6 Ways To Naturally Whiten Your Teeth
Looking to naturally whiten your teeth?
A large percentage of people admit to hiding their teeth in photos, with many of them saying it is due to the yellow appearance of their teeth. Having the perfect white smile is a huge part of our culture today, especially with the rise of social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, where everyone is judged harshly on first appearances.
There is a growing number of people who are turning to whitening strips and toothpaste at home or turning to professional in-office treatments. Your teeth are one of the first things people notice about you, and when making a first impression most people worry about having crooked, aged or discolored teeth, which can send an unconscious signal that you ‘don’t take care of yourself.’ In the ages of social media who doesn’t want a glowing, pearly white smile? So what are the best ways to naturally whiten your teeth?
For some people, no matter how often they brush their teeth, they still have stains from daily habits such as drinking tea or coffee, and/or smoking. Often, yellow or brown tinted teeth can also be a sign of larger health problems, thinning enamel, unhealthy gums and overall poor dental hygiene. If this is the case then whitening your teeth alone won’t help to protect the teeth and gums from diseases such as gingivitis or cavities. So while you are looking for ways to naturally whiten your teeth, this is also something to keep in mind.
Why Do Teeth Turn Yellow?
Teeth can turn yellow and become discolored due to stains that develop on both the hard surface of the teeth, called the enamel, as well as deeper into the teeth’s structure. Under the enamel is a pale brown substance, called dentin, which can become more visible if the enamel gets thinner, which is a common occurrence in adults.
Some of the reasons that your teeth can turn yellow include:
- Drinking tea or coffee
- Thinning tooth enamel
- Eating a poor diet, including eating a lot of processed foods, soft drinks, candies and even some acidic fruits.
- Prolonged excessive fluoride intake, especially from a young age.
- Genetic factors
- If you suffer from dry mouth, the lack of saliva means there is less protection for your tooth’s enamel.
1. Brush Your Teeth After Drinking or Eating
This may seem like the most obvious way to naturally whiten your teeth, but it’s not always the easiest. It can take a lot of persistence to brush your teeth after every meal and drink and can be difficult depending on where you are at the time of eating, ie. at work, school etc. Try to drink plainer, unflavored water after eating or drinking something acidic, to try to combat the negative effects it will have on your teeth.
Avoid drinking too much coffee or tea and/or soda, and try to eat a healthy balanced diet as this will help to prevent staining of the teeth. Most foods don’t stain the teeth, but if you drink a large amount of coffee or if you smoke, you are pretty much guaranteed to have some discoloration over time.
2. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen Peroxide is an antibacterial agent and it works great as a total mouth and gum cleaner and can be used to prevent bad breath and keep your mouth free of germs. You can make your own mouthwash out using half parts Hydrogen Peroxide to half parts water, and swish it around your mouth for one minute. It is also capable of giving you a natural protection against gum diseases like gingivitis.
You can also use a small amount of Hydrogen Peroxide mixed with a small amount of baking soda to make a paste to brush your teeth with that helps to remove more plague. For safe use of this paste to naturally whiten your teeth, brush as normal, making sure you reach the back of your teeth. Baking soda is a naturally gritty substance, like sandpaper, so make sure that your paste has enough hydrogen peroxide mixed in with the baking soda, or you may end up scrubbing the enamel off your teeth completely. Your enamel doesn’t grow back, so make sure you take care of it!
3. Coconut Oil Pulling
Oil pulling has been all over the internet recently, with many people talking about its benefits. Coconut oil can be used to naturally whiten teeth by simply putting a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth after you brush, and swishing it around your mouth for 5-20 minutes, or adding a few drops to your toothbrush and brush it on. Another option for using coconut oil to naturally whiten your teeth is to apply a small amount of oil to a washcloth and rubbing it on your teeth.
Coconut oil also has antimicrobial properties, so it is good for protecting and cleaning your gums too.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a natural antibiotic and can be used as a teeth/gum cleaner so it makes sense that it would be useful for removing stains and help to naturally whiten your teeth. The key to using apple cider vinegar to naturally whiten your teeth is to be consistent, using it for at least a month continuously to be able to see results. However, since it is an acid, it can remove the enamel of the teeth if it is used in excess. After brushing with apple cider vinegar you will need to brush your teeth a second time, with regular toothpaste, or rinse your mouth out well with plain water.
5. Lemon or Orange Peels
Not only do lemons, oranges, and other citrus fruits benefit digestion and provide our bodies with essential vitamins, the peels can also be used to naturally whiten teeth. However, they do have a high acid content, which can wear away the enamel over time or if used in excess. Just like using apple cider vinegar, if you decide to use lemon or orange peel to naturally whiten your teeth, be sure to brush after or rinse your mouth out well with water to be on the safe side.
6. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal seems to be everywhere at the moment. It is a great natural product for cleansing your skin and it can also be used to help naturally whiten your teeth by absorbing plaque that can cause staining. To naturally whiten your teeth using activated charcoal, simply wet a toothbrush and dip it into powdered activated charcoal, and brush your teeth as normal, paying special attention to areas that show the most staining. Sip water, swish through your mouth, spit and continue until your spit is clear. To see best results, brush your teeth with activated charcoal 2/3 times per week.
If you have crowns, caps or porcelain veneers it is best to avoid using activated charcoal as it can increase staining on these surfaces.
Remember, these tips should always be used in moderation, and don’t overdo it.
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