Having white teeth is a sign of good health and personal hygiene, and is also essential for a lovely smile. If your teeth aren’t as white as you’d like them to be, there are some things you can try at home for a whiter smile. While none of these suggestions will work in the same way as a professional whitening service, they can help whiten your teeth and they won’t cost you a fortune. Just remember to talk to your dentist before you try any home remedies to make sure they won’t damage your teeth. If you want to know how to make some lifestyle changes as well as to try some at-home treatments for whitening your teeth, just follow these steps.
Why do teeth get yellow?
To figure out how to whiten our teeth, we have to know why they get yellow in the first place. There are several factors that play a part, including genetics, what kind of food and drink you consume, and how well you practice oral hygiene. A tooth is made up of 4 tissues-enamel, which is the strong white covering that protects the tooth, dentin, which supports the enamel and is a hard yellow material that carries nerves, pulp, which is at the center of the tooth and contains blood and lymph vessels, and cementum, which covers the root of the tooth.
The enamel and dentin is what play the biggest role in color. Certain food and drinks will directly stain the enamel, yes, but over time the two biggest culprits are the nasty food and drink that actually break down the enamel, and weakening enamel as we age. As the enamel breaks down, it reveals the yellow dentin underneath. These remedies will focus on whitening teeth that have already lost some white enamel, but it’s also good to keep in mind that doing things to strengthen enamel is just as important so you can keep it from breaking down further. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure (or whitening!)
“Strawberries contain malic acid, which is great for dissolving coffee, red wine, and tea stains on teeth,” says Curatola.
Mash up one or two strawberries, and add about a teaspoon of baking soda. “Using a children’s toothbrush [this helps to get between teeth better], rub this mix on your teeth for five to seven minutes. [After rinsing], floss out any strawberry seeds that still may be lingering between teeth.”
Again, when used too often, the acid in the paste can cause teeth to erode and “ultimately making them more susceptible to staining,” says dentist Angelika Shein, of Arbeitman and Shein—so don’t use this remedy every day.
#2.Baking Soda and Lemon Juice Paste:
Baking Soda isn’t a shocker here. Sodium bicarbonate (its official name) is mildly abrasive; gently scrubbing away surface stains to return teeth to a whiter shade. It’s also very alkaline (the opposite of acidic) so I would think if you have a very acidic mouth or eat a lot of acidic food, it could help balance out the Ph, which would be useful as acid breaks down enamel-this is strictly speculation on my part. It will also reduce the acidity of the lemon juice, which acts as a natural bleach of sorts. I use a mixture of baking soda and water on some days, and use the lemon juice on others, as I don’t want to overdo it.
“You can use the inside of a banana peel, which is rich in potassium, magnesium, manganese, and other minerals, to whiten teeth,” says Curatola. “The rich minerals in a banana are absorbed into your enamel and have healthy whitening effects.” After you brush and floss, he recommends peeling a ripe banana and then rubbing a piece of the inside on your teeth for two minutes. “Then rinse and repeat again before bed.”
#4.Coconut Oil Rinse:
I know this sounds absolutely mad (I thought it was crazy too when I first read about it) but rinsing your mouth with coconut oil (called ‘oil pulling’) is a unique, old, remedy that people swear by to help whiten teeth. It doesn’t sound like the most pleasant thing in the world, but I actually don’t mind the taste, and I think it does make a difference in the color of your teeth. It won’t make a difference by “bleaching” per say, but lauric acid in coconut oil can rid your teeth of bacteria found in plaque that can make them yellow. It is also supposed to promote gum health, and help keep your breath fresh.
#5.Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse:
Curatola says that diluted apple cider vinegar helps any toothpaste “crank up its stain-busting power.” He recommends diluting it with a ratio of three parts water to one part apple cider vinegar. Then mix it with an all-natural toothpaste and brush as usual.
Activated charcoal is one of the newest buzz terms because of its detoxifying benefits. Turns out, it’s also a great DIY whitening solution, says Joseph Banker of Westfield, a dentist at New Jersey’s Creative Dental Care. He explains that the granules are very porous, binding bacteria before it stains the teeth.
– Routine. Set up a routine using these remedies and stick to it, at all costs, to get the most out of them.
– While not “natural” per say, using 3% (I repeat, 3%) hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse can whiten your teeth through the process of oxidation. It is an active indigent in many OTC whitening kits, but is often times found in much higher (and expensive) combinations in them.
– It’s fairly common knowledge, and difficult in today’s world, but try to avoid dark drinks, such as coke and coffee that stain your teeth.