Having a sparkling smile and flawlessly fresh breath does not necessarily require stocking up on expensive commercial tooth whiteners and mouthwashes. In fact, the perfect oral hygiene preparations could be as close as your kitchen.
Some of these time-tested home remedies for tooth whitening and eliminating or preventing bad breath may not be for everyone – a few are notably short on the powerful minty flavor that most of us have come to associate with oral care products – but they're cost-effective, convenient, and they work.
Whiten Your Teeth
Baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, and plain old table salt, alone or in combination, are the backbone of the home tooth whitening arsenal. The simplest method is to simply dip your dampened toothbrush into baking soda and brush away; It's a safe, effective, and reliably fast way to get whiter teeth, although the taste leaves a lot to be desired. Follow up with a thorough peroxide rinse.
Mixing small amounts of baking soda and peroxide together will create a safe but strong whitening paste, and adding table salt will boost the power. Hint for the taste-sentitive: adding a tiny dab of toothpaste can make it tolerable.
A less powerful but undeniably more pleasant home tooth whitening technique is to rub the teeth with the inside of an orange or lemon peel. You can also make a paste of lemon juice and baking soda, or just squeeze a few drops of lemon juice onto a damp toothbrush dipped in baking soda. The taste is pretty intense but the mix actually works, and the chemical interaction, which makes the soda bubble and fizz, is fun.
Freshen Your Breath
Herbs are the original breath fresheners; for centuries thoughtful people have been discreetly chewing sprigs of fresh peppermint, parsley, spearmint, rosemary, basil, or tarragon after meals.
No fresh herbs on hand? Chewing fennel seeds can freshen the breath, but so can chewing an apple (which is not only a lot tastier, but a heck of a lot easier to come by in the course of a busy day). Actually most crispy or juicy fruits and vegetables do a surprprisingly good job of freshening the breath, and they also help prevent bad breath by acting as a kind of natural dental floss.
A strong solution of salt dissolved in water is a very effective mouthwash that will kill germs, which lead to bacterial problems that are often the cause of persistent bad breath.
Bad breath can have a wide range of causes, including dietary choices, dehydration, disease, and poor dental care. Unfortunately, dentists may be the only people in your life who will be honest with you about this issue. Other people usually try to avoid offending you by not mentioning your little problem. So, if you are not sure whatever your breath smells minty fresh or like day-old fish, here are some ways you can find out.
1. Cautious Kisses. If your romantic partner holds his / her nose while giving you a delicious peck on the lips, that's bad news for your relationship-and could be a comment on your lack of dental hygiene. When your date decides to eat garlic and onions at dinner to combat the smell of your breath, this is another warning sign. Of course, once your halitosis progresses to a certain point, you can forget intimacy altogether. Occasionally, this problem could be fatal since even a trained and dedicated EMT may draw the line at giving you mouth to mouth.
2. Your Guests Are Grimacing. When you throw a dinner party, does everyone around you seem to be clenching or grinding their teeth? They do not have TMJ symptoms. They are just trying not to gag on the noxious fumes you are exhaling. In Western cultures, people tend to have a sense of personal space that makes them feel uncomfortable when others approach too closely. In social situations, this comfort zone extends about two to four feet. If your party guests are giving you a much wider berth than that, it's time to surprptitiously pop a Listerine breath strip.
3. Bite Marks on Your Body. Nothing smells worse than roting meat. So, if you have been bitten by a zombie or vampire and become one of the undead, your breath is likely to smell horrific. The fangs will be another clue that something is terribly wrong with your metabolism. Sure, you can get your misshapen teeth covered with dental veneers, but the putrid breath problem will be much more difficult to conceal. So will the antisocial behavior (biting people, not going out during the day, etc).
4. Your Birthday Cake Combusts. If you try to blow out the flames on your birthday cake candles and the resulting explosion burns the house down, you've got some seriously toxic breath. Acid reflux is no joke when it results in a homeowner's insurance claim. So, if your bad breath is accompanied by burning chest pains and belching, it's time to have your doctor check you for GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
5. Your Dental Hygienists Turn Green. Dental professionals are used to coping with patients who have less than pleasant breath. So if your dentist ditches the little paper mask in favor of a gas mask, you know you're in trouble. Fortunately, this is the perfect time to have the cause of your bad breath investigated and fixed. Braces cost a pretty penny, but awful breath can be much costlier in terms of social currency. Any money you spend getting your halitosis under control will be well worth the investment.[Top]