DIY Teeth Whitening: 12 Simple (And Safe) Ways To Whiten Your Smile At Home

BY Dr. McDowell  |  August 6th, 2021
Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..

Everyone loves a bright white smile, but making an appointment and going to the dentist can be hard. Sometimes it’s just easier to try and do it yourself at home.

Knowing which DIY teeth whitening practice to start with is overwhelming, to say the least. But we are going to help you better understand DIY teeth whitening and how you can keep your teeth white at home.

diy teeth whitening infographic

12 Easy Ways To Whiten Your Smile At Home

Most of the time, teeth whitening has the best results when you take the time to work at it every day over an extended period of time. Things as simple as brushing your teeth (as you’ll see below) can make a huge difference in the shine that your smile offers, as well as the health of your mouth overall.

Take A Swig Of Mouthwash

Mouthwash is one of the easiest ways to keep your teeth clean at home. It kills bacteria in your mouth and can help freshen your breath! You should use it every time you brush your teeth or drink a sugary beverage (as these create plaque). If you don’t want to use mouthwash, make sure you brush your teeth after every time you drink a sugary beverage. Also, remember that some mouthwash solutions recommend that you don’t eat or drink for a few minutes after rinsing.

Use A Straw

use a straw for diy teeth whitening

If you have double or triple crowns on top of your other teeth and can’t floss those areas in between the tops of these teeth, then try using a straw when drinking beverages like tea or coffee. This will help keep the beverage from getting in those hard-to-reach areas and create plaque around your teeth. A straw will also direct fluids away from the front of your teeth, thus helping them to maintain a whiter appearance.

Eat Healthy Foods

Eating healthy foods is a great way to keep your smile white! Check out these 11 best foods for whiter teeth that can be eaten at home: spinach, parsley, apples, carrots, celery, strawberries, beets, blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes, and peppers. Healthy, nutrient-dense foods can also help your teeth stay stronger, thus fighting against tooth decay or other long-term damage.

Floss And Brush Regularly 

woman flossing for diy teeth whitening

Brushing your teeth is a great way to preserve the health of your pearly whites, but it’s not enough! You should also make sure you’re flossing every day. This will help remove plaque and food between your teeth. It’s important to take the time every day to floss as this can be a life-long practice that helps keep your teeth in tip-top shape.

Drink Plenty Of Fluoride-Rich Water

Drinking plenty of water is a great way to keep your teeth white! However, it’s important that you make sure the water you drink has fluoride in it. Fluoride is a crucial mineral that helps to strengthen your tooth enamel and keep them healthy. Most water supplies throughout the developed world have a healthy amount of fluoride in them.

Don’t Smoke and Avoid Tobacco Products

This is a big one and very important for your oral health! One of the best ways to keep your teeth in good shape and maintain their white appearance for years to come is by not exposing them to harmful contaminants. Smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco, or using smokeless tobacco products can cause a host of oral health problems like tooth decay and gum disease.

Drink Tea Instead of Coffee

drink tea instead of coffee for diy teeth whitening

Coffee can stain teeth due to its dark color and high acid content. If you’re a coffee drinker, try switching to tea instead and see if that helps keep your teeth whiter. Tea can still have the same caffeine effects without the high acid content or dark color. Plus, some teas might even help to promote a healthier mouth overall.

Don’t Drink Soft Drinks

Soda has a lot of sugar in it, and while that can be great for your taste buds, it can also be incredibly harmful to your smile. This is because it leaves a sticky residue around the teeth and creates plaque that’s hard to remove. In addition, the sticky residue just attracts more sticky substances and can develop bacteria if it isn’t removed quickly.

Use A DIY Whitening Gel (Recipe Below)

This DIY whitening gel recipe below will help you avoid these dangers and clean your teeth at home. The DIY whitening gel ingredients are easy to find, and most people already have them in their kitchen cabinets!

1/2 cup baking soda, 1/4 cup water, 2 tsp hydrogen peroxide, 1 tbsp coconut oil (optional), pinch salt, 1 drop peppermint extract (optional), and 1tsp lemon juice (optional).

Mix all ingredients until a thick paste forms. Apply the DIY whitening gel to your teeth and let it sit for at least one minute before brushing off with a toothbrush. It’s not proven that DIY home remedies actually work to whiten your teeth, but it’s worth a try.

Try Storebought Whiteners

If you want to try a DIY teeth whitening gel that’s actually been proven to work, go for store-bought options. These are often made with hydrogen peroxide and can be found in most pharmacies or large grocery chains. Store-bought options may cost more than the make-your-own version, but they are often much more effective.

Practice Oil Pulling

You may have never heard of this practice before, but oil pulling dates back thousands of years and is used by people all over the world to help improve oral hygiene and remove toxins from the body.

Oil was a wonder when it was created and served many purposes. Because oil is such a neutral substance on the acid scale, you can use it on your teeth without causing any harm.

While sunflower and sesame oils were the most common oils used in the past, almost any oil will work just fine. One of the most commonly used oils as of late is coconut oil. Coconut is particularly high in lauric acid and is known for reducing inflammation and killing bacteria.

Oil pulling has been proven to kill bacteria in mouths but hasn’t been proven scientifically to make teeth whiter. Nonetheless, it’s a safe and effective practice for cleaning your teeth, so why not give it a try and see what happens?

Brush with Baking Soda

baking soda diy teeth whitening

Baking soda has been a very common way to clean teeth. In fact, many people still brush with baking soda because that’s just what they’ve always done. Today, toothpaste is sometimes made with baking soda to help with tooth whitening.

There is some controversy around using baking soda for brushing teeth because while it does whiten teeth. It also exposes your tooth enamel to acids that can break them down. Your tooth enamel will most often not be affected, but some studies show negative effects. Be sure to ask your dentist about using baking soda or whitening toothpaste that contains baking soda.

Other Ways to Whiten Teeth

If the DIY at-home solutions just aren’t cutting it, there are some other ways that you can start whitening your teeth. A dentist that provides cosmetic dental treatments is a great place to start! Dentists can offer treatments such as one-time teeth whitening. These treatments are a safe and effective way to get your smile looking bright again.

A dentist can also recommend a good long-term whitening solution. There are many options that can be prescribed by a dentist, including professional teeth whitening, dental sealants, and Invisalign. Each of these options comes with both benefits and setbacks, but that’s what makes them each specialized for different patients, and it’s why you should follow the instructions of your dentist.

Regular Dental Visits

A dental visit is definitely not a DIY teeth whitening method, but it does offer some much-needed dental care. Regular visits to a family dentist are important for maintenance. They can help you avoid pain, infections, and other serious problems that can occur over time, even if you are brushing and flossing regularly.

Better yet is that dentists often include a polishing or quick whitening with every dental visit. While you can definitely get a specific teeth whitening treatment, regular appointments can be just as beneficial in helping to start the whitening process.

At Wayzata Dental, we offer cosmetic dentistry solutions, including teeth whitening and botox for our patients. Whether you’re looking to shine up your teeth for a special occasion or would just prefer that your teeth were brighter in appearance, we’re here to help! We use a minimally invasive process to ensure that all of our dental operations are virtually pain-free. We’re able to do this by utilizing laser dentistry and state-of-the-art technology. Be sure to visit our laser dentistry page to learn more.

Dr. McDowell
Dr. McDowell has always been focused on using the latest technology to improve the patient experience. From radiation-free imaging to laser dentistry, he has always been ahead of the curve and is dedicated to improving the practice of dentistry one ..

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