Teeth Whitening Tips for Summer

Teeth_WhiteningTeeth whitening seems to be a natural concern at this time of year, as the summer sun shines its bright rays on
everything, including our mouth! Creating a brighter smile is a very common desire – the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) reported in 2012 in a survey of its members that cosmetic dentists performed an average of 61 whitening treatments per year.

Your cosmetic dentist can provide you with effective in-home or office-based whitening treatments, but there are also several things you can do for yourself this season to lighten the shade of your teeth.

  1. Eat strawberries. Strawberries are high in Vitamin C, which can help break-down plaque that is causing your teeth to look yellow. The berry also has an enzyme called malic acid, which may help to remove surface stains.
  2. Try a little baking soda. Baking soda is mildly abrasive and can remove surface stains from teeth. It is also very alkaline and can help balance your mouth’s pH level if you’ve been eating foods such as meat and dairy products. You can make a paste with some lemon juice and baking soda for a mild home-made whitening treatment.
  3. Swish some coconut oil. This very simple and traditional teeth whitening tactic involves placing one tablespoon of liquid coconut oil in your mouth and keeping it in there (by swishing) for at least 10 minutes. Spit the oil out when you are done – do NOT swallow it.
  4. Eat more lemons. This citrus fruit is recognized by the AACD as a natural teeth whitener and it also restores pH balance to the mouth. It can also erode teeth enamel, however, so enjoy lemons in moderation.

Another natural teeth whitening agent is plain old water. Drinking plenty of water keeps your mouth hydrated, which improves oral health on many levels, and it also washes off stains from drinks such as tea, wine and sports drinks.

With a little extra attention, you can have a brighter smile this summer, even before you visit your dentist to talk about your best clinical teeth whitening options.

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