If you find yourself, like many, working from home, there are some things that you might “let go” for the time being—things like getting your regular 6-8 week hair trim or hitting the gym before or after work. But since working from home now usually entails close-up video meetings with conferencing software like Zoom or Skype, you might think about how to improve that most important business asset: your smile. This is especially true since dentists’ offices involve opening wide in person (and spending time in waiting rooms). As a result, you might want to learn how to brighten and whiten your teeth at home.
Fortunately, you have an arsenal of choices at your disposal for teeth whitening products to use and make at home. Many may be as close as your kitchen or medicine cabinet. Let’s start with the easiest.
Brushing Teeth With Baking Soda
Many commercial kinds of toothpaste for whitening include baking soda because it’s effective at removing stains. Read on for several ways to whiten teeth with baking soda.
Baking soda for teeth may be a little messy, but another reason to try it is that it fights plaque formation, which helps prevent cavity formation and gum diseases. Combined with hydrogen peroxide, it’s one of the best teeth whitening solutions you can find and practically always around.
Brushing with baking soda has an added benefit: it can improve your breath as the alkaline ph it forms when mixed with water neutralizes food acids. This can also help if you have any ulcers in your mouth.
How to Whiten Teeth With Baking Soda
To get the same effects of baking soda toothpaste:
Mix into a paste:
- 1 teaspoon regular baking soda
- ½ teaspoon hydrogen peroxide
- A scant dab of peppermint oil (optional)
Brush your teeth, and let the paste sit a few minutes before rinsing out. Note, peppermint oil has been shown to be an effective antimicrobial ingredient, helping to prevent tooth decay.
If you have sensitive or receding gums, you may want to lighten your touch with your brushing action, using an ultrasoft toothbrush like this one from Oral-B. If you find it too abrasive, you may want to use this baking soda teeth whitening approach only a few times a week.
If you find you miss the convenience of toothpaste in a tube or want a slightly gentler version of baking soda toothpaste, you can buy low-abrasion formula Arm & Hammer Advance White Extreme Whitening Toothpaste, which also has fluoride, if you’re worried about tooth decay. However, some people don’t want fluoride-added products.
Here’s an alternative natural way to whiten your teeth at home:
Best Homemade Teeth Whitening Powder
- 2 tablespoons baking soda
- 2 tablespoons bentonite clay
- 1 tablespoon xylitol
- ½ tablespoon sage powder
- ½ tablespoon fine ground sea salt
- 12 drops peppermint essential oil
- 7 drops of tea tree oil
Combine all the dry ingredients in a ceramic or glass bowl, mixing with a non-metal spoon. Drip the essential oils into the jar, stirring well.
To use, dip a damp toothbrush into the powder, and use it twice daily.
Best Teeth Whitener Toothpaste to Make at Home
- 5 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- 5 tablespoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon lemon peel powder
- ¾ teaspoon stevia or 1 tablespoon xylitol
- Total of 20 drops essential oil from any combination of the below:
- Clove (use less, as it’s potent)
Store in a wide, covered glass jar and scoop out with a wooden popsicle stick onto your brush for use. You may want to spit this into the trash can instead of your bathroom sink to avoid clogged drains.
Other Teeth Whitening at Home Approaches
Activated Charcoal Powder
Judging by the number of kinds of toothpaste that now employ activated charcoal as an ingredient, many people find that it whitens teeth without peroxide. If you want to try it as an occasional or regular dentifrice to augment your whitening campaign, you can buy just the charcoal powder loose in a jar, as Sparkling White Smiles’ Organic Activated Charcoal Powder.
Gentle Whitening Strips
If you’d like an idea of how to whiten teeth naturally at home but want to avoid the sensitive teeth effects of bleaching strips, you may wish to try Lumineux Teeth Whitening Strips. They offer gradual whitening with coconut oil, lemon peel oil, sage oil, and sea salt.
LED Light Kits
One of the best teeth whitening products you can use at home emulates the methods used at many dental offices and employs a device with blue LED light and mouth trays that are filled from syringes with a carbamide peroxide formula. They don’t have to be expensive. Try the Cali White Vegan Teeth Whitening Kit.
How to Maintain Pearly Whites
- Avoid staining beverages such as red wine, coffee, black tea, and habits such as smoking or chewing tobacco. Even vaping, though it doesn’t contain tar, may stain teeth if the liquid has nicotine, as well as result in damage to your gums. Also, some people may recommend Apple Vinegar Cider as a rinse to fight bacteria and stains, but realize this can etch the enamel, and you should wait 30 minutes before brushing your teeth if you try this.
- Do eat a diet rich in high-calcium dairies, such as milk, cheese, or yogurt. According to the European Union of Dentistry, studies show calcium-rich and iron-rich foods can reverse the corrosive effect on tooth enamel of acid-producing foods like sugary sodas.
Considering that an in-office whitening procedure may run between $650 and $1,000 or more, you could give your teeth and budget a favor in trying these approaches about how to naturally whiten teeth at home. Remember to brush your teeth at least twice daily, as well as floss regularly. Regular check-ins with your dentist for cleanings and a quick exam will ensure you’re on the right course.