Most people would agree that they would like to have white teeth. Having stained teeth can be embarrassing and keep people from showing their teeth when they smile. People tend to associate white teeth with healthy teeth, which is not always the case, but there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve the appearance of your teeth as long as you are careful about the methods you use. There are many different whitening products available, but not all of them are healthy for you. Below are some natural and/or healthy teeth whitening tips.

What stains teeth?

Here are some things that are known to stain teeth so that you can avoid them and keep your smile whiter!

  • Cigarettes– smoking cigarettes causes teeth to yellow, as well as causing your oral health to decline.
  • Poor diet– drinking coffee, tea, sodas, and eating mostly processed foods can thin the enamel of teeth and cause them to stain.
  • Dry mouth/breathing through mouth– lack of saliva in the mouth keeps the teeth and mouth from moisturizing. This can damage the enamel and make teeth more susceptible to staining.

Natural Teeth Whitening:

  • Brush your teeth every time you eat or drink. This may seem simple and obvious, but it can actually be difficult to brush after every meal or snack, especially if you are at school or work.
  • Use baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. You can make a paste by mixing baking soda and hydrogen peroxide that can whiten your teeth. The paste should be slightly runny and not gritty at all so that it does not rub the enamel off of your teeth. Make sure to floss and brush your teeth well first and then make the paste. After mixing the paste, rub it onto your teeth for about thirty seconds and then rinse your mouth out with water.*
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: this vinegar kills bad bacteria while also helping probiotic bacteria, which is beneficial, to grow. Apple cider vinegar breaks down plaque and can also remove stains from teeth. Rub apple cider vinegar on your teeth with your finger every day for approximately one minute, rinsing with water afterwards. After about a month, you should see results as long as you are consistent with the application of the apple cider vinegar.*
  • Coconut Oil Pulling: this is a safe and healthy way to help your teeth become healthier and even whiter. You can either swish a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth for five to twenty minutes or put some on your toothbrush and brush your teeth with the coconut oil. Rinse your mouth with water when you are done.

Can I whiten my teeth with braces?

You can use these natural and healthy ways to whiten your teeth while you are wearing braces, but it is best to check with your orthodontist first.

* As with most things, moderation is key.  Always consult a professional first and make sure to follow there directions.