All of us desperately want to make a good impression. It is said that the first impression is the best impression. This is especially true in a financial deal, a social call, and maybe in a marriage proposal. When asked what they first noticed about their life partners, more often than not, friends have replied “their teeth.”
A white smile is an important part of that all-important first impression, and because of that, here are some tips for getting that gorgeous, bright smile.
When it comes to whitening the teeth, many people swear by their dentist. While it’s true that many dentists nowadays perform whitening and other cosmetic procedures, and can do them in under an hour, the truth is that this can cost you hundreds of dollars for just one appointment. A much smarter option would be to go with a good at-home teeth whitening kit. Some homemade inexpensive ways of whitening your teeth:
Simple Home Remedies for Whitening of Teeth
One of the better home recipes for whiter teeth is a paste consisting of baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, table salt and a dab of toothpaste. Mix it all together and brush away stains. The secret to this inexpensive home whitening method is Malic acid, which acts as an astringent to remove surface discoloration.
The process of brushing teeth with a baking soda and salt mixture has been around for a long time, and for good reason. It can actually be effective in removing stains, especially with the help of peroxide. Baking soda will also help to kill bacteria, which causes plaque, and reduce acids, which can harm tooth enamel. Baking soda is safe to use and easily obtained. If you do use a baking soda mixture, brush gently around your gums so you don’t irritate them.
Crunchy Vegetables for Whiter Teeth
Vegetables such as celery, carrots, broccoli, and cucumbers are naturally abrasive and act like little toothbrushes that scrub away stains.
Charcoal of Babul Wood
For teeth that have lost their white color, prepare a mixture of charcoal of babul wood, roasted alum and some rock salt. Rub this on the teeth instead of using the conventional toothpaste. You will have white and long-lasting healthy teeth.
Tomatoes and Amalaki
Tomatoes and amalaki contain good vitamin C content. These can be directly applied on the teeth. Vitamin C helps in removing the plaque on the teeth and makes them whiter.
Rub an orange peel on the teeth every night before going to sleep. The vitamin C of the orange peel will combat with the microorganisms all through the night.
Take adequate measures of dental hygiene. Brush your teeth after every meal, or at least in the morning and before going to bed. While brushing your teeth, take care to sweep out all the embedded food particles. This is the most natural way to keep your teeth white and healthy.
In order to keep the teeth clean and white, pungent, bitter and astringent foods must be included in the daily diet. These tastes have an astringent effect on the teeth, which helps to maintain them clean.
Ayurveda and Teeth Whitening
Useful Herbs for Whitening of Teeth:
Babul (Acacia arabica)
The importance of babul (as mentioned earlier) in whitening of teeth cannot be expressed in words. It is so much important in Ayurveda for this purpose that the ancient Indians used nothing but the twigs of the babul (the other tree used for this is neem) as disposable toothbrushes. The tannin present in babul is effective in increasing the whiteness of teeth.
Banyan (Ficus religiosa)
The aerial roots of the banyan can also be used as disposable toothbrushes. The banyan roots have astringent properties, which not only make the teeth whiter, but also make the teeth and gums healthier.
Holy Basil (Ocimum sanctum)
The leaves of the holy basil are dried in the sun and powdered and used for brushing teeth. The leaves help in maintaining dental hygiene and make the teeth whiter. Apart from the whitening properties, holy basil is also used for protection from problems such as pyorrhea (i.e. bleeding of gums).
Margosa (Azadirachtha indica)
The neem tree, or the margosa, is a traditional remedy for having white healthy teeth. Several Indians, even today, use neem twigs as toothbrushes. Neem oils contain astringent and antiseptic properties to fight bad breath, kill microorganisms accumulated on the teeth and to combat dental caries and cavities.
For White Teeth, AVOID…
If you want white teeth then you must avoid the following:
- Sugary foods in any form are bad for the teeth. Chocolates are also not good.
- Avoid excess tea and coffee. These beverages contain strong alkaloids, which can stain the teeth.
- Avoid smoking. Almost every person who smokes will lose the white coloration of the teeth.
- Chewing of the paan (betel leaf), as is done in several Indian regions, is also disastrous to the whiteness of the teeth. This habit can stain the teeth cream, yellow or even a dirty shade of rust brown.
- Lemon Juice for Whiter Teeth. Brushing teeth with lemon juice, or rubbing the peel across the teeth, is one of the most frequently mentioned ways to whiten teeth naturally. Unfortunately, it is also one of the worst. The way lemon juice works is by robbing your tooth enamel of calcium from the citric acid in the juice. This may lead to tooth decay without the right amount of calcium. Lemon juice can also strip away the tooth enamel until it is damaged beyond repair. In other words: Lemon juice for teeth whitening…not a good idea.
- Strawberries as a Tooth Whitener. Another homemade remedy involves mashing strawberries into a pasty pulp and brushing your teeth with them. This tastes nice, but may be almost as harmful as lemon juice for the same reasons. Strawberries also contain acid, and the seeds can damage your gums or even your teeth if you brush too hard. If you do chose to use strawberries for teeth whitening, be sure to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth shortly afterwards.
- Wood Ash (Lye) for Teeth. The potassium hydroxide found in hardwood ash is a bleaching agent and will whiten teeth. A popular home remedy is brushing with the wood ash on a regular basis. Potassium will harm the enamel in your teeth over time and it is best to stay away from this one.
Dr. Rajesh Vishwanathan, MBBS, became disillusioned with the impersonal and aggressive allopathic system and trained and qualified in Yoga, meditation, Naturopathy and Homeopathy. He dreams of Integrating Allopathic medicine with the Alternative systems of healing.