Everyone's teeth start to yellow over time. But is it really necessary to spend a few hundred dollars on professional whitening treatments? Here are some things you can do from home, that are inexpensive and affordable within a family budget; and, bonus — will help your children learn good oral hygiene as well.
How many times are you rushing to brush your teeth? Skipping the flossing? If you want whiter teeth, start with a deep clean. Floss with Oral-B Glide Pro-Health Original Floss. This floss is great! It glides easily between teeth, but it's thick enough to grab onto guck stuck between them. Floss every single day and after a particularly messy meal. Don't leave guck between your teeth whenever you can avoid it. Avoid floss that is flavored or scented, as it contains chemicals that can be harsh on mouth tissue and even drying for lips.
Rinse your mouth
Use Hydrogen Peroxide 3 Percent Oral Debriding Agent (not for children unless recommended by a dentist). Follow the directions on the bottle, diluting it with water. This isn't for everyday use. I only use this once every three months. But this solution really loosens built-up guck inside your mouth. If you suffer from seasonal allergies or post-nasal drip, you may even want to use a tongue brush after rinsing with hydrogen peroxide. I like the Tongue Sweeper Steel Tongue Cleaner. For children, add a small pinch of baking soda to their toothpaste for a little extra whitening.
Get a good toothbrush
I like the Oral-B Pro-Health Precision Clean Toothbrush or the Philips Sonicare Essence Toothbrush. You don't have to spend $100 to get a decent toothbrush. The most important thing is that you replace the batteries (if not rechargeable) and the bristles on your toothbrush every three months so you have a new-like brush. Angle the brush 45 degrees toward your gums and spend a full two minutes brushing your teeth in circular motions. Don't press hard on your teeth. Soft, circular strokes are what you want to go for.
My favorite toothpaste is Aquafresh Extreme Clean with Micro-Active Foaming Action. A little goes a long way. My teeth feel cleaner after using this toothpaste than with any others. It helps restore the natural whiteness of your teeth.
This is very important. Drying mouthwashes are not your friend. When your mouth is dry, it doesn't have the saliva to break down cavity-forming bacteria. My favorite non-drying mouthwash is Crest Pro-Health CPC Antigingivitis/Antiplaque Oral Rinse. It doesn't have any burn to it, smells fresh and is gentle on your mouth.
Consistency is key. When you floss and brush your teeth, invite your children to do it along with you. As they watch you pratice good oral hygiene, they will want to do the same.
This article was originally published on Alicia Walters' blog. It has been republished here with permission.
Alicia is a mother to four children, including identical twin boys. She is also a former high school English teacher. She writes about family and home on her blog. She enjoys the funny things her children do and say and is the author of Motherhood or The Widening Gap Between Showers (available on Amazon).