wikiHow to Bleach Your Teeth

Two Parts:Exploring Whitening OptionsTaking Daily Precautions

Whitening or bleaching your teeth can create a more appealing and youthful smile. When done correctly, whitening is a safe and effective process that does not harm your teeth. If you want to brighten your smile, see Step 1 for more information.

Part 1
Exploring Whitening Options

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    Bleach your teeth with baking soda. If this stuff can be found in toothpaste, it's got to work. Turns out there are free radicals in baking soda that can penetrate through your enamel, turning stains clear. Just dip your toothbrush in the stuff and scrub away for a couple of minutes, just like you're brushing your teeth.
    • There has been some uproar about just how safe this is, for the record. While it is effective, some say that it damages the enamel of your teeth, weakening it or destroying it entirely. To be safe, you may not want to rely on this option in the long-term.
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    Bleach your teeth with strawberries. This delicious fruit contains malic acid, an agent that can tear through stains. Crush up a berry in your baking soda paste, spread it on your teeth, and leave for five minutes. Brush it off and you're good to go!
    • If you're in a hard spot, just rub the fruit on your teeth (cut up to get at the juices, of course) and wash off with a glass of water.
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    Experiment with coconut oil or apple cider vinegar. Though it's up for debate, some swear that these two are natural teeth-whiteners, too. Just use them as a mouthwash or rub them onto your teeth and let sit for 10 minutes or so. Brush your teeth afterward, rinse out, and voila!
    • However, these methods shouldn't solely be relied on. It may take a month or two before you notice any results.[1]
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    Buy a teeth-whitening kit. As if it could get any easier, right? Your local big box store or pharmacy probably carries a few options when it comes to teeth-whitening kits. Some are rather expensive and some aren't -- but all will warrant results (it's just a matter of time). If you can spring for it, do so.
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    Get a kit from your dentist. He has access to super powerful gels and trays that you won't find at your local pharmacy. And if he doesn't, for some reason, have any available, he probably knows someone who does. It doesn't hurt to ask!
    • Trays and gels are super powerful, but the main drawback is that it may not fit your mouth. If your jaw is a little, say, unique, you may find these difficult to work with.
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    Get your teeth professionally bleached. Several excellent technologies have emerged for bleaching and whitening the teeth. Although some of these procedures must be performed in the dentist's office, a few can be done at home. Ask your dentist what he or she recommends.
    • This is perhaps the quickest method, and definitely the most expensive.
    • In case of intrinsic stains, veneers or lumineers can also be used (both of these are cosmetic procedures).

Part 2
Taking Daily Precautions

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    Stick to your brushing and flossing regimen. The best way to prevent dental problems and staining is still brushing and flossing, hands down. Be sure to brush before bed and when you get up, but after meals is essential, too. Food left on your teeth can lead to stains -- when it immediately is brushed off, stains can't form.
    • Aim for brushing a full 2 minutes each time. And brush your tongue and gums, too!
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    Don't forget about whitening gum and mouthwash. Though brushing and flossing are more imperative than using mouthwash and gum, the more precaution you take against stains, the whiter your teeth will be (and stay). In between hygiene sessions, just pop in a piece of whitening gum or take a quick swish of whitening mouthwash. It's good for your health, too!
    • These won't have a great effect on their own, but can make a bit of difference when combined with a good brushing and flossing regimen. Think of them as the icing on the cake.
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    Avoid all forms of tobacco. That includes cigarettes, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, and snuff. All of them are bad for you and your teeth. It's tempting to think that chewing tobacco is better for you (and your teeth) than smoking, but it's not. Chewing tobacco an snuff have at least 28 chemicals that lead to oral cancer and are much more addicting than nicotine.[2] You're only good bet is to stay away from them all.
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    Cut down on your intake of coffee and tea. If you can't start your morning without them, try drinking them through a straw; you want the fluid to bypass your teeth. It's better to cut them out entirely, so if you can muster it, do so.
    • And no, cream or milk won't make your coffee stain less. The enamel-destroying powers are still there. So unless that cream takes up most of your cup (eliminating room for coffee), that lighter color won't do you much good.[3]
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    Disguise your cavities. Nowadays tooth-colored fillings are all the rage. However, you may have a dark, highly visible amalgam filling if a natural color wasn't available. If you have a little money lying around, consider having it replaced with a tooth-colored plastic composite.
    • A rotten tooth can also be covered up by a porcelain crown. Talk to your doctor about your options.
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    Go to the dentist more often than you need. Just going in for a teeth cleaning will be sure to keep your smile white and sparkly. And, what's more, your dentist will catch any problems sooner rather than later, so it's a win-win.
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    Wear blue tints. Turns out blue tints (on your body or on your lips) make ivories look whiter.[4] So opt for that navy turtleneck or that berry lip gloss instead of the bright red sweater and matching lipstick. Sure, the effect goes away when you take it off, but it's a quick fix!
    • Don't go for matte lipsticks or glosses, though, even if they are blue-tinted. They'll make your teeth look dingy or less pearly. Stick to glosses for sheen and shine.
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    Eat crunchy foods. Apples, fresh green beans, celery, carrots, raw cauliflower, broccoli...let's start over. Basically any hard vegetable or fruit can act as a scrubbing agent for your teeth. So if you don't have your toothbrush in your pocket and you just downed that cup of coffee, that apple may be your new best friend.
    • And all of these are good for your health, too!

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Categories: Teeth and Mouth