While there are many commercial products designed to help whiten teeth, there are also a number of home teething whitening remedies that have been in use for centuries. Often, these methods involve using natural elements in order to remove yellowing stains, and also promote healthy gums in the process. For people who are leery of the chemicals in over the counter whitening products, and are not in a financial position to undergo orthodontic teeth whitening procedures, these home remedies may be the most practical approach.
One time honored method of home teeth whitening involves the use of strawberries. The idea is that the seeds in the strawberry work as natural scrubbing agents to remove plaque and food particles that lead to the yellowing of teeth. Rubbing the entire strawberry against the teeth is one approach. Others favor creating a paste out of the fruit and using a toothbrush to apply it to the teeth. In either scenario, it is important to remember that along with the cleaning agents present in the fruit, there is also a significant amount of sugar and acids. Brushing with toothpaste and using warm water immediately after the using the strawberry will help minimize the chance of damage to the enamel due to the acids and sugar.
Baking soda is another household product that is often part of a home teeth whitening process. Unlike some other methods, baking soda is considered safe when used in proper proportion. The texture of the powder makes it ideal for application with a toothbrush, gently scrubbing away residue that can collect on teeth and dull their appearance. Since the soda is inexpensive, the product is one of the most affordable of all home remedies for whitening the teeth.
Closely related to baking soda is the use of wood ash for restoring the appearance of teeth. The ash contains potassium hydroxide, which can help to bleach the surface of the teeth. Applying the ash with a soft toothbrush and gently brushing the teeth is usually recommended. Because of the presence of the potassium hydroxide, it is usually not a good idea to use the product for extended periods of time, as repeated usage may soften the enamel and cause permanent damage.
The application of hydrogen peroxide is also sometimes employed as a home teeth whitening method. This inexpensive product is normally used as a means of disinfecting cuts along the surface of the skin, but can also provide some aid in removing buildup that leads to yellowing of the teeth. Generally, this approach calls for brushing the teeth using a good quality toothpaste, then swishing a small amount of the peroxide around the mouth for a couple of moments before spitting it out and rinsing the mouth with warm water. An alternative is to soak the end of a cotton swab in the peroxide and apply it directly to the front and back areas of the teeth. After applying the product in this manner, the mouth is rinsed with warm water to prevent any discomfort to the gums or softening the teeth enamel.
Some people find that making a paste out of baking soda, wood ash, salt, and hydrogen peroxide is effective. Preparing this home teeth whitening product involves combining the ingredients with just enough water to make a paste. The toothbrush is dipped into the paste and the teeth are brushed in the usual fashion. Care should be taken to rinse the mouth thoroughly, disposing of any food particles that are dislodged and also preventing any damage to the teeth over the long-term.
While home teeth whitening strategies work well in some cases, they do not replace the need for good oral hygiene or regular checkups with a qualified dentist. For situations where there is already noticeable deterioration of the teeth, using any type of teeth whitening products or home remedies should only be done under the care of a dental professional. When combined with regular teeth cleanings and general teeth maintenance, the home methods can go a long way toward keeping the smile bright and attractive for many years, as well as promoting healthy gums and teeth.