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How to Whiten Teeth without Seeing a Dentist

How to Whiten Teeth without Seeing a Dentist

A healthy smile can make you feel great and boost your confidence. Unfortunately, lifestyle choices such as what we choose to eat and drink, and how we look after our teeth can, over time, create a smile we are less than happy with. Our teeth naturally age, the enamel gets thinner, and the dentine layer underneath gets darker, which all adds to the teeth being less white than would be liked and can make us look older than we are. A visit to a specialist can help restore the whiteness but at a price. Fortunately there are ways to maintain and restore the brightness of your smile at home, without visiting the dentist.

How to Whiten Teeth without Seeing a Dentist

Brushing and flossing

Keep teeth brushed and flossed clean to prevent staining and tooth decay which both contribute to discoloration. Always wait for 30 minutes to an hour after eating before brushing teeth. The acids in food soften the enamel, which takes a while to recover. Brushing too soon after eating will be too abrasive on the softened enamel and will cause damage, as well as creating a surface more easily stained.

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Rinse with water

Rinse with water after eating to remove the sugars and acids that cause damage. Remnants of foods will break down in the mouth releasing the sugars and acids that cause damage and discoloration to teeth. Rinsing the mouth will physically remove these.

Chew gum and avoid dehydration

Chew gum to stimulate the production of saliva. The bodies natural defense, it helps reduce the levels of acid and harmful bacteria in the mouth. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and prevent a dry mouth and lower amounts of saliva.

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Limit certain foods

Avoid staining by limiting the amount of foods that are likely to cause stains, such as tomato sauce and balsamic vinegar. Tannins in tea and coffee, also found in red wine, stick to the tooth enamel, causing an unsightly staining that is harder to remove. Try limiting the amount you drink, and choose tea and coffee with milk rather than black, and drink white wine rather than red. Limit the amount of sugary drinks such as sodas, and using a straw when drinking them will help limit their damage to your teeth by bypassing them altogether. Eat more crunchy foods, such as raw carrots and celery, that will work at clearing away bits stuck to your teeth, effectively gently scraping your teeth as you eat them.

Eat dairy products

Dairy products are high in calcium which is essential for strong bones and teeth and helps prevent bone loss. The lactic acid in dairy products helps strengthen enamel and prevent decay, and the fat found in cheese helps prevent bacteria bonding to teeth.

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Stop smoking

Smoking not only stains the teeth, it affects the immune system and causes gum disease which can lead to bone and tooth loss. Whitening teeth will be counterproductive if smoking is continued and should be considered a vital first step in better oral health and a healthier smile.

Home whitening methods

Strawberries and apples

Strawberries contain malic acid which has been shown to prevent and remove stains. There are various ways of using strawberries, such as slicing and rubbing on your teeth or crushing them up and adding to baking soda to form a paste. Apples also contain malic acid and act as a gentle abrasive when eaten. As both contain fruit acids, that can soften enamel and cause decay, it’s important to rinse with water after using, and limit the use of baking soda as in the instructions below.

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Baking soda

Baking soda cleans as well as whitens, but is abrasive, so use it infrequently (just once or twice a month). To use baking soda as a teeth cleaner and whitener, mix a small amount with water into a paste consistency and use in the same way as regular toothpaste. This method had been used for centuries, since way before regular toothpaste became commercially available. Some brands promote it as an active ingredient in their paste. Alternatively, sprinkle a small amount straight onto a wet toothbrush or onto your regular toothpaste to improve its whitening qualities.

Hydrogen Peroxide

A useful disinfectant with antiseptic qualities and the ability to bleach teeth, hydrogen peroxide is used in many commercial toothpaste brands as well as in mouthwash, and is an effective way to whiten teeth. The best way to apply this method is to use a whitening kit. These can be bought inexpensively and use either a brush or tray to apply the solution to the teeth, lifting the stain from the enamel. Hydrogen peroxide can be mixed with water in equal parts to create a whitening mouth wash. After spitting out, leaving for two minutes to allow the whitening properties to take affect before thoroughly rinsing mouth out with water.

Oil pulling

This is an ancient ayurvedic remedy that involves swishing oil (sunflower and sesame are recommended) in the mouth, round and between teeth for twenty minutes before spitting out. The oil should have changed to a thin, white consistency. The oil attracts and removes bacteria and dissolve plaque and tartar, resulting in the teeth becoming healthier and whiter.

If you have any concerns regarding any of the methods listed, speak to a oral health professional before trying.

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Jennifer Smith

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Last Updated on January 3, 2020

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

The 10 Essential Habits of Positive People

Are you waiting for life events to turn out the way you want so that you can feel more positive about your life? Do you find yourself having pre-conditions to your sense of well-being, thinking that certain things must happen for you to be happier? Do you think there is no way that your life stresses can make you anything other than “stressed out” and that other people just don’t understand?  If your answer is “yes” to any of these questions, you might find yourself lingering in the land of negativity for too long!

The following are some tips to keep positive no matter what comes your way. This post will help you stop looking for what psychologists call “positivity” in all the wrong places!  Here are the ten essential habits of positive people.

1. Positive people don’t confuse quitting with letting go.

Instead of hanging on to ideas, beliefs, and even people that are no longer healthy for them, they trust their judgement to let go of negative forces in their lives.  Especially in terms of relationships, they subscribe to The Relationship Prayer which goes:

 I will grant myself the ability to trust the healthy people in my life … 

To set limits with, or let go of, the negative ones … 

And to have the wisdom to know the DIFFERENCE!

 2.  Positive people don’t just have a good day – they make a good day.

Waiting, hoping and wishing seldom have a place in the vocabulary of positive individuals. Rather, they use strong words that are pro-active and not reactive. Passivity leads to a lack of involvement, while positive people get very involved in constructing their lives. They work to make changes to feel better in tough times rather than wish their feelings away.

3. For the positive person, the past stays in the past.

Good and bad memories alike stay where they belong – in the past where they happened. They don’t spend much time pining for the good ol’ days because they are too busy making new memories now. The negative pulls from the past are used not for self-flagellation or unproductive regret, but rather productive regret where they use lessons learned as stepping stones towards a better future.

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4. Show me a positive person and I can show you a grateful person.

The most positive people are the most grateful people.  They do not focus on the potholes of their lives.  They focus on the pot of gold that awaits them every day, with new smells, sights, feelings and experiences.  They see life as a treasure chest full of wonder.

5. Rather than being stuck in their limitations, positive people are energized by their possibilities.

Optimistic people focus on what they can do, not what they can’t do.  They are not fooled to think that there is a perfect solution to every problem, and are confident that there are many solutions and possibilities.  They are not afraid to attempt new solutions to old problems, rather than spin their wheels expecting things to be different this time.  They refuse to be like Charlie Brown expecting that this time Lucy will not pull the football from him!

6. Positive people do not let their fears interfere with their lives!

Positive people have observed that those who are defined and pulled back by their fears never really truly live a full life. While proceeding with appropriate caution, they do not let fear keep them from trying new things. They realize that even failures are necessary steps for a successful life. They have confidence that they can get back up when they are knocked down by life events or their own mistakes, due to a strong belief in their personal resilience.

7. Positive people smile a lot!

When you feel positive on the inside it is like you are smiling from within, and these smiles are contagious. Furthermore, the more others are with positive people, the more they tend to smile too! They see the lightness in life, and have a sense of humor even when it is about themselves. Positive people have a high degree of self-respect, but refuse to take themselves too seriously!

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8. People who are positive are great communicators.

They realize that assertive, confident communication is the only way to connect with others in everyday life.  They avoid judgmental, angry interchanges, and do not let someone else’s blow up give them a reason to react in kind. Rather, they express themselves with tact and finesse.  They also refuse to be non-assertive and let people push them around. They refuse to own problems that belong to someone else.

9. Positive people realize that if you live long enough, there are times for great pain and sadness.

One of the most common misperceptions about positive people is that to be positive, you must always be happy. This can not be further from the truth. Anyone who has any depth at all is certainly not happy all the time.  Being sad, angry, disappointed are all essential emotions in life. How else would you ever develop empathy for others if you lived a life of denial and shallow emotions? Positive people do not run from the gamut of emotions, and accept that part of the healing process is to allow themselves to experience all types of feelings, not only the happy ones. A positive person always holds the hope that there is light at the end of the darkness.  

10. Positive person are empowered people – they refuse to blame others and are not victims in life.

Positive people seek the help and support of others who are supportive and safe.They limit interactions with those who are toxic in any manner, even if it comes to legal action and physical estrangement such as in the case of abuse. They have identified their own basic human rights, and they respect themselves too much to play the part of a victim. There is no place for holding grudges with a positive mindset. Forgiveness helps positive people become better, not bitter.

How about you?  How many habits of positive people do you personally find in yourself?  If you lack even a few of these 10 essential habits, you might find that the expected treasure at the end of the rainbow was not all that it was cracked up to be. How could it — if you keep on bringing a negative attitude around?

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I wish you well in keeping positive, because as we all know, there is certainly nothing positive about being negative!

Featured photo credit: Janaína Castelo Branco via flickr.com

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