New Year, New Me? Why not start your year off right with a brighter smile? Its not new news that something as simple as whitening your teeth can make you look younger, teeth whitening at home has become an $11 billion dollar industry in America.
With so many do it yourself teeth whiteners on the market, how do you choose? For so many this choice comes down to 2 things; cost and safety.
Most whiteners use harsh chemicals to do the trick, however many people are now concerned with the adverse effects of using these chemicals.
With this in mind, we have come up with a list of safe and natural ways to achieve a whiter smile while keeping your health and the environment in mind.
Let’s start with what we should be avoiding; there are numerous foods and practices that cause yellowing of the teeth.
Certain foods will stain the tooth’s enamel, which is the outermost layer of the tooth. Some of these are coffee, red wine, soda, tea, blueberries, blackberries, citrus fruits, and sweets. These along with not getting enough calcium can be a recipe for disaster.
Aside from these delicious no nos, simply not brushing and flossing enough can cause teeth to become yellow.
The Most Effective Natural Ways To Whiten Your Teeth:
1. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a traditional South Indian practice meant to improve oral hygiene as a whole, including whitening the teeth. This method involves swishing oil around in your mouth to remove bacteria, which can turn into plaque and cause yellowing of the teeth.
Traditionally Indians used sunflower or sesame oil for pulling; however coconut oil has become a popular choice because of its more pleasant taste and anti bacterial/anti inflammatory properties.
To oil pull, put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and push and pull it through your teeth. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, but will quickly melt. Oil pulling should last a full 15-20 minutes.
Unlike many tooth whitening methods, coconut oil does not expose your teeth to acid or other ingredients that can erode your teeth. This makes it safe to do daily.
Brushing with baking soda has been a long time solution, so much so it’s been added to many commercial toothpastes.
It’s a mild abrasive that can scrub away surface stains on teeth. In addition, baking soda creates an alkaline environment in your mouth which is proven to prevent the growth of bacteria. It is believed that regularly brushing with baking soda will reduce improve whiteness over time.
To use this remedy, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water and brush your teeth with the paste. It is suggested to do this a few times a week for best results.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that will also kill bacteria in the mouth.
People have been using hydrogen peroxide for years to disinfect wounds because of its antibacterial properties.
Many commercial whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide, although this is at a much higher concentration than would be used at home.
One way to use hydrogen peroxide at home is as a mouthwash before you brush your teeth. It can also be mixed with baking soda to create a paste to brush with.
Combine 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and gently brush with this mixture. This can be done no more than a few times a week, as using too many times could cause further tooth erosion.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries as a natural cleaning product and as a disinfectant.
Apple cider vinegar effectively kills bacteria which makes it useful for cleaning your mouth and simultaneously whitening your teeth.
To use this method, use it as a mouthwash. Swish around in your mouth for several minutes. It is recommended to rinse your mouth with water afterwards, and to limit your use as the acetic acid in the vinegar can soften the enamel on your teeth.
4. Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are not only good for your body, but for your teeth as well. Although there is no substitute for brushing your teeth, crunchy raw fruits and vegetables can help rub plaque away as you chew.
Strawberries and pineapples are 2 fruits that are claimed to help whiten teeth.
Strawberries mixed with baking soda are a natural remedy that has recently been made popular by celebrities.
It is thought that the malic acid found in strawberries will help to remove discoloration of the teeth, while the baking soda buffs away the stains.
To use, smash a strawberry and combine it with baking soda. Brush your teeth with the mixture, however not too many times a week as this could be harsh and weaken the enamel of your teeth.
Pineapples are tough to carry properties that have a similar effect on tooth whitening as strawberries.
5. Activated Powdered Charcoal
The use of activated powdered charcoal is thought by many to pull toxins from the mouth while removing stains from the teeth.
6. Kaolin Clay
Kaolin clay is considered another way to remove tooth stains; as is rubbing orange, lemon or banana peels on your teeth.
How To Safely & Effectively Whiten Your Teeth For A Brighter Smile In 2017 Conclusion
Don’t underestimate the value of brushing and flossing your teeth. It is normal to have discoloration of the teeth as we age, however this can largely be a result of plaque build up.
Great oral hygiene should always remain the number one priority when preventing staining and plaque development. Along with regular dental visits, tooth whitening will never be a daunting task.
These are among several natural methods that could be used to safely & effectively whiten your teeth for a brighter smile in 2017!
However, dentists offer whitening treatments that are much stronger than any natural remedies.
These mostly involve bleaching the teeth with harsh chemicals and should only be considered for severe tooth discoloration.