A 2019 poll found that 57 percent of Americans felt insecure about their teeth. Specifically, they admitted to covering their smiles when they laughed because they didn’t like their teeth.
One way to feel prouder of your grin is to restore its pearly white hue. That’s precisely what you want to do — and why you’re searching for tips on how to get white teeth.
How to Get White Teeth: 7 Secrets for a Dazzling Smile
Luckily, there are many ways to get a brighter smile, some of which can be done without a pricy or time-intensive treatment. Start here with these seven ways to whiten teeth.
1. Oil Pulling
If you’re looking for an all-natural path to whiter teeth, look no further than oil pulling.
This traditional Indian practice will have you swishing sunflower, sesame, or even coconut oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. It is said to pull bacteria from your mouth and trap it in the oil. So, when you spit it out, you remove all of that bacteria from your mouth.
Bacteria can cause plaque and gingivitis, which can go on to discolor your teeth. So, it’s worth a shot to try oil pulling to keep your mouth clean and perhaps brighten your smile, too.
2. Baking Soda
Next, head to your pantry and find your baking supplies. If you have a box of baking soda, you could do some teeth whitening the next time you brush your teeth.
Some toothpaste brands already contain baking soda to whiten teeth — that’s proof enough that this method works. On top of that, baking soda creates an alkaline environment in your mouth, which stalls bacteria growth. We already know how bacteria can affect your smile.
So, you can buy a baking soda-infused toothpaste and use it daily. You can also mix a whitening paste that’s one teaspoon of baking soda and two teaspoons of water. Brush that onto your teeth a few times a week and see how it brightens your smile over time.
Some people even use baking soda to replace traditional toothpaste altogether. You can do so safely, but keep in mind that more complete toothpaste formulas will also have tooth-strengthening fluoride, which you can’t get from baking soda.
3. Strategic Brushing
Next, you can keep your teeth white with a bit of strategic brushing.
Some foods and drinks famously stain teeth. Think of your morning coffee or tea as an example. Over time, the pigments in these piping hot beverages can darken your pearly whites.
One way to combat this browning effect is to rinse out your mouth and brush your teeth after drinking tea or coffee. The same goes for other staining foods, such as red wine and tomato sauce. The sooner you wash them off, the less likely they will be to discolor your smile.
You should also be sure to brush after eating sugar. The sweet stuff can boost the growth of the bacteria that causes plaque and gingivitis. So, clean your mouth out after having a treat to protect your teeth.
4. Saliva-Producing Foods
Another strange but effective home remedy for whitening your teeth is to eat saliva-producing foods.
Carrots, pears, apples, and celery count among the foods that can increase your mouth’s saliva production. Chewing sugar-free gum does the same.
If your mouth has more saliva in it, it has an even stronger ability to wash away the bacteria built up there. And, of course, removing bacteria means you prevent plaque and preserve your teeth’s whiteness.
Having a diet rich in calcium can protect your teeth from discoloration, too.
You probably know that you can get lots of calcium from dairy products. But you’ll also find it in everything from papaya to garbanzo beans to kale to fortified English muffins.
Maintaining the proper calcium intake keeps your teeth healthy in the face of erosion. If the surface does start to whittle away over time, then the dentin beneath the facade of your teeth will start to show through. Dentin is yellow — and that’s not the color you want your smile to be.
So, protect the bright, white enamel on your teeth with a hearty helping of calcium.
Good, old-fashioned oral care will keep your teeth white, too.
You probably already brush your teeth twice daily, and that’s a great start. Are you brushing thoroughly enough, though? You should spend about two minutes on this task to ensure you’ve scoured your mouth.
On that note, it’s time to work flossing back into your daily dental hygiene routine. Floss can get into all the cracks and crevices between your chompers and pluck away bacteria hiding in there. Your toothbrush wouldn’t be able to flush out this bacteria on its own, and leaving it to its own devices could lead to discoloration over time.
7. Teeth-Whitening Treatments
If you try all of the above and still feel unhappy with your smile, then a teeth-whitening treatment might be your best option.
You can opt for a cheaper at-home whitening kit, which will brighten your chompers in a matter of weeks. Or, you could visit your dentist and have an in-office whitening treatment. These work within minutes and can whiten your teeth several shades.
Once you have a teeth-whitening treatment, though, your work isn’t over. You should keep some of the above methods in rotation so that you maintain your results. Click here to learn more about teeth whitening aftercare.
How to Get White Teeth Is Up to You
Now you have seven options, and it’s up to you to decide how to get white teeth. Start with a flossing session or oil pulling or professional bleaching treatment and see what happens. We bet you’re going to fall in love with your smile once again.
Need more advice on being a better you? Check out that section of our site or more.