teeth are not stained.
Smoking can also stain teeth. Quit smoking or don’t start at all.
If you are used to drinking cold, dark liquids, use a straw to prevent the drink from hitting your teeth.
Avoid using bleach from acids or herbs. There are many homemade teeth whitening products out there on the internet. Most products have no valid scientific backing, and some are even dangerous. Always use ADA-approved products and methods to prevent tooth decay.
One way that people often recommend is to use lemon juice on the teeth. This is a dangerous action because lemons are very acidic and can damage tooth enamel.
Other methods, such as using turmeric powder, have not been studied for their effectiveness.
Consult a Dentist if Necessary
Consult a dentist before you whiten your teeth. Talk to your dentist about the teeth whitening products you will use. Your doctor may be able to tell if the product is effective for your teeth, or is it safe to use.
If you have small cracks in your teeth, your dentist may not allow you to use whitening products. The chemicals can irritate exposed tooth pulp.
Get medical attention if your gums bleed or turn white. The bleach solution can cause chemical burns to the gums that make them look white or turn white. In general, this condition is harmless and will go away on its own. However, you should still have it checked to make sure the gums are not seriously injured. At the same time, stop using the product that is causing it.
The tissue in the gums will return to normal a few days later.
Go to the doctor if you have severe abdominal pain. Some whitening products can cause stomach pain and inflammation if swallowed. Normal side effects can include mild discomfort, but if you have severe pain, diarrhea, or vomiting that lasts for more than two days, see your doctor to see if there is a serious problem.
Stop using the product if you have severe pain, vomiting, or diarrhea.
Consult a dentist if your teeth become more sensitive. Teeth whitening can cause side effects, such as sensitive teeth. Some types of tooth sensitivity are normal, but if your teeth become very sensitive to cold or heat, consult a dentist to find out if your tooth is damaged.
Maybe your dentist will advise you to stop using whitening products or recommend a different product. Always follow the instructions given by your doctor.