Today I want to talk about teeth whitening, oral hygiene and little things you can do at home to keep your teeth white all year long.
A smile is the first thing I notice on anyone, so I like making sure my teeth stay really white …and I’m such a tea and coffee drinker, so I’ve learned little things along the way to make sure my teeth are always staying white.
Everyday Things to do at Home
- Floss. Everyone knows the basics – brush your teeth morning and night – but the first thing I do before brushing my teeth is FLOSS. A lot of people don’t associate flossing with white teeth, so I want to stress that it is super important. Buildup that can occur in between your teeth can cause more bacteria and more plaque to build. Studies have shown that it’s better to floss first – you loosen everything up, and then brush your teeth.
- Electric Toothbrush. Pretty much any dentist will say that an electric toothbrush will get your teeth so much cleaner. From everything I’ve seen and experienced, the Sonicare is the best one. If I’m traveling for a day here or there, I don’t stress about packing this. But on an everyday basis, I do really like using it.
- Tongue Scraper. This is such a game changer. I can’t believe that I wasn’t using this the other years of my life because it makes you notice how much bacteria can build up on your tongue …50% of the bacteria in our mouths lives on our tongues! Obviously, you can use your toothbrush, but it’s not going to work as well. When you do this once, you’re going to notice how much is on there and how much cleaner you feel after. I use this morning and night.
Even if you rinse or brush your teeth right after drinking dark beverages, one of the reasons your teeth will stain is because your saliva will stain from the drink. I use my tongue scraper after I drink any dark beverage …I even bring it on planes.
- Mouthwash. This can be direct or indirect. A lot of them have whitening properties, but just keeping the bacteria out of your mouth so you don’t have plaque buildup will affect the luminosity of your teeth and how white they look. I use a super natural one by Tom’s.
- Oil Pulling. Put 1 tbsp of extra virgin coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 10-20 minutes. The first time I tried this, I gagged and hated it. Somehow, I don’t mind it at all anymore. This is a perfect example of things I used to hate that I now like. So if you try it once and don’t like it, I really recommend giving it another go. It also seemed really time-consuming, but the perfect thing is to do it before brushing your teeth and right before getting in the shower. Swish while you’re in the shower and maybe for another 5 minutes when you do your skin care after. Then you can spit it out and you’re done! I also like that it leaves a fresh coconut taste in your mouth.
**Don’t spit the oil in your sink because it will clog your drain! Instead, spit it into the trash.
Oil pulling works because when the oil interacts with the bacteria in your mouth, a process called saponification occurs (basically creating a soap in your mouth). The oil gets into spots that maybe your floss or toothbrush can’t hit, so it really gives you an extra clean.
Zoom Teeth Whitening
I also do this at my dentist twice a year …It may be a little excessive, but I’m just keeping it real. A lot of people recommend once a year. This is professional teeth whitening- a light comes up onto your teeth for 3, 15 minute sessions. It usually costs anywhere between $150-200, butI think it’s a great, once-a-year investment. I don’t personally like Crest whitening strips or the things you can get at home because I feel like they slide around in my mouth, and sometimes you end up spending more money on those over the course of the year.
Those are my tips on keeping your teeth really white. Oral hygiene is so important – don’t forget that you inevitably swallow everything in your mouth, which can impact your health. Make sure that you are focusing on oral hygiene, and your teeth will be white.