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.