If your pearly whites are looking a little less-than-white these days, you may be looking for ways to naturally whiten your teeth. Although there are plenty of teeth whitening kits available on the market, many of them contain abrasive substances that can strip your teeth of their protective enamel. With several simple DIY ways to naturally whiten your teeth, harsh chemicals just aren’t necessary.
First let’s discuss why your teeth look so dingy. Surprising to many, the color of your teeth is somewhat genetic so you can thank your parents for a bit of your discoloration. Your diet also plays a major role as acidic foods can break down protective enamel and dark foods like coffee can stain teeth. Plus, too much sugar builds up leaving plaque, which can cause teeth to darken. That’s why regular dental hygiene, including brushing at least twice a day, flossing regularly and seeing a dentist twice a year, is crucial to keeping your smile looking fresh and bright.
Here are some of the tried-and-true ways you can naturally whiten your teeth:
Teeth Whitening Toothpaste: If you need the convenience of a store bought product, switch your toothpaste to one with sodium bicarbonate, a.k.a. baking soda. Or try making your own using calcium carbonate, xylitol and coconut oil. You can use this on a daily basis to brighten your smile.
Oil Pulling: It may sound gross but swishing oil in your mouth is a great way to kill off bacteria that can lead to dull teeth. Coconut or olive oils that you may already have at home both work well. Put a tablespoon of oil in your mouth and swish it for 10-20 minutes every few days.
Teeth Whitening Mask: Forget the store-bought kits, make your own! Simply mix baking soda and either lemon juice or water to create a paste. Coat your teeth and leave it on for a few minutes. Then thoroughly rinse, especially if you use lemon juice.
Hydrogen Peroxide: Paint on over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide gel for a whitening effect. Don’t bother with the traditional liquid form, however, because it contains less active ingredients and usually doesn’t work as well.
Eat Apples and Pineapples: These delicious fruits promote teeth whitening. Apples contain malic acid that helps you produce more saliva to wash away bacteria. Pineapples contain bromelain, which helps naturally whiten your teeth.
Sources: WebMD, Wellness Mama and Everyday Roots