I don’t think I’ve been to a dentist for 3 years. I haven’t had problems with my teeth, and I’d have to pay for the dentist, so until I actually need a one, I’m not going to ignore their existence (though I do know where the nearest two practices are to our house. Just in case). But in the mean time, my teeth have got a bit icky. Usually when you go to the dentist they give your teeth a quick clean as well as peering inside and talking to their assistant in alphanumerical code.
So I thought, surely you can do that at home, right? Well, cocktail sticks weren’t effective, and I brush my teeth twice every day, but was feeling unhappy with them, so thought that maybe for the wedding it would be worth buying some cheap whitener.
So I went to browse. Of course, when I see all the brands lined up on the shelves, I panic. There are too many choices, too many makes. And from experiences, some are not only better than others, some will be crap. I didn’t want to end up with a crap one, but neither did I want to spend a fortune. So I did what any sensible chemist would do.
I turned them over and read the list of ingredients.
This is a version of Single Mum Finds this 1 Trick to a Whiter Smile! No Need for Dentists! You are 1 Click Away from Unveiling Whiter Teeth. Don’t Let Your Smile Get You Down. It’s Easy and Only Costs £5. Or rather, about 90p.
The main ingredient is sodium bicarbonate. Yes, a simple base found in most homes. I really did think about buying the professional stuff, but I was bewildered by the choice, and thought, well, I should at least try bicarbonate of soda first…
It works. After sticking my toothbrush in bicarbonate of soda and brushing, keeping the salt slurry in my mouth, the plaque is entirely cleaned off my teeth and they appear (3 days later) a little bit whiter in colour. I then brush my teeth normally with toothpaste to clean out the salt, and for any fluorine effect, et cetera.
The only problem is that the bicarbonate of soda is quite abrasive, and brushing with it twice a day is harming my gums. It’s probably best used once or twice a week, which is probably all you need given the extent of it’s reaction. It doesn’t bleach the teeth – so it’s not going to turn them Ross Geller white – but they are clean, and the base conteracts the acid used to break down food. Personally, I prefer this. It feels more natural.