Looking to whiten your teeth? Procedures can be expensive and harmful! Most whitening products use chemicals to bleach your teeth, which can be a major health concern. Try these safe, natural, at-home DIY solutions to whiten your teeth in no time!
Brush with baking soda
Baking soda is a popular ingredient in toothpaste. It helps scrub away surface stains on teeth. Your teeth won’t whiten over-night but you should see an improvement over-time. One study found that toothpaste containing baking soda was significantly more effective in removing yellow stains from teeth than toothpaste without it. You can buy baking soda at a grocery store or find it online.
Whiten your teeth at home by creating a paste by mixing one teaspoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of water.
Try oil pulling
Oil pulling is a traditional Indian folk remedy to improve oral hygiene and to remove harmful toxins that are in the body. To whiten your teeth using oil pulling at home, simply swish oil such as sunflower or sesame oil around in the mouth to remove bacteria. It’s a safe practice and many have claim their teeth are whiter and brighter after oil pulling regularly.
A recent study has shown that oil pulling helps prevent gingivitis, plaque, and microorganisms that cause bad breath. If you’re new to oil pulling, start with just 5 minutes a day of oil pulling. A gentle swishing, pushing, and sucking the oil through the teeth is all that’s required. Just don’t swallow the oil. If it’s hard not to, it probably means you have way too much in your mouth and should try a smaller amount.
Use hydrogen peroxide
Just like baking soda, hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that also kills bacteria in your mouth. One way to use hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth is as a mouthwash before you brush your teeth. Another way to use hydrogen peroxide is by mixing it with baking soda to make a toothpaste. Similar to the baking soda paste, combine two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with one teaspoon of baking soda and gently brush your teeth with the mixture.
Disclaimer: Limit the use of this homemade paste since overuse can erode your tooth enamel. Two or three times a week is sufficient.
You can use activated charcoal to whiten your teeth at home. It is believed that the charcoal can remove pigments and stains from the teeth because of its high absorbency. You can purchase activated charcoal for teeth whitening online. Gently brush your teeth in small circular movements with the charcoal for about 2 minutes. Or create a mouthwash by mixing activated charcoal with water and swishing the solution in your mouth for 2 minutes before rinsing. Research has found that activated charcoal can be abrasive and could wear down your enamel. So always be cautious!
Eat fruits and vegetables
A balanced diet high in fruits and vegetables is good not just for your body but for your teeth as well. Eating raw fruits and vegetables can help rub plaque away even as you chew. Strawberries and pineapple are two fruits that have been proven to whiten teeth. Strawberries help to exfoliate your teeth and make them appear whiter. While using a toothpaste that includes bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, has also been known to contribute to whiter teeth.
Cheese, milk, and yogurt help whiten your teeth due to the richness in calcium found in these milk-based products. All three help strengthen teeth enamel and appearance.
Limit tooth-staining foods and beverage
Foods like coffee, red wine, and soda are popular beverages known to leave behind unpleasant stains on the surface of your teeth. Using a straw when drinking soda is my favorite way to avoid stains while getting my daily intake of caffeine.
Brushing your teeth soon after consuming one of these beverages is a great way to limit their effects on the color of your teeth.
Consistent brushing and flossing
You should be brushing and flossing your teeth daily! That’s usually one of the first routine questions your dentist asks during your 6-month check-up. Don’t disappoint the doc or your teeth and make sure you are brushing at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day, if not more.
When brushing, be careful not to scrub away enamel at the gum line. You want to go below the gum line when you floss to remove any left behind meat or other food that can easily create a buildup of bacteria.
Not only is smoking terrible for you, the tar and tobacco found in nicotine yellows teeth rapidly. So do yourself a favor, if you haven’t already and stop smoking. Not only will your teeth look better, but your breath, heart, and lungs will be healthier.
Cigarettes, pipes, and cigars all lead to oral health problems. Even smokeless tobacco can irritate your gum tissues. If you don’t smoke don’t try and pick up a bad habit now. For those that do, try to quit; the sooner the better. Consult a doctor or dentist to help calm nicotine cravings with medication such as nicotine gum and patches.