As many times as your dentist and parents told you to cool it on the (multiple) cups of joe you’ve been drinking daily for the past decade or so, you didn’t listen. Now, you’re realizing your pearly whites, are, well, not so pearly anymore. Before you start ordering every teeth-whitening kit that pops up in your Google search, refrain from doing so, because the pros gave TZR the low-down on how to whiten your teeth at home — fast. Even better: Some of the tips include products that might be sitting around your space.
A few easy tips to start: if you can’t put down the caffeine, experts recommend drinking it with a straw (iced coffee is the key here) in order to keep the dark brown liquid from hitting your teeth directly. And on top of coffee (and wine), there are additional foods that you might not think would stain your teeth. “Other popular drinks like green tea and foods that contain turmeric also do some damage,” Dr. Joseph Field, a dentist based in Los Altos, California, tells TZR. “One way to prevent this is to, at a minimum, rinse your mouth out with water after consuming items that can stain.” If you can, he says it’s best to brush your teeth right after consuming any of these products.
Adding to that, cosmetic dentist Dr. Amanda Lewis says eating fruits and veggies can help with removing stains from teeth. “Strawberries have been touted as a natural stain remover but lack data to back it up,” she tells TZR. “Raw veggies that require chewing naturally glide against the teeth helping to clear away foods that cause stains.” Read: Don’t walk, run to your nearest Trader Joe’s.
Ahead, the experts share five tips for whitening your teeth at home. Make sure to snap some photos of your new shiny white smile.
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Try Baking Soda
Incorporating 1% hydrogen peroxide solution or brushing your teeth with baking soda is beneficial to mitigate stain accumulation, according to Dr. Field. “This shouldn’t be done daily, but once a week would be helpful,” the expert adds. Another way you can use baking soda, according to Dr. Lewis, is by mixing it with your mouthwash to brush your teeth in place of toothpaste.
Use An Electric Toothbrush
Dr. Field says the goal with brushing is to remove the accumulation of stain and biofilm from the teeth. “Electric toothbrushes help as they oscillate and break down stains well,” he explains. His professional advice: Brush your teeth after every meal for two minutes.
Don’t Forget To Floss
This might sound like a no-brainer, but Dr. Lewis reiterates the importance of flossing. “Not only does this make your teeth and gums more healthy, but it also helps to remove stains from between teeth,” the cosmetic dentist explains. “Use of a tongue scraper to remove stain and bacteria from the tongue can aid removal of staining residue as well.”