Many people are ashamed of the way their teeth look, often because they are not as white as they would like. In magazines, on TV, in movies, and pretty much anywhere you look, there are models, actors, and celebrities with bright, white teeth. If your teeth are yellowed, stained, or brown-tinted, you might feel embarrassed to show them, maybe going as far as to avoid smiling in public or in pictures. Though teeth do not need to be dazzling white in order to be healthy, you should be able to feel confident in your smile. If you feel self-conscious or embarrassed by your less-than-white teeth, you don’t have to feel that way. At Smiles by Dr. Santos, we offer affordable teeth whitening services. In addition to seeing a professional for teeth whitening, here are some other ways you can ensure you have your whitest smile.


As they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. The first step towards white teeth is to protect your teeth from yellowing as much as possible. There is only so much you can do to prevent discoloration over time, because as we age, the enamel on our teeth wears, revealing brown dentin beneath the surface. However, there are other factors beyond age that contribute to discolored teeth, including:

  • Drinking tea or coffee
  • Smoking or chewing tobacco
  • Diet of processed, highly acidic foods
  • Dry mouth
  • Mouth-breathing
  • Certain antibiotics
  • Excessive fluoride exposure
  • Genetics

While you clearly cannot control all of these factors, there are certain ways you can use this information to prevent teeth discoloration. For example, your teeth are automatically less likely to become yellow if you brush them twice a day, particularly if you use a whitening toothpaste. Additionally, make sure to come into Smiles by Dr. Santos twice a year for a professional cleaning, which will make your teeth look that much whiter. You can also help your teeth stay white by ensuring you eat a diet of whole, low-acid foods, as well as not smoking. You might also try using a straw when you are drinking beverages that tend to stain teeth, such as coffee, wine, tea, or soda. This ensures that these beverages don’t touch your teeth.

Home Remedies

There are also certain things you can do at home that may give you some whitening results. While home remedies generally do not work on heavily stained teeth, if your teeth are mostly white but you would like them to be a shade or two lighter, these home remedies may give you the results you seek.

Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

By mixing equal parts baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, you can make your own tooth-whitening paste. The consistency should be runny and not gritty, as if it is gritty, it may cause damage to your enamel. Brush your teeth, then rub the paste on your teeth and leave it for 30 seconds. Rinse thoroughly.

Coconut Oil

You can use coconut oil to whiten your teeth through oil pulling. Oil pulling is a oral hygiene technique that many people swear by to treat many different ailments, and one benefit that is toted is teeth whitening. To oil pull, put a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth, and swish it around for fifteen minutes. Spit it out into the trash can (if you spit it into the sink, it may become clogged).

Apple Cider Vinegar

There is some research to suggest that apple cider vinegar may be used to remove teeth stains such as coffee. You can try this method by brushing your teeth with apple cider vinegar, and then with your normal toothpaste. Just make sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth afterwards because apple cider vinegar is quite acidic.

Lemon Peels or Essential Oil

Many people believe in the power of lemon for its whitening properties, though like apple cider vinegar, it is very acidic, so you should make sure to rinse your mouth after using it. You can dilute lemon essential oil in water and use it like a mouthwash, or you can use lemon peels to scrub your teeth for some whitening properties. This method is best used in conjunction with the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide paste described above.


Because strawberries are such a vibrant red color, it might seem counterintuitive that they would whiten teeth, but there is some research to suggest that these berries are effective teeth-whiteners. To give it a try, mash up a couple of strawberries, then rub them all over your teeth. Rinse well and see for yourself if your pearly whites look pearlier.

Activated Charcoal

This one may feel like a science experiment, but some people swear by this method. Activated charcoal allegedly whitens teeth by absorbing plaque and any food remnants that would stain your teeth. To use this method, wet your toothbrush, then dip it into activated charcoal (which comes in a powder form). Brush your teeth, making sure to pay attention to the particularly stained parts of your teeth. Then use a small sip of water to swish around your mouth, then sip it out. Rinse your mouth until your saliva is clear. Do this two or three times a week. This is not a good method for anyone who has veneers, crowns, or caps.

Professional Teeth Whitening

By far and away the best way to achieve a dazzling white smile is with professional teeth whitening. Dental teeth bleaching is a simple procedure that can be performed in our cosmetic dental clinic in Egg Harbor after a consultation with our cosmetic dentist to ensure that it is the best option for you. In the past, you may have been concerned about the cost of professional teeth whitening; however, this procedure is actually more affordable than most people realize, and one treatment is often sufficient to achieve desired results. Teeth whitening is a painless, cost-effective, and efficient method of achieving the white teeth you have always wished for. If you are looking for a cosmetic dental clinic in Manahawkin, contact Smiles by Dr. Santos.