When we look at people for the first time, what’s the first thing we notice? The smile is probably the first thing we see when we look at another person. A bright and pearly white smile does impress us all.

Once I went to my friend’s wedding and I met with a young lady and we clicked instantly. We talked like we had known each other for years.
She was a software developer and I told her that I am a Dentist. To which she said that she was glad we met, as she was planning to go to the dentist for her regular check up. She also wanted to know how she could whiten her teeth and was keen to know of any method that she can use at home or would need to visit a dental clinic for the same.

I said I’ll be more than happy to help you and will let you know all that can be done. We decided to discuss the same at my clinic the following day, before hitting the dance floor.

Next day in the evening she came to my clinic and I did her full mouth examination.
Then she asked “Is everything fine doctor or do i have any cavities?

I replied “Everything is good, in fact, I am impressed you are maintaining your oral hygiene very well.
She smiled and said “ Thanks doctor, just concerned about my smile and want to brighten it.
Can I do something at home or Do I need to get it at the clinic?

I replied “ I can tell you some ways to whiten your teeth at home but my advice will be that whitening should be done under the guidance of your dentist.

She said “I understand, but I also want to know about home whitening methods so that I can use those methods when I am not able to visit the dentist and to maintain my whitened teeth.

I smiled and said “See there are many ways to brighten your teeth at home, some methods can help you in teeth whitening at home but my advice would be that you have to visit the dental clinic for teeth whitening because the home method will do more harm to your teeth instead of benefiting you.

You can try the following at home:

● Oil pulling: Use 1 tablespoon coconut or sesame oil, put it in your mouth and swish it for 15-20min and then spit it and rinse with luke warm water, you can do it before brushing
Doing this daily can reduce plaque formation and may brighten your teeth.
Also it is safe to do daily because unlike other whitening methods oil pulling does not erode your teeth enamel.
● Use of baking soda: It has natural whitening properties that’s why it is more commonly used in commercial toothpaste.
Also it is mildly abrasive in nature.
To brush with baking soda mix 1tablespoon of it with 2tablespoon of water and make a paste then brush your teeth with this paste and rinse it. You can do this for 2-3days in a week.
But as it is abrasive in nature it will erode the outside layer of your teeth so it do more harm to your teeth than good

● Hydrogen peroxide; you can use it as a mouthwash before brushing.
● Limit staining foods and beverages like tea, coffee, wine, soda, etc.
● Also do not underestimate the power of brushing and flossing twice a day
● Fruits like strawberries, pineapple, and papaya can also used for teeth whitening as pineapple contain an enzyme called bromelain that are effective in removing stains,
Papaya contains enzymes called papain which help in reducing stains and protect against plaque you can eat papaya and pineapple or can use toothpaste containing bromelain or can rub the pulp of papaya and pineapple on teeth.
● You can also use strawberries by smashing them and mix it with baking soda and brush the mixture onto your teeth.
As strawberries contain an enzyme called malic acid which acts as a natural astringent
“If you want to try this, limit its use to a few times per week because of the abrasive nature of baking soda, so it is not advisable.
● You can also eat apples, celery and carrots because eating crunchy fruits and vegetables increases the saliva production that helps in washing away lodged food particles and also some harmful bacteria which lead to minimizing tooth discoloration as well as help to eliminate bad breath.

I concluded by saying that – though it’s tempting to think ingredients in our own kitchens could hold the key to a brighter smile. Still, just because a method is natural doesn’t mean it’s healthy

Professional teeth whitening options offer much faster results than at-home methods, and they can safely whiten your teeth without risking enamel damage. We can discuss that if you want.

She said” Thanks a lot doctor for explaining pros and cons of all these methods. Now I do not want to try home whitening methods because I don’t want my teeth to get ruined.
I will take an appointment with you for teeth whitening.

I smiled and said “ You are taking the right decision for your teeth to be healthy. You can take an appointment with us whenever you are ready.

She replied “Thanks to you doctor for making me take the right decision.

And then we smiled and said goodbye to each other


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