One of the first things that people notice about you is your smile, so it’s no surprise that everyone wants brighter and whiter teeth. White teeth are a hallmark trait of movie stars, models, and attractive people from near and far. But that whiteness can come with a price, both to your health and your wallet.
You can get a professional bleaching treatment at a dental office, place sticky white strips on your top and bottom rows, or stock up on an array of whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes. The options are endless, really. But all of these methods come with their fair share of health risks, and they’ve been costing Americans over a billion dollars per year.
Fortunately, there are safer and more affordable options available to you to get whiter teeth, and they’ve been effective for many people too. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the natural home remedies as alternatives to putting harsh chemicals on your sensitive teeth.
Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
These two ingredients should look familiar from all the whitening toothpaste products you’ve been buying. Eliminate the other chemical ingredients and take a DIY approach instead. Mix a small amount of hydrogen peroxide with a little baking soda to make a paste and brush gently. Just make sure to add enough hydrogen peroxide so that it’s not too gritty to avoid scrubbing the enamel off your teeth. Just be careful with the hydrogen peroxide since it is an oxidizing agent and should be rinsed from your mouth very soon after application.
Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
Similarly, you can add a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice to form a paste. To prevent too much abrasion, try this remedy once per week. Alternatively, lemon and orange peels may help whiten your teeth too. Just swish your mouth with fresh water after rubbing fruit peels on them to protect your enamel.
Coconut Oil and Baking Soda
Coconut oil is a top home remedy for lots of things, and surprisingly, teeth whitening is one of them! One such recipe involves an oil pulling, which means taking a tablespoon of coconut oil and swishing it around in your mouth for at least 20 minutes. Admittedly, 20 minutes sounds like a long time, but you could give it a try. After “pulling” the oil through your teeth during this process, dip your wet toothbrush into pure baking soda and brush gently.
Another interesting home remedy for teeth whitening is turmeric, which is ironic because turmeric is yellow! Dip your wet toothbrush into a small amount of turmeric powder, brush gently, and then allow it to sit for a few minutes. Afterwards, brush your teeth with your normal toothpaste to clear your mouth of any residue and flavor.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is used for lots of cleaning recipes, so it’s not too surprising that it helps clean your teeth of stains too. The key to this remedy is to be consistent and swish it around your mouth regularly for at least a month to start seeing results.
A whitening DIY remedy that’s been popular with celebrities, like Catherine Zeta Jones and Tyra Banks, is mashed strawberries. Mash up a handful, rub them on your teeth, and rinse your mouth with water to see if it works for you too.
Heather Dessinger, aka The Mommypotamus, has recommended this remedy that was used by the ancient Egyptians. Activated charcoal is made by processing charcoal with oxygen and either calcium chloride or zinc chloride. You can open a capsule of activated charcoal or pour about 1/8 teaspoon into a cup. Dip your wet toothbrush into it and brush gently to massage the surface without being too abrasive to the enamel. Some people just swish it around in their mouth for a couple minutes with some water and spit it out for the same effect.
Brushing Right After Meals
This is more of a lifestyle tip than a whitening strategy, but it’s effective in keeping your smile brilliant just the same. Some types of food are known to stain teeth, so you can prevent those stains from forming if you simply brush right away.