If you're concerned with the look of your smile, you're not alone: The majority of respondents to a survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry say the whiteness of their teeth is what they'd most like to improve about their smiles. Although professional procedures can be costly, there are a number of relatively cheap teeth whitening options available, too.
Inexpensive bleaches may not give you the dramatic results that office treatments are known for, but they can help on your way to a brighter appearance. Here's how, with three easy steps:
Watch What You Eat
Dark foods and drinks, such as berries, red wine and coffee are the most common culprits to staining your teeth, as are foods with vibrant colors such as curry. Passing on these items when you're trying to whiten your teeth can only help, but if they can't be avoided, you should rinse your mouth with water after eating to minimize the amount of contact your food has with your enamel.
Other foods can be helpful when it comes to cheap teeth whitening. Crunchy vegetables and fruits, such as apples and celery, won't bleach your teeth but they can help scrub away surface stains, leaving a brighter smile. Nuts and similarly crunchy foods also produce a considerable amount of saliva as you chew them, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), allowing you to rinse lingering debris off of your teeth naturally. The fibrous quality of the vegetables and fruits helps to scrub your teeth clean and white, too.
Eating cheese can also help whiten your teeth. The calcium and lactic acid found in cheese and other dairy products can help strengthen your enamel, making your teeth look whiter. As a bonus, harder cheeses, such as Parmesan, can also help scrub your teeth, removing surface stains.
Take Care Of Your Teeth
Regular dental visits and a good at-home oral care routine can also help keep your teeth white. Brushing twice a day not only removes plaque before it has a chance to harden into tartar, but it also removes any discoloration or stains before they have a chance to set in. Using a toothpaste made for whitening, such as Colgate® Optic White® Toothpaste, is a great way to keep up with your brushing routine and explore cheap teeth whitening. For the most efficient way to a whiter smile, be sure to look for a toothpaste that contains hydrogen peroxide, a common bleaching ingredient that's used during professional teeth whitening treatments.
Try At-Home Whitening Products
At-home whitening products might not be as effective as a whitening treatment at your dentist's office, but it does tend to cost less. Additionally, if you're already using a whitening toothpaste, these over-the-counter gel strips, whitening pens and whitening trays can give you more dramatic results than using toothpaste alone. There are some drawbacks, however, such as an increased risk of tooth sensitivity.
Cheap teeth whitening tricks might not give you that movie star megawatt smile, but at-home treatments and smart dental care can help brighten your smile quite a few shades. Be sure to check your dentist before beginning your teeth whitening plan at home.