I think a lot of us have heard the quote, ‘Your personality is your business card and your smile is your logo.” Our smile is one of the first things people notice and that includes the health and condition of our teeth. One report states that as many as 20% of the population are too embarrassed to smile because their teeth are crooked and have a yellow appearance. In today’s culture, having great teeth is important. This has a lot of people turning to their dentist for whitening treatments or buying kits off the store shelves to whiten their teeth. There’s a plethora of chemical and natural ways to whiten your teeth.
Natural Ways to Get a Sparkling Smile
Discolored teeth can affect our confidence, self-esteem and our ego. Everyone wants to have a sparkling white smile, and companies are onto this trend. Teeth whitening is getting cheaper and more accessible, resulting in a lot of harmful whitening methods and products that actually harm consumers. At a 15+ billion dollar industry, marketers don’t emphasize any safety concerns. But are there natural and safe ways to brighten and lighten our ivories? Yes, here are six natural ways to whiten your teeth.
Brushing and Flossing
The best way to keep your teeth white is to brush after every time you eat or drink. Foods like coffee, tea, citrus, sweets, sodas, blueberries, blackberries and red wine can stain your teeth. Cigarette smoking also discolors your teeth. If you aren’t able to brush your teeth, drink some plain water to help reduce the negative effects.
Oiling pulling is an age-old remedy for improving oral hygiene and removing toxins from the body. You put about ½ to one full tablespoon of unrefined organic plant-based oil in your mouth and swish it around for about 15 – 20 minutes to remove the bacteria that can turn into plaque. Coconut oil is high in lauric acid which is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria. You can also use sesame seed oil, olive oil, sunflower, black cumin seed, avocado and walnut oil. Be sure to spit the coconut oil into the trash can and not your sink. The oil can clog drains and pipes.
Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Another great way to keep your enamel and gums healthy is to brush with a mixture of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Use a small amount of each to create a thin paste and brush to remove plaque from your teeth. Baking soda is gritty so make sure you have enough hydrogen peroxide, otherwise, it could very well scrub the enamel off your teeth. Your paste should not be gritty but on the runnier side. Rub the paste on your teeth for 30 seconds and rinse well. You can also add a drop or two of an essential oil like cloves which is antibacterial, peppermint and spearmint boost energy and is a familiar toothpaste flavor, Myrhh oil strengthens gums and has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties or lemon oil which is an antiseptic, strengthens gums and helps whiten teeth.
You can also use hydrogen peroxide as a good oral rinse. It works great as a complete mouth and gum cleaner, keeping the area clear of germs. Mix a solution of half water and half hydrogen peroxide and swish in your mouth for about a minute.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar works effectively as a natural antibiotic and teeth and gum cleaners, so yellow teeth are no match for its effects. It contains acetic acid, potassium, magnesium and probiotics which kill germs and at the same time encourage good bacteria. For stubborn stains like coffee and nicotine stains, rub apple cider vinegar directly on your teeth then rinse with water. Be careful not to do this too often, as it can break down tooth enamel. For a less abrasive whitening mouthwash, mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water, then swish around in your mouth. After brushing with ACV you’ll need to brush again with regular toothpaste and rinse your mouth well.
Eating Raw Fruits and Vegetables
Eating lots of healthy raw fruits, veggies and dark leafy greens is good for your teeth. Strawberries in particular, have been shown to have a positive effect on your teeth. Just mash them up, rub them all over your teeth and gums and rinse well afterward. Berries have antioxidants and other compounds that will benefit your teeth. Other good foods include celery, mushrooms, sweet potatoes, carrots, squash and nuts.
It’s no surprise that new trends can happen even with teeth whitening products. People are making a beeline for the hottest whitener, Activated Charcoal. It can help whiten your teeth by absorbing plaque and microscopic morsels that cause staining. Wet your toothbrush, dip it in the activated charcoal powder and brush your teeth as normal, but pay special attention to stained areas. Swish a little water and rinse. You can use this product a few times a week, but it should be avoided if you have crowns, caps or porcelain veneers.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It’s not intended to offer any medical advice whatsoever. If you have any health concerns, see your healthcare provider.