Do you think your smile could use a pick-me-up? Don’t want to invest time and money for in office treatments? Not sold on drug store gels or strips?
Some natural, at home remedies are safe and can whiten your teeth. Which are the best bets and which should you avoid?
Good oral hygiene is a tried and true method for keeping your smile looking its best. Toothpastes gently buff out stains from the surface of your teeth. Whitening toothpastes work the same way with more ingredients. They don’t bleach your teeth. Flossing gets rid of food and bacteria that can gradually harden into plaque and calculus deposits. Such deposits make your teeth look dull and darker and cause serious damage to your gums and underlying bone.
This technique is popular in ayurvedic medicine. (a holistic approach to medicine developed in india over 3000 years ago) you swish a teaspoon of oil, such as olive, sesame or coconut, around your mouth for up to 20 minutes to “pull out” bacteria. Using coconut oil can prevent tooth decay, but there is no known science to support it as a whitening agent.
Besides helping batter rise, it’s also a mild abrasive that can scrub away stains. You might try a do it yourself paste of baking soda, but you’ll likely get better results by switching to a toothpaste containg sodium bicarbonate. Brushing with products containing baking soda will work on surface stains over time.
Apples, pineapples and strawberries
Malic acid in apples boosts saliva and helps to wash away acids. Toothpastes with bromelain, a compound in pineapple help whiten teeth. There is no evidence that eating these fruits will give you a gleaming grin. Skip the strawberries too. The citric acid in strawberries can damage dental enamel, the protective outer shell of your toothh.
This is the whitening agent found in most home bleaching kits. It actually changes the tooth color. One study found that painting an otc gel with 6% hydrogen peroxide on teeth made a noticeable difference after 2 weeks. The inexpensive bottles of hydrogen peroxide you can buy in a drugstore usually have a lower percentage. Swishing with this product will most likely irritate your gums before it whitens your teeth.
Apple cider vinegar
Ads promoting this product say gargle before you brush to help kill bacteria and remove stains. They claim you’ll get a whiter smile. Sadly, not studies confirm these claims. It can brighten the taste of your salad dressing, but don’t expect apple cider vinegar to brighten your smile.
This warm bitter spice that’s known for flavoring curry is also a natural dye that can turn white fabric a bright gold. Supposedly, turmeric paste can turn dingy looking teeth back to pearly white. Sadly, no proof exits to verify this claim.
Finally, we suggest you watch what you eat. Even though foods such as dark berries, and drinks such as coffee, red wine and soda are known offenders, you don’t have to give them up. Enjoy these in moderation and rinse with water right after. This way there is less chance they will affect your teeth. Protect the enamel by waiting 30 minutes before brushing after eating acidy foods. Smoking and chewing tobacco are also notorious stains causers which is one more reason to quit.
Wishing you a dazzling smile.