Methods of whitening your teeth with natural products that you may have found on Pinterest or through a Google search can erode your enamel. The exposed dentin as a result of enamel erosion can actually further discolor your teeth, weakens your teeth and makes your teeth more sensitive. If you want to whiten your teeth, the most important things to know are:

Don’t Use Abrasive Materials

A lot of natural remedy recipes on the Internet recommend using baking soda or activated charcoal to whiten your teeth. Baking soda, however, is too abrasive to use on your teeth. Abrasive materials wear down the enamel of your teeth. Enamel is important for protecting your teeth while chewing and from cold and hot foods.

Don’t Apply Fruit Pastes

Another natural teeth whitening remedy you may have seen recommended on the Internet is applying fruit pastes to your teeth like lemons and apples. These recipes often also include apple cider vinegar, another acidic substance. You don’t want to leave acidic pastes on your teeth because they erode the enamel, which can cause cavities and tooth sensitivity.

Apples are a good fruit to eat because they stimulate saliva production, and they are rich in fiber and water. Saliva helps protect your teeth from cavities and clear out bacteria and food particles. Other foods you can eat to support good tooth health are leafy greens, yogurt, celery and carrots.

Foods That Stain Teeth

Some foods stain your teeth, so you should limit them as much as possible to keep your teeth white. You probably already know that coffee, tea and red wine stain your teeth. Other foods that reduce the whiteness of your teeth include ketchup, curry, soda, dark fruit juices, soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. You can minimize the tooth staining effects foods have on your teeth by rinsing your mouth with water after eating them. Even if you drink a soda or another drink that stains teeth, you should rinse your mouth with water afterward. Also use a straw to drink teeth-staining beverages. When you’re not able to rinse with water, chewing gum with xylitol is helpful in protecting your teeth.

Dentists Have Stronger Whitening Formulas

Whitening products you find at the store that are approved by the ADA can whiten your teeth, but for the best results, you’ll want a prescription from your dentist. Many dental offices offer teeth whitening services. The trays your dentist makes for your teeth fit better because they are custom made. Whitening your teeth is more effective with custom-made trays as a result of the perfect fit. The formula dentists give you is stronger than what you can buy over the counter too.

Additional Tips for Maintaining White Teeth

Correct oral hygiene is one of the most important factors in maintaining white teeth. You should brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day. Choosing a whitening toothpaste that has the ADA seal of acceptance is helpful too. Be gentle when you brush your teeth. You should brush in circular motions. Also remember to brush your tongue. Flossing is important to do everyday because it reduces plaque, stimulates the gums and minimizes inflammation. Use mouthwash correctly too. You should gargle it for 30–60 seconds after swishing for 30 seconds in order to kill bacteria at the back of your tongue.

Healthy oral health habits will keep your teeth looking good. Eat a healthy diet, follow proper oral hygiene, and keep up with your routine dental checkups. If damage was already done to your teeth, you may need the help of whitening products to reverse the discoloration. Only use whitening products from your Houston dentist or that have ADA approval to ensure you’re not damaging your teeth.

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