We all want that Hollywood bright white smile and the funny thing is, most of us think we have it – until we actually do the white tissue paper test. That is when we realize our pearly whites aren’t so. Most results are a disappointing beige, dullness or even yellow in some cases.
For some of us, these results from the test can be disheartening or downright traumatic, but this doesn’t have to be the case. Teeth whitening is not such a big ordeal and isn’t only privy to dentists charging exorbitant amounts. This simple process can be performed in the comfort of your own home, with some simple, affordable and non-chemical ingredients.
The following methods on how to whiten your teeth naturally, I will share with you are both inexpensive and safe. Done correctly and with attention to detail, they will not damage your enamel or your budget.
The Main Causes of Yellow Teeth
Before getting into the details, I would like to clear the way and mention that yellow teeth are not an indication of any health issue. Yellowing of the teeth is primarily known to be indicative of age. As we get older, and through all the years of drinking and eating, the assault of acids from foods and drinks erode the enamel over time. The yellow tincture under the enamel (which give us our pearly whites) is called dentin. As the enamel wears down, the dentin starts to show, thus giving it the appearance of yellowing.
It is known that coffee, smoking (this is a big one!), wine and other common foods speed up the process of yellowing. However, just because you don’t drink or smoke, does not mean you are immune to yellowing of the teeth. There are many factors which contribute to yellow teeth. What you eat, drink, environmental, gut dysbiosis, fluoride in your tap water, poor oral care and well bad genetics (sorry no control over that one).
Home Remedies to Whiten Your Teeth Naturally
So if you are ready to take your dental aesthetics into your own hands by using non-chemical, safe and inexpensive ingredients, with less time and money, I urge to keep reading.
Please remember though, these DIY’s are not a replacement for dental hygiene. You still need to brush and floss your teeth regularly.
Whiten Your Teeth with Baking Soda
The common issue many dentists have had with baking soda is that they say it is too gritty and thus very abrasive on the teeth. This abrasiveness will allegedly add to the degradation of the enamel, thus speeding up the yellowing process. But it has been shown that this is not the case and that baking soda is actually second to water in terms of abrasiveness to the teeth .
1 cup baking soda (preferably without aluminum)
12 drops food-grade organic peppermint essential oil (optional)
Water to make a paste
Mix one cup of baking soda with enough water to create a paste. (you can add 12 drops peppermint or tea tree oil as an option).
Apply the paste all over your teeth, similar to that of regular toothpaste.
Let it settle for a minute or two, then rinse. Alternatively, brush gently with a soft-bristled brush.
You can repeat this process every second day for a week and then cycle weeks.
Whiten Your Teeth with Activated Charcoal
This charcoal seems somewhat of a buzz word today, but many people swear by it. Many studies have been documented by showing the stain removing the ability of activated charcoal. Activated charcoal is known to be more abrasive than most; therefore, you may opt to use it as a mask rather than as a toothpaste. A mask would entail leaving it on your teeth for up to 5 minutes, occasionally swooshing it around and then rinsing without scrubbing.
You can apply it to your teeth with your index finger and gently rub it into your teeth. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes and then rinse. Do this daily for a week and then cycle to every other week or 2 weeks.
Always look for an organic powder and one that is not too abrasive. When buying activated charcoal, look for the RDA (relative dentin abrasiveness) and opt for a number under 200. Most quality products will disclose the RDA. Please be careful as activated charcoal can stain and be very difficult to remove.
Whiten Your Teeth with Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide has been known as a panacea when it comes to an antiseptic. It is one of the best-known remedies for most infections, including the mouth (food grade of course).
What many people do not know is that hydrogen peroxide is an excellent teeth whitening alternative. Many, if not all, conventional toothpaste on the market have some hydrogen peroxide. It is known to have a bleaching ability that is great for whitening stained teeth.
Recipe: Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide Mouthwash
1/4 cup 2-3.5 percent hydrogen peroxide (food grade)
DO NOT GO HIGHER THAN 3% AS IT CAN BECOME DANGEROUS
1/4 cup distilled water
Mix peroxide and distilled water.
Swish liquid around your mouth for about 30 seconds, spit and rinse.
DO NOT swallow the mixture.
Whiten Your Teeth with Turmeric
Turmeric has become a very powerful spice today. Every day we hear about the latest benefit of turmeric (curcumin), and it’s ability to benefit our health. A common misconception is that turmeric will stain teeth, as most people know how difficult it is to remove a turmeric stain from your clothing. But when it comes to our teeth, I’m sure you are as flabbergasted as I was to know that it can actually help whiten your teeth. As an added bonus, it has been shown to normalize plaque levels as well .
1 tsp organic turmeric powder
1 4-ounce glass of distilled water
Mix the turmeric into a glass of water.
Swish in mouth for 60 seconds and spit.
Whiten Your Teeth by Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a very old and ancient technic used in Ayurveda and other cultures. Olive oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil are usually the go-to oils used in oil pulling.
Used primarily for mitigating plaque, bacterial overgrowth and helps ease gingivitis. Oil pulling has many benefits. The theory behind oil pulling is the normalizing of bacteria in your mouth, moisturizing your gums, and increasing saliva production.
Best results are seen when oil pulling is done first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
1 tablespoon organic sesame, coconut, or olive oil
Take one tablespoon of your oil of choice, swish it around your mouth for about 20 minutes, and make sure not to swallow any of the oil as it is full of toxins collected from your mouth.
When the time is up, spit your oil into the trash and brush your teeth (never in your sink as this will eventually clog your pipes).
Some conventional teeth whitening protocols (and cons).
Professional whitening – dentist (costly, may be full of chemicals)
Whitening strips (chemicals, harsh on enamel)
Home bleaching systems (chemicals, harsh on enamel)
Whitening gum (unknown ingredients, sugar)
Bleach gel (harsh on enamel, toxic if swallowed)
Whitening pens (chemicals)
The list above is simply an example of a few alternatives being used.
Follow a proactive and not a reactive approach to your dental protocol.
Rather than wait or induce yellowing, there are simple steps you can do to prevent or delay this from happening, simply by the daily choices you make every day.
Here is a list of some of those choices:
Try not to grind or clench your teeth. This simply accelerates the damage to the enamel and the integrity of the tooth as a whole, allowing them to yellow prematurely. The use of a mouth guard could help with this issue.
Reduce or eliminate coffee, tea, and red wine, but if you must have them, use a straw.
Brush your teeth daily, floss at least once a day and implement one of the above-mentioned tooth whitening alternatives.
DO NOT smoke, chew tobacco, use pipes. Smoking is not only bad for your teeth but detrimental to your overall health.
Get a dental checkup annually, but try to insist on finding a holistic dentist. Make sure to stay away from fluoride – toxic to your body.
Try to sleep with your mouth closed (not always easy). Saliva is known to clean and protect your precious enamel.
Reduce or limit citrus fruits.
Note to the reader.
In life, moderation is key. Although all the aforementioned teeth whitening alternatives are deemed safe, the wrong concentrations or using too much can have the opposite effect. Please be sure to research and do your due diligence. Also, keep in mind that the condition and health of your teeth is an important factor to consider before starting applying any of these home remedies. If you are not sure, speak to your dentist.
Always make sure and be careful not to swallow any of the home remedies as they are intended for external use and not to be ingested.
Have you tried a natural teeth whitener or do-it-yourself technique? Let us know what works for you in the comments below!
Please note that all opinions here are strictly opinions and for informational purposes only. They are not to be used as a replacement for medical opinions and should not be used as the only metric for diagnosing any medical condition.
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