By BR Amelia
Coffee, tea, red wine, citrus fruits, blueberries... all are rather wonderful... all have the potential to stain your teeth. Now in the quest to keep one's teeth bright and white one could give up some of life's most enjoyable treats... or one could try anything in your power to keep your chompers sparkly. So what are some of the weird and wonderful ways outside of brushing twice a day and seeing your dentist every six months for a scale and polish that people try to keep their teeth in tip top condition? Check these out!
Who else gets giddy when strawberry season arrives? Not only are these fabulous fruits an excellent source of Vitamin C, but strawberries are said to be able to whiten teeth. It's said the malic acid in strawberries has the ability to remove surface stains. So what's the deal? Do we nosh on punnet after punnet on them? (Not a bad idea in my strawberry-loving books!) Well the usual method of using strawberries to whiten one's teeth is to mash some up with baking soda, apply the mix, leave if for a few minutes and then remove. Sounds like a good idea in theory, but we can't help but wonder how leaving acid on your teeth could be a good thing? This is backed up by studies which showed this method of teeth whitening resulted in surface stains being removed, but with the teeth being weakened. Hmmm, perhaps it's better to stick to eating them...
Did you know that toothpaste now comes in the shade of purple? PopWhite is getting well hyped at the moment and it sounds a little bit amazing. PopWhite basically uses colour correction to make your teeth whiter - yep, just like how green neutralises redness etc. So the purple Prime and Toner (which is meant to replace your usual toothpaste regime) is designed to neutralize yellow teeth. It also doesn't contain hydrogen peroxide, so it's gentler on your teeth. You can read more about it (it gets a little sciency) here. The only downside? It's doesn't ship to New Zealand - but if it ever does I have a feeling a few members of the Crew would be keen to give it a review!
Heard of oil pulling? Basically it involves taking a spoonful of plant-based oil in your mouth (think coconut, olive, sesame - preferably organic, cold-pressed and unrefined) and swishing it around inside your mouth for twenty minutes. The point? It's said to clear out bacteria from your mouth, and aid in tooth whitening. There are further claims saying it also helps a whole host of physical problems, but the science is sketchy at best. In saying that oil pulling has been around since ancient times and originated in India and it has many fans. Our own pixie, Kellie, tried it for a few weeks and found it hard work, and 'quite gross'. She also didn't notice any difference in the whitening of her teeth, but then perhaps that was due to giving up. Either way, while studies haven't proved it to be a wonder-whitener, and while the scientific community on the whole aren't enitrely convinced, unless you're allergic to a particular oil there's no reason why you couldn't give it a go - just makes sure you do it in conjunction with your usual brushing regime.
A less gloopy and faster method of whitening your teeth is to try an activated charcoal, like Warpaint. Take one clean and wet toothbrush, dip it in the charcoal, then pop your toothbrush in your mouth, close your mouth, and brush for two minutesl. Your sink will be dribbled in black. You've got to be quick in cleaning up as it stains. Your teeth will look like you've eaten a year's worth of liquorice, but once you rinse and/or done it a few times it should leave you with whiter teeth. Tabby gave this a go and while she found it to be effective at removing surface stains (always a good thing), where as she didn't notice a difference on long-term staining. Still, as Tabby put it, if it gets off that night's red wine marks then it's a goer.
This last tooth-whitening trick we can't quite get our heads around. Apparently if you apply Vaseline over your teeth it will stop them getting stained with whatever you're eating or drinking. We can see the logic behind it - it provides a barrier. But is that a barrier you really want in your gob? I think we'd rather drink our coffee then head to the bathroom for a quick brush...
So do tell... have you tried any of the above weird and wonderful ways to whiten your teeth? Have you got any other tricks up your sleeve! Spill!