Roughly 80% of Americans say they want whiter teeth.
When you feel confident about your smile, you're much more likely to go after better job opportunities, ask that cute barista out on a date, and even project an image of success to other people.
However, while most of us want super white teeth, not all of us can afford the high costs of a professional teeth whitening procedure at the dentist's office.
The good news?
You don't shell out thousands of dollars and subject yourself to sometimes painful professional whitening treatments. Instead, it's possible to get whiter teeth by making a few changes and by being willing to try new things.
Read on to learn how to make it happen -- and get ready to finally experience having pearly whites for yourself.
1. Use At-Home Whitening Kits
First, let's talk about the most well-known way to get whiter teeth: through at-home whitening kits.
These kits usually come with whitening trays that fit over teeth or strips pre-loaded with whitening gel that can be placed directly on the teeth.
If you use trays, you'll need to evenly apply the whitening gel inside of them before wearing them. You can even get specially-made trays that are customized to your teeth -- if you're willing to pay a bit more.
There are even kits that are geared towards teeth whitening for kids.
Most dental professionals suggest that children under 18 opt for trays and whitening kits instead of professional dental whitening procedures unless the case is truly extreme. There are better options to keep your kids teeth sparkling than teeth whitening products. Children's Water Flossers are a fun alternative to traditional flossing.
At-home whitening kits are a great way to get whiter teeth quickly, but be aware that some do contain harsher chemicals than you may realize.
2. Try Oil Pulling
Especially if you're interested in going the natural route when it comes to getting super white teeth, you should give oil pulling a try.
In fact, oil pulling is the secret to the beautiful smiles of many celebrities.
It won't just whiten your teeth, either. Oil pulling also removes toxins from your mouth and even kills bacteria, thanks in large part to the high concentration of lauric acid it contains.
So, how does it work?
Take about a tablespoon of organic coconut oil and hold it in your mouth until fully melted. Then, slowly swish, push, and pull the oil through your mouth and teeth for about 20 minutes. (It's a great activity to do while on your way to work, while meditating, or while doing chores.)
Never swallow the coconut oil after you've finished pulling. Instead, spit it out in the sink or trash can.
Oil pulling should be done daily, and it a great solution for those who have sensitive teeth and gums. Plus, it won't erode your enamel, as coconut oil is free from the harsh ingredients that many teeth whitening kits contain.
3. Use Baking Soda
Another tried-and-true teeth whitening trick is using baking soda to get rid of unsightly discoloration and stains.
While some people swear that apple cider vinegar helps to make their teeth whiter, it, unfortunately, does contain natural chemicals that can erode your enamel.
Baking soda is a much safer alternative -- and it works faster than ACV does.
In addition to helping brighten your smile, this DIY teeth whitening remedy also works to rebalance the alkaline environment in your mouth. As with coconut oil pulling, this prevents bacteria from calling your mouth home.
If oil pulling seems like way too much of a process for you, try using a toothpaste with baking soda. You can even make your own baking soda paste (use in addition to brushing) using 2 teaspoons of baking soda and 1 teaspoon of water.
Brush your teeth with the mixture daily and rinse your mouth thoroughly afterward -- you'll love the results.
4. Switch Up Your Diet
You (hopefully) already know that drinking excessive amounts of coffee and smoking cigarettes will quickly make your teeth yellow.
However, ditching the coffee and cigarettes is just one aspect of the changes you'll need to make to your diet if you want super white teeth.
First of all, reach for crunchy foods like carrots and nuts. They help to keep your teeth healthy, because when you chew them you actively rub away plaque.
Next, find a way to reduce the amount of sugar you consume. One of the best ways to do just that is to add more fruit to your diet.
Not only can fruits like strawberries and raspberries exfoliate your teeth. They'll also give you the sugar you crave without wreaking havoc on your teeth.
Another fruit to turn to?
Many swear that it helps to whiten their teeth -- and there may be something to it. This is because pineapples are high in the bromelain enzyme, which is an ingredient found in many of today's whitening toothpastes.
Changing your diet won't help you if you want to learn how to get whiter teeth instantly. However, no matter which of these methods you choose, remember that the results will take time.
You Can Get Super White Teeth Without the Dentist
We hope you've learned that it's possible to get the super white teeth you've always wanted without heading to the dentist's office.
Remember that the most important thing is to be consistent with the whitening tips and tricks we've discussed here. If you don't diligently practice these methods every day, you're simply not going to see the results you want.
And remember: nothing happens overnight. Be patient.
Looking for more advice on how to take better care of your teeth and gums? Want to understand more about which illnesses and diseases may be connected to poor oral hygiene?
Keep reading our blog posts for more advice on how to care for your teeth -- and understand how to recognize the signs of a potential infection.