Having your teeth professionally whitened on a regular basis is the most effective way to maintain a bright and healthy smile all year long no matter how much coffee, tea, and chocolate you incorporate into your lifestyle. But between professional whitening treatments, it's a good idea to do some maintenance at home that makes it easy for you and your family to keep a bright smile between whitening visits. Here are three tasty teeth whitening recipes you can incorporate into your family's routine that are sure to help make dental maintenance easier:

Berrylicious Whitening Toothpaste

A tasty and effective way to keep your teeth white between professional whitening treatments is to use your own homemade toothpaste a few times a week. This particular toothpaste is made with fresh strawberries, which are full of malic acid and astringents that scrub stains away. The impressive amount of vitamin C in strawberries also work to lift plaque from surface areas for a brighter, whiter smile. This toothpaste is affordable as well as easy to make, and the whole family should enjoy using it on a regular basis. Here is what you'll need to make a batch of berrylicious whitening toothpaste:

  • 3 fresh or frozen strawberries with the stems pulled off
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp water

Put the strawberries in a small, sealable container and use a fork to mash them until their consistency becomes smooth and watery. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix the concoction well with a fork until it turns into a smooth pink paste. You can then use the toothpaste as you would commercial paste, but you should keep the paste on your teeth for about five minutes before rinsing if possible. For optimal freshness, keep leftovers in the fridge for up to a week between uses.

Cinnamon Raisin Smoothie

Cinnamon and raisins scream breakfast, and they happen to be good for your teeth too. Raisins tend to induce saliva and therefore keep teeth clean from plaque buildup, and cinnamon oil has both antifungal as well as antibacterial properties that help to keep teeth and gums healthy. When combined in a smoothie you've got a teeth whitening, tasty breakfast to enjoy that will keep you satisfied until lunch time. You will need the following ingredients to make a blender full of cinnamon raisin smoothie:

  • 2 medium bananas broken into chunks
  • ½ cup low fat milk or nut milk
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon oil
  • 1 cup ice cubes

Put the raisins in a small bowl and fill the bowl with warm water. Set the bowl aside and let the raisins soak for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, add the bananas and milk to your blender and mix on high until the bananas break up and get creamy. After the raisins are finished soaking, add them and the rest of the ingredients to your blender and mix on medium until smooth and well combined. Serve immediately and freeze any leftovers overnight for a frozen treat to enjoy the next day.

Minty Fresh Mouthwash

Mouthwash is the perfect tool for freshening breath, and when you make your own at home, you can be sure that it helps to whiten your teeth every time you use it too. The peppermint essential oil used in this mouthwash recipe kills anaerobic bacteria in the mouth and minimizes the chance of getting gum disease, and the apple cider vinegar that's added works to maintain a healthy PH balance which brightens teeth and helps to remove stubborn stains. This super simple recipe can be put together with the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup water (filtered if possible)
  • ¼ apple cider vinegar
  • ½ tsp peppermint essential oil

Place all of the ingredients in a sealable container and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds so all of the ingredients have a chance to thoroughly combine. You can leave the mouthwash on your kitchen counter and use it as you would commercial mouthwash. This recipe is great for kids because it isn't toxic if a small amount is accidentally swallowed.

These recipes should only take a few minutes each to create, making it convenient to keep them all around for use within the household year-round.