6 At-Home Teeth Whitening Hacks For Your Brightest Smile Ever
STELLAR staffer Victoria has road-tested a whole host of teeth-whitening tips and tricks in her time. Here she shares the ones that will actually give you your whitest smile.
Confession time: I’m border-line obsessed with whitening my teeth. I’ve had them lasered, filled them in with whitening pens, tried brushing them four times a day, covered them in baking soda and tried out a whole whack of products, tips and tricks to make them look just that little bit brighter.
Here are the ones I’ve found actually work:
1. Drinking through a straw
Aside from my teeth whitening addiction, I also have one other main vice, and that’s coffee. Really strong, teeth-staining coffee, and if there’s one thing that’s stopping me from having a movie-star-worthy smile, it’s most definitely my three-cup-a-day habit. So this is what I decided to do: I now drink my coffee through a straw, and it’s had a massive impact on how often I need to ‘top up’ my smile. Sure, it gets a few odd looks from around the office, but it minimises the contact the tooth-staining beverage has with my teeth, and therefore means my just-whitened gnashers stay looking brighter for longer.
Out of all the whitening treatments I’ve tried (toothpastes, laser whitening, trays…) bleaching strips are by far the most effective, and there’s one brand, that for me stands head and shoulders above the rest: Polar White Pro Teeth Whitening Strips, €19.95. If you’re going to go down the bleaching route, just remember to only leave the strips on for the recommended amount of time, unless you want to experience some excruciating tooth sensitivity.
3. Oil pulling
It’s not the most pleasant experience in the world, but it does leave your mouth feeling squeaky clean afterwards. For the uninitiated, oil pulling is an ancient practice that involves swishing oil (I use coconut oil, but sesame and sunflower also work) around your mouth for 20 minutes. It’s works by drawing out toxins, and among its many benefits are improved oral hygiene and a whiter smile. Do it first thing every morning for the best results.
4. Eating these foods…
Your diet makes a big difference too. Aside from limiting tooth-staining drinks like coffee and red wine, scoffing foods that have teeth-cleaning properties can also help. Eating foods like strawberries, almonds and cheese, won’t have a massive impact, but they do help to maintain the whiteness over time.
5. Brush with charcoal
I’m not talking about the stuff you whack on the BBQ. No, the latest trend in tooth whitening are toothpastes that include activated charcoal; an ingredient which removes tannins from the surface of the tooth, without damaging the enamel. Recently I’ve been using Beverly Hills Formula Perfectly White Black, €14.99.
6. Don’t neglect mouthwash
It’s a step that many of us might skip when it comes to our dental hygiene but it’s an important one if you want your teeth to look pearly white. According to Listerine brushing only cleans 25% of the mouth, and over time that can lead to a build up of tartar and stains. Taking 30 seconds before bed to swish with a whitening formula like Listerine Advanced White, €7.69, can help maintain a mega-watt smile.