As a child, I was always at the dentist office for cavities and teeth fillings. Now as an adult, I try to stay out of the dentist office, so they can stay out of my pockets. Here are my TOP 6 tips for brighter and cleaner teeth- for that everyday glow.
1. The Toothbrush
For the brightest teeth, I recommend a battery-powered toothbrush over a manual one. Regular toothbrushes just don’t compare to the way the spinning brushes get in between your teeth and around the gum line. Be sure to brush in small circles to protect and clean your gums. Some electronic toothbrushes can be very expensive with additional brush heads and accessories, but you don’t need to spend a pretty penny for a pretty smile. I’ve been using this one from Walmart for a while. It’s usually around $8, but sometimes you can catch them on sale for $4.57.
2. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is the practice of swishing oils in the mouth, usually on an empty stomach. The oils pull out oil-soluble (meaning they dissolve in oil) bacteria and toxins from the gums and teeth. Coconut oil is the most popular oil for oil pulling, but sunflower, sesame, olive, and palm oils can also be used. I handmake oil chews and keep them in the fridge for convenience. I melt coconut oil in the microwave, add turmeric powder & peppermint essential oil, then pour the mixture into a silicone mold to set. Once cooled, you just pop one out before brushing your teeth, and let it melt in your mouth. After swishing the oil around your mouth for about 20 minutes, spit it into the trash. If you search Pinterest, there are a gazillion recipes for oil pulling and oil pulling chews. I like the taste of peppermint, so I chose to add about 20 drops of essential oil to my mixture. Turmeric is popularly known as the powder used in curry, but has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that make it a great supplement in oil pulling. *Note* After spitting out the oil mixture, you may notice turmeric in between your teeth. It will be removed when you brush, but it will probably stain your the tips of your toothbrush light yellow.
3. Baking Soda
Yes, that orange box in your fridge or cabinet is one of the most powerful tooth cleaning agents you can buy. Baking soda is alkaline, and will actually neutralize the acids in your mouth formed by sugars and proteins you forgot to floss out. *side eye* Other benefits of baking soda? Prevents halitosis, gum disease, mouth ulcers, and whitens teeth. I keep a personal box on the vanity just for brushing. Just wet the toothbrush, dip it in baking soda, and get ready to brush your teeth.
Continuing from the baking soda tip, you can brush your teeth with baking soda first, then brush with your normal toothpaste. I keep the baking soda on my toothbrush, then add my favorite toothpaste, and brush with the mixture. My absolute favorite toothpaste is Arm and Hammer’s, which already has baking soda in it. I pretty much use any of the toothpastes from their line. My mouth feels SUPER clean after brushing, which is something I didn’t get from using only minty toothpastes.
Listen, don’t roll your eyes at me- flossing is seriously important. Think about all the food and SWEETS you eat all day. When you don’t floss that residue from between your teeth, it decays , causing discoloration, cavities, and BAD BREATH. Any floss will do, but the string works a lot better than the little floss picks. Be sure to floss with the curve of your teeth and gums so that you don’t cause your gums to swell and bleed.
After doing the first 5 steps, I like to think of mouthwash as a bonus. Personally, I hate mouthwashes with alcohol in them. That burn is just too much for me. This one, by Crest, doesn’t scorch your esophagus.