Is it possible to eat your way to whiter teeth? Maybe, says Oklahoma City dentist Damon R. Johnson, DDS. Here, the OKC dentist sheds light on home remedies that may whiten the teeth.
A less-than-bright white smile may have you hiding your grin. According to OKC dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson, teeth are one of the first things people notice when they meet a new person, so shrouding your smile may not be such a good idea.
If you have yellow or stained teeth, there are a few things you can do at home to cheer up your chompers. But first, the OKC dentist says it’s important to understand that you will not get the same results as you would in a professional setting. In his office, the OKC dentist uses a highly concentrated peroxide-based bleaching solution to quickly and effectively remove stains.
Home remedies for whiter teeth
- Baking soda: A tried and true way to scrub away stains, baking soda works because of its abrasive quality. However, the OKC dentist cautions that it can weaken the teeth’s enamel, causing tooth sensitivity.
- Hydrogen peroxide: Over-the-counter liquid hydrogen peroxide is a 3% solution. According to the OKC dentist, it can be used once or twice a day to rinse away stains. A mixture of baking soda and peroxide is more effective than either one by itself.
- Crunchy munchies: Johnson is a big advocate of crunchy fruits and vegetables. Not only do these foods provide your body with calcium to keep teeth healthy, the OKC dentist reports that apples, celery, and carrots can remove surface plaque and some stains. Add a bit of hard cheese, like cheddar, to your diet to neutralize decay-causing acids.
- Lemons and strawberries: An old wives tale (that turns out to be true) says a paste made from room-temperature strawberries can ward off stains. The Edmond Dentist confirms this but warns that applied too frequently, the malic acid in the berries can expose dentin – the yellowish material under the teeth’s enamel. Likewise, lemons, which have long been known to have bleaching qualities, can wear down enamel, and leave the teeth etched and, eventually, in worse condition than before.
- Red lipstick: Wearing bright red lipstick may not actually brighten the teeth, the OKC dentist admits, but it can trick the eye into thinking they are shades whiter than they actually are. And, many women report that wearing red lipstick makes them feel more confident, so they smile more!
Dr. Johnson concludes by reminding patients that the key to whiter teeth is prevention. Avoid staining foods and tobacco products, brush twice a day, eat a balanced diet, and drink plenty of water.
For more information, check out Dr. Johnson’s OKC dentist office website and blog at DamonRJohnsonDDS.com