Healthy teeth and gums are a very important part of our overall health. Many of us spend quite a bit of money on teeth-whitening products in pursuit of a brighter smile. Surprisingly, having perfectly white teeth is not always an indicator of good health. There are a number of factors that can cause our teeth to yellow over time, like coffee, diet, oral hygiene, and genetics that can dull a naturally white smile. Rather than opening up our wallets, we’ve compiled a list of some cost-effective ways to get whiter teeth. The products in our pantries or medicine cabinets can be used for more than baking or wound care, they can also be used to naturally whiten our teeth.
Over the counter teeth whitening products can brighten our smiles, but when not used as directed, they can do more harm than good, resulting in irreversible damage to our tooth enamel. A good oral health routine that consists of regular brushing and flossing, seeing the dentist regularly, and eating healthy foods is fundamental to a healthy smile. When you want to do something more, without spending an arm and a leg on whitening products, then look to these natural remedies to brighten your smile.
A spoonful of coconut oil swished in the mouth for 10-20 minutes can help to remove plaque and whiten teeth over time. A dollop on your toothbrush or rubbed onto teeth with a cloth are other methods for oil pulling. It’s a little unconventional but has a long track record of improving the look of teeth over time.
Turmeric is a spice drawer staple and has been credited as a natural anti-inflammatory; turmeric milk has become quite popular in the health and wellness world. It can also be used as a teeth whitener. Dip your wet toothbrush in turmeric powder and brush as you would normally, then rinse thoroughly. You can also make a paste with turmeric powder and melted coconut oil, brush and rinse after. Your teeth will look yellow at first, but they will practically glow when you’re done.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This pantry staple has enjoyed quite a bit of press lately as a dietary supplement, and it can be used for teeth whitening as well. Use a little ACV, diluted with water, as a mouthwash after brushing. Again, it is important to protect our tooth enamel, so if you choose to use ACV, be sure to do so only a couple of times per week.
Activated charcoal is another product that has grown in popularity, used in everything from ice cream to skincare. Activated charcoal can also be used as a natural teeth whitener. Brush your teeth with activated charcoal and rinse your mouth with water until clear. Your teeth will look pretty gross during, but after they will shine!
Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Both of these products are already included in over-the-counter toothpaste, but you can go a little farther by whipping up your own baking soda toothpaste at home. Dip a wet toothbrush directly into baking soda, or mix a paste with baking soda and water or hydrogen peroxide. Brush and rinse well after. These products should only be used twice a week, or so, to prevent a breakdown of your tooth enamel.
Fruits and Vegetables
Mashed strawberries can be used as a toothpaste (be sure to rinse your mouth after brushing), as well as orange or lemon rinds rubbed along the gum line (again, rinse thoroughly after). And teeth-strengthening foods, like celery, apples, and almonds can all do their part to help keep your teeth bright and happy.