Your smile is one of the first things people notice and a beautiful smile is often seen as a sign of success and confidence. A critical element to any great smile is white teeth. According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, Americans spend nearly $1.4 billion every year on teeth whitening products. Since the average teeth bleaching procedure at a dentist costs around $650, many people look for creative ways to get whiter teeth on a budget.
Sadly, many of the methods and solutions they try end up failing to deliver the results they want. Does this sound like your problem?
I was in your shoes and was about to give up the hope of whiter teeth. I didn’t want to spend the money to get a profession teeth bleaching so I tried some at home remedies to whiten teeth.
So today I am going to share with you teeth whitening tips that have shown results for me. I am going to list everything here since some methods won’t work for everyone.
How To Get White Teeth On A Budget: 5 Simple Ways
#1. Take Regular Care Of Your Teeth
To heave healthy teeth, you need to brush your teeth, floss and use mouthwash. You need to brush at least twice a day. You could floss and use mouthwash twice a day as well, but I find once daily works for me.
The process I go about is simple. Before I go to bed, I first floss my teeth then I use mouthwash. The final step is to brush. I’ve found that when I clean my teeth in this order, I get the best results of brighter teeth.
How do I know I get results? Since I’ve started this routine, the dentist continues to find less plaque to clean off my teeth. My guess is that I loosen the particles between my teeth by flossing and using mouthwash first. Then brushing gets everything out.
If you have a lot of plaque between your teeth, which is what I had when I first started, I urge you to buy these mouth picks. You slide this in between your teeth from both the front and back. I did this in addition to flossing. In fact, I would floss first and then be amazed and disgusted at the stuff that these little guys pulled out.
Note that in the beginning, your gums may bleed. It doesn’t hurt to use these, but bleeding gums are a bad sign. By using these on a regular basis in addition to flossing, brushing and mouthwash, your gums will bleed less and eventually stop.
#2. See The Dentist
I go twice a year and you should too. Just a simple cleaning and polish will run you around $100 each time. This money is well worth it.
Not only will the dentist clear off any plaque, they will also be able to get you a good cleaning and assess your enamel. They will also be able to tell if any stains on your teeth are cavities.
After your visit, your mouth will feel cleaner than it has before and you will have brighter teeth from the polish.
#3. Avoid Certain Foods And Bad Habits
Several factors can damage your teeth and make them lose its natural white color. By knowing these factors, you are better prepared to fight these white teeth enemies.
- Dark Beverages: The enamel, the substance that covers the outer part of teeth is made of a matrix of crystal-like rods that have small pits. Stains from dark beverages like coffee, tea or red wine can get locked into these tiny pits and make your teeth look yellowish.
- Processed sugar: Like the one found on candies and soft drinks, processed sugar plays a harmful role in tooth decay. Streptococcus mutans, the bacteria that form together to become plaque use sugar as a form of energy. The more sugar you eat, the bigger the chances of plaque formation on your teeth.
- Smoking: Smoking is a very unhealthy habit. It can have negative impacts on every part of your body. Nicotine, which is initially colorless, turns yellow in combination with oxygen molecules. Smokers have a higher risk of suffering from gum disease, tooth loss, and even mouth cancer.
Of course, you might not want to give up your coffee and we all eat something from time to time with processed sugar. So I’m not telling you to never drink or eat these foods. But here are some simple tips to help keep your teeth white.
- Drink coffee through a straw. Same for tea. When you do this, you only expose your back teeth to the potential of stains.
- Brush more frequently. But don’t brush right after you eat. Wait at least 30 minutes to avoid damage to your tooth enamel.
- Rinse your mouth out. While you are waiting to brush your teeth after a meal, use this simple trick to brighter teeth: rinse with water. After meals, I tend to take a large gulp of water and swish it around my mouth vigorously for 10-15 seconds. I do this 2 or 3 times. You can spit or swallow the water. Doing this will remove any loose food in between your teeth before it has a chance to settle.
#4. Use Home Remedies To Whiten Teeth
Many home remedies to whiten teeth work great. Ideally, in addition to home treatments, you will use natural remedies as well. What are the best home remedies for white teeth?
- Baking Soda Paste: Mix 3 teaspoons of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of table salt and brush the paste gently onto your teeth and gums twice a week, rinsing thoroughly afterward. The taste isn’t the best, but it does remove stubborn stains and brings the sparkle back to your smile. If you can handle this taste, it is by far the most straightforward way for how to get white teeth. If you don’t feel like making your own paste, you can buy Arm & Hammer Whitening Booster.
- Coconut Oil Rinse: Before you brush your teeth, get 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and place it in your mouth. It will naturally soften as it is in your mouth. Push, pull and swish it around your mouth and between your teeth. Do this for about 10 minutes, then rinse with water and brush your teeth as usual.
- Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse: The cheapest solution of all is to use hydrogen peroxide. Most teeth whitening products have this as a main ingredient. Just fill the cap of the bottle with the fluid and swish in your mouth for about a minute, twice a day. As with the coconut oil rinse, you do this before brushing your teeth.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Mix 1 part of apple cider vinegar and 2 parts of water. To avoid damaging the enamel, be sure to adequately dilute the vinegar before it comes into contact with your teeth. Place the solution in your mouth and gently swish around for about 1 minute. After rinsing, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. Apple cider vinegar is very abrasive, and brushing your teeth right away can do more harm than good.
- Lemon Juice Paste. Mix 2 teaspoons baking soda and enough lemon juice to turn the baking soda into a paste. Using a toothbrush, apply the paste to your teeth and let it sit for 1 minute before rinsing off. Many people swear by this option, but I never tried it. Since lemon juice is acidic, I was afraid of harming my tooth enamel.
- Activated Charcoal. Some people swear by this option as well, but I never tried it. With that said, activated charcoal whitens teeth by pulling stains off your teeth. Interested? Here is how to use it. Put some activated charcoal into a small jar and then dip a wet toothbrush in and start brushing. Once you cover your your entire mouth, let it sit for 2 minutes and then rinse. A few important notes here. First, it will make your entire mouth black, so don’t be scared when you see this. Second, activated charcoal stains a lot of surfaces, so you will probably ruin your toothbrush. You are best to use a different toothbrush than you normally use. Finally, wipe down the sink immediately after rinsing to make sure it doesn’t stain your sink!
#5. Use Teeth Whitening Strips
If you are in a hurry and want to speed up the teeth whitening process, you can try teeth whitening strips. These kits range from $35 to $100 and can produce results faster than homemade remedies. However, I’ve found the best success when using at home remedies in addition to teeth whitening strips.
Teeth whitening strips are safe when used as instructed. Understand though, even if you follow the instructions carefully you may experience side effects like gum irritation and teeth sensitivity. When selecting a teeth whitening kit, keep in mind that the FDA does not recommend using one with a peroxide concentration higher than 18%.
Here are some of the most popular teeth whitening strips:
- Plus White Speed Whitener: You put the gel in the mouthpiece and keep it in your mouth for 5 minutes. That’s it. One note of caution, it does foam A LOT. Because of this, it is best used in the shower so you can quickly spit out the foam. (Trust me, you will need to spit out the foam. It’s a little annoying, but hey, the product works!)
- Active Wow Teeth Whitening Kit: As one of the most well-reviewed teeth whitening kits on Amazon, this kit includes everything you need to whiten your teeth. 2x Whitening Syringes, 2x Remineralization Gel, 2x Professional Trays (plus 1x Bonus Tray), 1x Whitening Accelerator Light, and 1x Tray Case for secure storage. It even comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, whiter teeth, or your money back. It can be used daily and helps remove stains from coffee, wine, soda, smoking, and more with light-activated acceleration technology.
- Crest 3D White Glamorous White Whitestrips: Whitestrips claim they can remove 10 years of tough set-in stains from coffee, wine, and smoking, and that they can produce results that are 25 times better than those achieved by using any whitening toothpaste for 4 weeks. This type of whitestrips usually produces fewer side effects that gel-based kits, so if you have experienced side effects like sensitivity or gum irritation when using peroxide based gels, this can be an alternative for you.
In my experience, whitestrips worked best for me. They was a small learning curve at first, but by the third day, I had it down to a science.
There are my best tips for how to get whiter teeth on a budget. While going to the dentist and getting a professional teeth bleaching is you absolute best option, there are many other teeth whitening methods you can do for much less.
The important thing to remember here is nothing is going to happen overnight. You won’t go from dark, yellow stained teeth to pearly whites in one day. It takes a few weeks of treatments. For this reason, I encourage you to take a before picture. This really helps keep you motivated since you probably won’t see any changes in the day to day.
But following these home remedies for whiter teeth and even buying some teeth whitening strips can have a tremendous impact on your teeth.
Just be sure to brush, floss and rinse so that you not only have white teeth, but healthy teeth.
Hi, my name is Jon and I run Compounding Pennies. I’ve been interested in personal finance since high school and love writing and talking about it. You can learn more about me in the Authors section of this site.