As face-to-face interaction restrictions lift worldwide, many are looking for ways to whiten their teeth at home before venturing out again in public. Smiles communicate confidence and convey trustworthiness and friendliness. Imagine showing up to work or school again with yellow “pandemic” teeth. This is easily avoidable. Millions of people are looking for the best ways to whiten teeth at home - before returning to “normal” interaction and life again.
Teeth whitening goes hand in hand with good oral hygiene. Many of the do-it-yourself (DIY), or home teeth whitening methods mentioned online, are actually just oral hygiene hacks that focus more on clean teeth, not white teeth.
There are plenty of natural DIY teeth whitening measures we can now take home with us. We’ll go through a list of at-home teeth whitening procedures that work - albeit with varying degrees of success - and go over which at-home teeth whitening procedures actually whiten teeth.
Brushing and Flossing
We are taught to do this as children, but many still skip this basic step in keeping teeth healthy. As a reminder, teeth should be brushed and flossed a minimum of 3 times a day for a minimum of 3 minutes each session. Most people tend to brush after meals. It’s important to remove food, bacteria, and potentially staining residue that remain on our teeth after eating or drinking via regular brushing and flossing.
Those who don’t brush their teeth regularly state that the lack of time, or being too busy, are the main factors that prohibit them from brushing. Creating a simple schedule of when to brush is the best work around the problem of not having enough time or simply just forgetting to brush. Allotting 5 minutes to brush and floss after every meal is the easiest way to keep your teeth cleaner and healthier.
This popular “eastern” medicinal technique has attracted many adherents recently. Bacteria is “pulled” from the teeth via use of natural oils, such as coconut, sesame, or olive oil. As appealing as this all natural teeth whitening process is, there is very little scientific evidence that oil pulling actually whitens teeth. The little data that does support this as an effective DIY teeth cleaning procedure credit it not for whitening teeth, but for extracting bacteria from the mouth.
Brushing with baking soda has been around since the early 1900s¹. Baking soda is a great proven method of removing bacteria along with unwanted mouth odours. Mixed in toothpaste, it is a gentle cleansing ingredient and is less abrasive than other active ingredients.
As with oil pulling, using baking soda in daily brushing can aid greatly in preventing tooth decay. One should not confuse removing excess food particles and bacteria with whitening the teeth. Teeth whitening cannot be done without practising good oral hygiene. It is important to differentiate good oral hygiene with whitening teeth.
Using hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth is the first at-home procedure listed here that actually does whiten teeth. DIY or take-home teeth whitening kits are considered the most effective method for lifting stains and brightening smiles.
Assuming that you are following well established, good oral hygiene procedures, daily use of teeth whitening kits that use hydrogen peroxide as the active bleaching agent will work. Here is a great article that goes into detail on whether hydrogen peroxide is safe to use, and how it works.
The most popular and convenient way to apply hydrogen peroxide to the teeth comes in the form of do-it-yourself teeth whitening strips. Bliss teeth whitening strips allow you to easily apply the hydrogen peroxide safely. Bliss focuses on whitening teeth by use of…
Studies have shown that daily regulated use of these kits will lighten and whiten teeth. Always follow instructions, as overuse can cause irritation of the gums as well as over sensitivity in the teeth.
Watch what you eat and drink. Teeth are made up of thousands of pores that, believe it or not, absorb the colour of the food and drink they come in contact with. This staining is responsible for much of the discolouration that can plague an otherwise healthy smile.
If avoiding that mug of coffee, bowl of berries, or cold soda is too much of a hassle - make sure to brush your teeth right after eating or drinking. This will help reduce the staining process to the teeth by minimising the time the teeth are in contact with the discolouring food or drink.
Whitening teeth at home is now convenient and inexpensive. The confusion as to how to do so at home stems mostly from the misunderstanding that exists between “cleaning” and “whitening” teeth.
Most natural DIY methods actually focus on good oral hygiene and keeping the teeth clean and as bacteria-free as possible. Oil pulling, brushing with baking soda, eating fruits with hard skins, apple cider vinegar, and using turmeric are great ways to improve oral hygiene - but don’t actually whiten teeth.
Take-home teeth whitening kits using an active safe bleaching agent (such as hydrogen peroxide) are the most effective way to make the teeth whiter. They are safe and easily accessible to the public. The stress of meeting face-to-face again can be alleviated by knowing you have a healthy white smile. Whitening teeth at home has never been easier, and everyone can easily take advantage of it and achieve amazing white smiles.