Want that Hollywood smile? While there are a number of cosmetic treatments available on the market, Dr Richard Marques reveals that the secret to a whiter, brighter smile could be as simple as making a few small changes to your diet. Read on for his top tips to whiten teeth naturally at home.
1. Use Baking Soda
Baking Soda is a natural teeth whitener and included in many toothpastes. Try mixing a quarter teaspoon of Baking Soda with water and applying this to the teeth with your toothbrush. Alternatively add the Baking Soda to a cheap toothpaste. It will not damage your teeth in any way but will make them look gradually whiter over time. Science - Baking Soda is a natural cleaning and oxidising agent.
2. Eat strawberries
Due to the Malic acid these can naturally whiten your teeth. Science - Malic acid is a natural cleanser.
3. Warm salt water
Helps both whiten your teeth naturally and looks after your gums (as it is a natural antibacterial). Mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm kettle boiled water (cool it down) and use it as mouthwash. Science - Salt is a natural antibacterial working by attacking bacterial cell walls.
4. Eat white foods
The whiter the foods you eat the whiter your teeth will be. Eat chicken, rice and fish. Avoid pigmented foods such as beetroot, blueberries, carrots and Chinese/Indian takeaway (which has lots of turmeric or food colourings). Science - white foods have no colourings. Food colourings stain teeth by binding to tooth surface.
5. Eat apples
Apples are one of the natural teeth cleansing foods. Science - once again Malic acid is a natural cleanser.
6. Drink water or milk
You can also drink lemonade or tonic water. White wine is better than red wine. Science - Calcium in milk helps strengthen tooth enamel and structure as well as jaw bone. Water is a natural cleanser washing away plaque.
7. Use an electric toothbrush
Electric toothbrushes can remove up to 70% more plaque than manual brushes alone. The new Sonicare Black Diamond brush vibrates at a speed of 31,000 brush strokes per minute and also has whitening mode (that is a special three-minute cycle for the all the teeth) to remove any stains. Science - electric toothbrushes remove more stains by vibrating or rotating in a more efficient and effective manner than manual brushing alone.
8. Eat cheese
Another great naturally cleansing food that can strengthen the teeth. Science-cheese contains calcium and also has a cleansing surface structure (especially hard cheese like cheddar).
9. Use coconut oil as a mouth rinse (oil pulling)
Use a tablespoon of coconut oil and swill in the mouth for as long as you can. The longer the better (15 mins is the ideal time). Science - This removes bacteria and helps prevent plaque and stains from sticking to teeth by lubricating them.
10. See your dentist regularly
To have the teeth cleaned and checked. You can also consider professional in-clinic laser teeth whitening if advised. Science - only your dentist can check thoroughly for cavities. X-Rays may be required to check the inside of the teeth and jaws. Laser teeth whitening uses hydrogen peroxide activated by a laser light to remove staining from inside the teeth in just 1 hour.
11. Use Charcoal to help clean and whiten your teeth
It's a 100% natural tooth polish made from activated coconut shell charcoal. It strengths gums, removes toxins from the mouth and absorbs bacteria and is affordable – Diamond Whites for example offers this for only £16.99.
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