Worried that your teeth aren’t white enough? You’re not the only one. Apparently, Americans spend an estimated $1.4 billion every year on over-the-counter teeth-whitening products. Let’s stop giving the man our hard-earned money, and invest in some do-it-yourself teeth whiteners instead.
Why Our Pearly Whites Turn Dingy Yellow
Our teeth are made up of four tissues:
Enamel is the white outside covering that shields the tooth
Dentin is the hard, yellow substance that houses the nerves and reinforces enamel
Pulp lies at the center of the tooth and contains all the blood and lymph vessels
Cementum protects the roots of the tooth
Certain foods and drink can stain the enamel, and some even break down enamel, exposing the yellow dentin underneath. You can mitigate the damage done by sipping dark liquids, such as coffee, tea and red wine, through a straw, and brushing your teeth after eating foods that tend to stain.
Baking Soda-Based Teeth Whiteners
When it comes to do-it-yourself teeth whiteners, you can’t beat baking soda. Try one (or all) of the following baking soda scrubs.
Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide Toothpaste: Trade in your commercial toothpaste for a baking soda blend every now and again. Mix 3 teaspoons of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of 3% food-grade hydrogen peroxide. Using a soft brush, scrub your teeth very gently. The baking soda and hydrogen peroxide will slough away stains and strengthen enamel.
Baking Soda and Lemon Juice Soak: Lemon juice acts as a bleach while alkaline baking soda subdues the juice’s acid so that the acidity doesn’t hurt your teeth. This mildly abrasive soak will help scrub away surface stains. Combine several teaspoons of baking soda with lemon juice until you reach the consistency of a paste. Apply to teeth and leave on for no longer than one minute. Use once a week for brightening purposes.
Strawberry and Baking Soda Scrub: The vitamin C in strawberries can potentially help break down any plaque that may be staining your teeth yellow. Strawberries also contain malic acid for helping to remove stains. Mix 3 strawberries with a ½ teaspoon of baking soda and a pinch of sea salt. The salt acts as an abrasive that makes the scrub more effective. Gently brush onto teeth and let sit for five minutes.
Other Teeth-Whitening Tips
Oil-pulling with coconut oil has become a trend among teeth-whitening aficionados. Slosh around some organic coconut oil in your mouth for 10 minutes. The oil “pulls” any bacteria and plaque from your mouth. After 10 minutes of sloshing, spit and rinse. Do not swallow that mouthful of bacteria!
Eating an apple a day is also believed to clean the teeth and eliminate stains. But the trick we love the most here at Glad Lash is all about the lips. Apply a blue-toned red lipstick and smile pretty. The red is sure to make your teeth pop with brilliant white!
Lashing out since 1981, GladGirl brings over 40 years experience to the beauty industry. The Eyelash Extensions Blog is our contribution to the advancement of professional skills and industry standards. Here you will find salon business articles, training resources, beauty tips and general health and wellness articles.