One surefire solution is getting your teeth professionally whitened during your next dental visit. If, however, the very idea gives you nightmares of a continent-sized dent in your wallet, fear not. We’ve got your back with these 12 natural ways to whiten your teeth and appear more attractive. Easy on the pocket and a definite image booster
1. Try the kitchen
Baking soda is an inventory in most kitchens. If you have some in yours, you’re all set to go.
You can either try rubbing the powder on your teeth or, better still, mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a little water to form a paste. Brush your teeth with this paste, then rinse thoroughly.
Baking soda is a mild abrasive. That means it’s going to help with those surface stains. Buffing those stains just got easier with this handy little kitchen treasure.
Hydrogen peroxide may be widely known as an industrial bleach, but hey, it’s good for your teeth too – long as you use it right.
Drugstores usually sell a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide, but you could dilute it to 1.5% to stay safe. Use it as a mouthwash before brushing your teeth. Swish a solution of 1.5% concentration in your mouth for 2 minutes, then rinse. Alternatively combine 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with a teaspoon of baking soda and some water, and use it as a paste with a soft toothbrush.
Either way the results are pretty impressive, and your killer smile will give them all something to talk about.
How this works
This one is a no-brainer.
Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent, so it works the way bleaches are supposed to work. Naturally, it bleaches stains from teeth and restores the white you’ve been longing for. The baking soda is, of course, the abrasive agent that buffs those surface stains.
3. Aim for an oily smile
Just kidding. Using oil isn’t going to give you a slimy lady-repellent smile. Oil pulling is attributed to ancient wisdom, and everyone knows the ancients were right on target about a lot of things. We just never listened. Well, here’s your chance to test the theory.
Swish a tablespoon of organic coconut oil in your mouth for about 20 minutes. Rinse, then brush your teeth with baking soda.
You never know, but you might just dazzle them all with the results.
What does oil do for your teeth?
Coconut oil is a natural antibacterial, so obviously it rids you of the bad guys also known as bacteria, and removes plaque too. The result: sparkly whites you’ll love flashing at every person you meet.
The bonus: coconut oil is also believed to reduce gum diseases, again down to those antibacterial properties. If you’re having trouble with your gums, or know anyone who does, this is your chance to play Good Samaritan.
4. Vinegar is not just about the flavor
Apple cider vinegar. The miracle that has its many astonishing uses. You may be clueless about the beauty or weight loss regimes involving this product, but you need to hear this one for your teeth.
Use it as you would use mouthwash. Swirl it in your mouth for about 2 minutes, then brush with a toothpaste dipped in apple cider vinegar. Rinse.
Why this works
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar breaks down the plaque and stains on teeth. It contains minerals, enzymes, and probiotics that kill the germs and leave you with healthy and sparkly teeth.
5. Salt: it’s seasoning, but also whitening
Yes, this is not just the stuff that makes your French fries taste like heaven. It makes your teeth look pretty close to good, even if they’re not looking heavenly.
A pinch of salt rubbed over your teeth or half a teaspoon in combination with baking soda and water used with a soft toothbrush will work just fine to give your smile lighter shades and brighter responses from the crowd.
Salt has exactly the same properties as baking soda. It is a mild abrasive, and with baking soda the double abrasive effect has whitening potential.
6. When life gives you lemons, make tooth whitening paste
A teaspoon of lemon juice and a little baking soda. That’s all you need to make a difference. Mix to make a thin paste, use a soft toothbrush to apply it to your teeth, and brush. Don’t forget to rinse and follow with regular toothpaste to remove all traces of lemon juice.
The hows and whys
The citric acid in lemon juice acts as a natural bleach.
The baking soda not only works its abrasive magic, but also thickens the lemon juice so it stays on longer.
7. Use a known stain causer to remove stains – the troubleshooting troublemaker
Dreaded and loved in equal measures, turmeric may be known for flavoring and coloring, but also kept away from the clothes to avoid irrevocable damage.
Dull, spattered yellow might not be your colour, but trust us, turmeric is everybody’s color (strictly from a dental point of view).
A teaspoon of organic turmeric powder mixed with water and applied to your teeth with a soft toothbrush yields results you’ll never believe. Take care to only let it stay on for 2 minutes, or you’ll be looking at a staining role reversal gone ugly.
How does it work?
This one is another gentle abrasive that removes surface stains. Let’s not forget the anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that make it just perfect for your teeth.
8. A Berry good idea
We wouldn’t blame you if this one turned out to be an utter failure, because who isn’t compelled to eat strawberries when they’re right there? If your self-control is better than ours though, you can always use them to whiten your teeth.
Blend a large strawberry with half a teaspoon of baking soda, spread this on your teeth, and leave it on for 5 minutes. Rinse, then brush with regular toothpaste to remove all residual strawberry.
The berry effect
The malic acid in strawberries is a whitening agent used in commercial tooth whitening products. Although not a highly effective method, it’s still worth a shot.
If that doesn’t pan out, you could always eat them. Taste over test. Every time.
9. No spoofs, no gags, but you’ll still be smiling
Charlie Chaplin may have fallen on banana peels, but admirers of your perfect smile will be falling all over you because of the peels.
Gently rub a small piece of the inside of a banana peel over your teeth for 2 minutes. Rinse, then brush with regular toothpaste to remove any vestiges of banana peel.
Banana peels are rich in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and manganese. When absorbed into your teeth, that resultant whiteness is going to keep you smiling till your jaws hurt.
10. Move over face, citrus fruit peels are for teeth too
Sprinkle sea salt over the white side of an orange peel, then rub a small piece gently on the teeth. Rinse and brush with regular toothpaste to remove all traces of citrus.
The white part of citrus peels contain d-limonene, another substance used in commercial tooth whitening products. Another natural tooth whitener right at your fingertips.
11. Dear diary
Yogurt, cheese, milk. Just eat. Yes, you heard that right. No mixing with water and brushing ritual. Just eat them, and you’re whitening your teeth the foolproof way.
Incidentally, harder cheeses are best for whitening.
How it works
Lactic acid found in these dairy products is a known anticavity agent. The proteins in yogurt bind to teeth and prevent acids from attacking the teeth. Harder cheeses remove food particles and also contribute to whitening.
12. Keep it real: the power of veggies
Vegetables such as carrots and celery are not just excellent for your girth troubles, they actually help whiten your teeth. And all you need is to toss up a quick salad.
The high water content of these vegetables washes away food debris and gives your teeth a fighting chance at flashing sparkly white teeth.
In addition, they strengthen your gums, so you’ve got your two birds in hand and bush.
These remedies for the desperate might not necessarily chase away your dental woes, but they’re worth a try. In the interest of self-preservation though, here’s the disclaimer: you cannot count on just these twelve hacks. What you need is a solid oral hygiene regimen, frequent dental visits, and those twelve pointers to tide you over.
Not to mention cutting down on red wine, dark berries, soda, and yes, coffee too. (Sorry, coffee lovers).
May the Gods of Pearly White be with you.