We’ve tried every teeth whitening treatment out there — from strips to pens to in-office appointments. But sometimes it’s the little things you do that can make a big difference between having a-ok ivories and an A-list Hollywood smile. Board Certified Prosthodontist and Oral Care Expert Dr. Levine offers some of his favorite DIY teeth whitening quick tips. Of course, these won’t compare to professional teeth whitening services, but they’re a good start!
Make an At-Home Whitening Paste
Mix 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and just a sprinkle of baking soda into a paste. Dip your toothbrush into the paste, add any toothpaste on top and brush your molars for two minutes.
Eat Foods That Whiten and Protect
“Foods that require a lot of chewing, meaning fibrous foods like apples, celery and carrots, will whiten teeth because they naturally remove stains on teeth,” says Dr. Levine. ‘They act as natural exfoliants.” He also recommends maintaining a diet of greens, such as spinach, broccoli and lettuce. “They prevent staining because when chewed they create a film over teeth that acts as a barrier. This biofilm prevents stain molecules from adhering to the teeth.”
Use a Straw
“Drink foods out of a straw, so stain molecules bypass the teeth.” We knew we loved our morning smoothies for a reason.
Drink water consistently throughout the day, especially after meals. This keeps any residue from building up.
Look for Antioxidants
When purchasing whitening toothpastes, Dr. Levine suggests looking for ingredients that are also beneficial to gum health, such as antioxidants. And always avoid sodium lauryl sulfate because it can cause or irritate existing allergies, canker sores and bad breath. (Look up toothpaste — Glo Science?) Glo Whitening Antioxidant Superberry Toothpaste ($15, gloscience.com) is packed full of antioxidants and there aren’t any SLSs in sight.