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Your smile is one of the first things people notice and a beautiful smile is often seen as a sign of good oral hygiene and oral health.
Of course, 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’s office costs around $650, many people look for home options and other 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 professional teeth bleaching so started to research how to get white teeth on my own.
This is when I stumbled upon various at home remedies for a whiter smile.
So today I am going to share with you the tooth 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: 6 Simple Ways
#1. Take Regular Care Of Your Teeth
To heave healthy teeth, you need make regular brushing and flossing a daily habit.
Bonus points if you use mouthwash too.
This means 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 then I use mouthwash.
This loosens and removes a lot of the food stuck between my teeth that brushing doesn’t get.
The final step is to brush.
I’ve found that when I clean my mouth in this order, I get the best results of a brighter smile.
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.
And I rarely have bad breath anymore.
If you have a lot of plaque, 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.
It’s one of the first signs of gingivitis and periodontal disease.
The good news if you catch it early, you can reverse any damage.
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
Going to the dentist for checkups is a must for oral hygiene.
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 the surface of your teeth.
Having a good amount of tooth enamel is critical for healthy teeth.
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 a brighter smile from the polish.
#3. Avoid Certain Foods And Bad Habits
Several factors can damage your teeth and make them lose its natural color.
By knowing these factors, you are better prepared to fight these tooth staining 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.
- 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. This is why most smokers have yellow teeth. Smokers have a higher risk of suffering from gum disease, tooth loss, and even mouth cancer. And it’s not just smoking, as other tobacco products are just as harmful.
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 consume these foods and drinks. But here are some simple tips to help keep your teeth bright.
- 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 enamel.
- Rinse your mouth out. While you are waiting to brush 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 particles in between your teeth before it has a chance to settle.
#4. Use VieBeauti Teeth Whitening Pen
Have you heard of the VieBeauti Teeth Whitening Pen?
It’s a pen that you use on your teeth to whiten them quickly.
Just dry your teeth, apply the pen and smile for 30 seconds so the gel can dry.
Instead of hydrogen peroxide it uses carbamide peroxide to whiten.
For $20 you get over 100 applications and there are over 6,000 4 and 5-star reviews.
#5. Use Home Remedies To Whiten Teeth
Many home remedies to whiten teeth work great.
Ideally, in addition to home treatments, you will use natural ingredients 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 whitening paste gently onto your teeth and gums twice a week, rinsing thoroughly afterward. The taste isn’t the best, but it does remove stubborn tooth stains and brings the sparkle back to your smile. If you can handle this taste, it is by far the most straightforward way to brighten your smile. If you don’t feel like making your own paste, you can buy Arm & Hammer Whitening Booster.
- Coconut Oil Rinse: Before you brush, 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. Do this for about 10 minutes, then rinse with water and brush as usual.
- Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse: The cheapest solution of all is to use hydrogen peroxide. Most tooth 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.
- 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 you swish it in your mouth. Place the solution in your mouth and gently swish around for about 1 minute. After rinsing, wait at least 30 minutes before brushing. Apple cider vinegar is very abrasive, and brushing 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 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!
You can even use many of these products in different combinations to clean your house and save a ton of money in the process!
#6. Use Teeth Whitening Strips
If you are in a hurry and want to speed up the 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.
These 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 tooth sensitivity.
When selecting a tooth 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 whitening 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 Gel Trays (plus 1x Bonus Tray), 1x Whitening Accelerator Light, and 1x Tray Case for secure storage. It even comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, 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 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 sensitive teeth or gum irritation when using peroxide based gels, this can be an alternative for you.
In my experience, whitestrips worked best for me.
There was a small learning curve at first, but by the third day, I had it down to a science.
Frequently Asked Questions
I tried to cover all the important points about getting brighter teeth, but many readers still have questions, so I created this FAQ section.
I’ll be adding to it as I get more questions to better answer your questions.
How does a teeth bleaching procedure work?
If you choose to bleach your teeth at home, the most common method is the clear strips.
You place these over your teeth for 15 minutes twice a day and in a few weeks, you have whiter teeth.
The other common at home method is a gel tray that is shaped to fit your mouth. Again, you wear this tray for a few minutes daily to work.
In both cases, the active ingredient is hydrogen peroxide to bleach your teeth.
If you decide to see a dental hygienist, the process is similar. They too will use a whitening agent to bleach your teeth.
But they will also use a special curing light to activate the peroxide into action.
You then leave the solution on your teeth for up to 1 hour.
Depending how yellow your teeth are, you might need to return for follow up office treatments.
Overall getting the dental version will be faster than at home whitening.
This is because the at home procedure needs to be done over a period of weeks, where the professional whitening treatment is usually one and done.
Does flossing whiten teeth?
Flossing alone will not whiten teeth.
But, flossing on a daily basis will help to remove food and plaque, which if left on your teeth, will start to make them turn yellow and can lead to gum disease.
So if you have white teeth, flossing is a simple habit that will help you to prolong your bright smile longer.
If you don’t have white teeth, flossing alone will not give you pearly whites.
How do I get white teeth today?
The only way to get white teeth today is to see a dentist and have your teeth professionally whitened.
And even this won’t guarantee bright teeth overnight.
Depending on how yellow they are, you might have to go back for a couple of sessions to get your teeth truly white.
But this is your best option.
None of the at home remedies listed will whiten your teeth overnight.
What is the fastest at home remedy to whiter teeth?
The fastest way to get white teeth at home is to use a teeth whitening pen.
Simply, dry your teeth and apply the pen to your teeth and smile for 30 seconds.
You can apply the pen 2-3 times a day if you want, but many people claim to see results instantly.
This product works the best because it uses Carbamide Peroxide as the active ingredient.
Click here to get a set of 4 pens on Amazon.
That means you have over 100 uses for under $10.
How to whiten teeth with a banana?
Many people think that you can whiten teeth with a banana thanks to some online forums and videos on YouTube.
According to their claims, to whiten your teeth, you simply take the inside of a banana peel and rub it across your teeth for 2 minutes every day.
In a short amount of time, you will have whiter teeth.
But it doesn’t work.
There are no proven studies showing this works.
If you want brighter teeth, your best options are to follow the advice I laid out above.
Can you make teeth whiter by brushing alone?
You can make your teeth brighter by brushing alone, but you aren’t going to get them sparkling white.
Brushing with a whitening toothpaste and using some of the other methods I listed above will turn your teeth to a whiter shade.
But if you want to get them sparkling, seeing a dentist for a professional whitening is your best option.
How to whiten the back of teeth?
All of the methods listed in this post will whiten the back of teeth.
Of course, when it comes to the options that involve brushing, you have to make sure you brush the back of your teeth too.
Otherwise the back of your teeth won’t see the benefit.
What are some natural teeth whitening foods?
There are a number of foods that will whiten your teeth naturally.
In no specific order, these foods include:
- Dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese)
In addition to these foods, it is critical you drink plenty of water throughout the day.
When you don’t drink enough water, your mouth dries out and then bacteria begins to grow.
This is the enemy of white teeth.
By staying hydrated, you keep saliva in your mouth, helping to keep the bacteria at bay.
Why are my teeth not bright white?
It is important to remember that you have a natural color of your teeth and this color might not be white.
Most people do not have a bright white smile naturally.
This is why when you see someone with very white teeth, it looks odd.
Therefore, don’t make it your goal to have the whitest teeth possible.
Simply use these tips to remove any teeth stains you have so your tooth surface is a more natural white.
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 the absolute best way to get white teeth, 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.
Just be sure to brush, floss and rinse so that you not only have white teeth, but healthy ones as well.
Finally, before you try out any new claim for white teeth, check out the American Dental Association first.
There are a lot of scams out there, and the last thing you want to do is ruin your teeth trying to brighten your smile.