A very important part of a gentleman’s style is his smile, and having clean white teeth is essential to maintaining a healthy overall look. Even though I have been working with many gentlemen on what to wear over the years, I had always been nervous about how white my teeth were. I have never had that Hollywood white, Simon Cowell smile, I drank far too much coffee (at least five cups a day) and Red wine was my alcohol of choice. Both are notorious on staining teeth.
Recently, I have been pushed by my subscribers to start doing video posts, and while I could get all the equipment I needed and I could practice for hours on end, I was never going to feel confident in front of the camera without white teeth. I looked on YouTube and on Google for tips and tricks, however all the videos had been made by American teenage girls who already had (in my eyes) perfectly white teeth already. I needed a solution that was industrial strength to cope with my lack of visits to the dental hygienist over the past 20 years!
I needed a fix and I needed it fast, and the solution I came up with worked in two about weeks. I am sure that if I had used what I had learned at the end of the two weeks at the beginning, it would have probably been as little as one week. The routine I ended up with I will stick with now. The best thing is this solution is cheap, I mean real cheap – all the items needed can be bought for less than £5 and will last months. No more need for expensive but ineffective home whitening kits (trust me I had tried them – I have the teeth trays to prove it!).
In addition to your existing toothbrush and toothpaste you will need:
- Dental floss £1.00
- Hydrogen Peroxyde (3%) £1.00
- Bicarbonate of Soda £1.00
- Mouthwash £1.00
- Electric toothbrush
Before you start
I wish I had given my mouth a rinse with the Hydrogen Peroxide before doing anything to familiarise myself with the sensation and the effect on my mouth so I could tell the difference between what the peroxide was doing and the bicarb. I didn’t and learned the hard way, it is sore the very first time you use the two together if you scratch your gums through careless brushing with the abrasive bi-carb. You quickly adjust your technique, but info like this would have prepared me!
Brush your teeth as normal
Brush your teeth at least twice a day with regular toothpaste, preferably after meals. OK so this is the only bit of my routine that didn’t change, I was always pretty good at cleaning my teeth regularly. This would usually take me 2 minutes.
I admit it, I didn’t floss regularly. I do now. The hardest part of the teeth whitening process for me was not the tooth face which is easy to clean, but where the teeth touched and joined, especially where the teeth were not perfectly straight (note to parents, why did you listen to me when as a child aged 7, I said I didn’t want braces! I regret it now). Within a few days I got the knack to flossing and it takes less than a minute which I do every time I brush.
Stain removal with Bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda is highly abrasive (many toothpastes have a milder abrasive in them), it will scratch away stains very quickly. To use, just press your wet toothbrush into the powder and use as a regular toothpaste to brush your teeth. I tastes quite salty and will fizz in your mouth. I got used to the taste quickly.
I used bicarb once a day every day for the first week. I continue to use Bicarbonate of soda once a week at weekends as a maintenance clean.
Being so abrasive, it is easy to accidentally scratch your gums if you are too vigorous with brushing. This could make them sore or even bleed. Take greater care than I did initially and save yourself the pain. You quickly adapt your technique for effective brushing. I have now moved to a round head electric toothbrush (optional) which gives far greater control over brushing.
Bleaching with Hydrogen Peroxide
I have heard a lot of horror stories about Hydrogen Peroxide, but no real evidence to suggest it was unsafe, and my pharmacist was happy to sell it to me without concern. Also when reading the bottle, it could be as if I was reading the label from a bottle of listerine or TCP. In fact if you look at the ingredients of many home teeth whitening kits, they will include hydrogen peroxide in them as an active ingredient.
After the final brushing (either with regular toothpaste on a normal day or Bicarb of soda on an intensive day (first week or subsequent weekends)) I a cap full of Peroxide (about 20ml) as a mouth wash and rinse my teeth for 60 seconds. Before spitting the peroxide out I use my toothbrush and brush my teeth with the Peroxide for another 60 seconds to ensure my teeth are absolutely coated in Peroxide.
Hydrogen Peroxide is an antiseptic and will kill off the germs in your mouth and gums with a fizzing action. The first time you do this you may be surprised at how much bacteria you had in your mouth, I know I was astounded. The peroxide turned my gums white. They also were very, very sore. This sent me into a panic for a few minutes as I remembered the horror stories I had read from peoples comments. HOWEVER, the colour returned to my gums in a few minutes and the soreness passed. I persisted and rinse with Peroxide ever brush and I no longer get sore/white gums. I put this down to my more effective brushing now I am aware of how clean my teeth are. I think of it like a disclosure tablet you had as kids – just for tough men!
The soreness was even more apparent after brushing with Bicarb of soda when I had been careless and scraped my gums. Subsequent sessions were fine because I learned how to be careful.
Final rinse with mouthwash
The bicarbonate of soda and the hydrogen peroxide don’t taste particularly fresh so a final rinse with a quality mouthwash will add a level of protection and keep your breath minty fresh.
I would love to show you the before and after pictures but i REALLY don’t like the before pictures and the after pictures are pretty pointless without the comparison. However I can confidently say my teeth are a whole 10 shades lighter according to a scale I had in an old whitening kit that I had bought previously. Nothing has been as effective as this method and I will not pay for an expensive home whitening kit again.
What I have learned is this two weeks has been just as much about re-learning good habits as actually doing the cleaning. No amount of home remedies should be instead of good dental hygiene routine and regular visits to your dentist. I am probably the extreme so if this worked for me, chances are your teeth are better than mine were and this will work for you too.
I am sure a dentists clean and polish could get it 5% brighter and professional laser lightening session could get another 5%, but to have white teeth that are within 90% of a professional service costing £100’s of pounds is a great achievement.
If this works for you, leave a comment or better still post up your before and after pictures. If you have your own tips for whitening your teeth – add those too. You can get more tips like this sent directly to you by joining the mailing list.