Teeth whitening has gained lots of hype in the last few years as a must-have cosmetic treatment in the dental office. In America, we spend billions of dollars a year on over-the-counter teeth whitening brands. On a worldwide scale, teeth whitening is just as popular also amounting to billions of dollars in sales.
Natural teeth whitening methods are super popular for the do-it-yourself person or to save some money. The real question is do they work? In this blog post, we’re going to talk about some natural teeth whitening remedies.
The first thing to do is to brush your teeth on a regular basis, this is not an option if you’re looking to have pearly whites or help with stained teeth. Brushing your teeth daily is the most important thing to do to keep your teeth healthy and prevent tooth decay.
If you have been faithfully brushing your teeth daily and your teeth still have tooth discoloration, enamel erosion, surface stains, or are yellow in color you might try brushing more often. Brushing more often may help to curb acid from certain foods and drinks that are highly acidic which can lead to teeth stains or yellow teeth.
Natural Teeth Whitening Methods
If you’re considering using one of these popular natural teeth-whitening methods note that there are quite a few claims of their effectiveness, however, there’s not a lot of documented scientific proof that they work or are safe for whiter teeth or to remove stains.
Before beginning any natural teeth whitening protocol or whitening gel product for whiter teeth it’s good to visit your dentist preferably one who is associated with a clinical registry in your state to make sure you’re getting your regular professional teeth cleaning and gum health visits.
Coconut Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is an interesting teeth whitening remedy used by many Ayurveda doctors or natural practitioners. The technique of oil pulling is the practice of swishing one tablespoon of edible preferably organic cold-pressed coconut oil around in your mouth and between teeth to clean and whiten your teeth.
This process can be done nightly for about 15 to 20 minutes after brushing your teeth. In the field of Ayurvedic medicine, some practitioners may recommend oil pulling to whiten teeth along with your regular oral health practices when used consistently.
Oil pulling can be useful to help eradicate many types of bacteria from your mouth. This is important because these bacteria cause gum irritation and contribute to unwanted bacteria affecting oral health. Therefore using natural remedies like oil pulling could be very useful for you in your tooth whitening methods.
The National Library of Medicine reviewed oil pulling for its natural teeth whitening effects and oral health benefits.
Baking Soda And Hydrogen Peroxide
You may have heard of baking soda for baking but did you know it has natural teeth whitening properties? You will find it in many commercial whitening products such as toothpaste. If you’re up for a bit of experimenting you might try mixing baking soda combined with hydrogen peroxide into a paste to help diminish stains from certain foods such as dark berries, and red wine. This mixture has slightly abrasive properties so it acts as a mini scrub on the teeth. Hydrogen peroxide is also known for its natural antiseptic and whitening effects without harmful chemicals so this makes since for gum bacteria and less than white tooth color.
If you’re looking for a natural teeth whitener you could try making a paste by taking one tablespoon of baking soda and one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. Mix both the contents into a paste and brush your teeth regularly for a brighter smile.
This baking soda mixture is not magic, but it might help to diminish stained teeth and yellowing teeth over time with consistent use. You can try hydrogen peroxide and baking soda as a paste adding it to your mouthwash using the same ratio of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide then add a small amount of lukewarm water to the mix to create a rinsing solution.
As always consult with a dentist affiliated with the American Dental Association if you need more guidance or are concerned these ingredients aren’t right for you.
Charcoal is one of the biggest ingredients in the world of cosmetics and wellness trends today. charcoal can be found in commercial and natural face masks and scrubs, plus people buy it for whitening their teeth.
Activated charcoal is the ingredient found in many beauty products and toothpaste. It’s made up of a fine grain powder typically made from coconut shells, wood, and other natural components and heated to “activate” it.
The most common claim from personal users is that it can break up plaque and dissolve stains from tea, coffee, and wine, plus kill bacteria when used in combination with coconut oil. Since activated charcoal can have a mildly abrasive nature using coconut oil in this mixture helps to keep the charcoal from etching the tooth enamel. However, this claim has not been substantiated by any scientific study as a natural bleaching agent for your teeth.
There are many charcoal toothpaste products on the market that claim to naturally whiten your teeth with regular use. While it is true that activated charcoal in toothpaste may help remove surface stains on your teeth there is no real evidence that it has any effect on stains below a tooth’s enamel, or that it’s practical to use for natural whitening treatments.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of those fermented products people in the natural health arena claim is a cure-all treatment for what ails you. It’s a fermented drink, with natural probiotic properties, which are responsible for many of its claimed health benefits.
Most people consume apple cider vinegar mostly for the gut benefits, however, some people believe it can help with tooth sensitivity and promote good oral hygiene when you rinse your mouth regularly with it.
Apple cider vinegar is probably not the best natural method for whitening your teeth due to its sharp taste and pungent odor. Apple cider vinegar can also have a mildly acidic nature. Tooth contact with foods like apple cider vinegar for a short period of time is okay, however, it’s not recommended for use for poor oral hygiene habits or rinsing because prolonged contact can erode enamel, leading to tooth decay.
Baking soda is much less abrasive than charcoal, and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and is often recommended by your dentist to disinfect gums or add to your toothpaste. It has the properties of being a mild scrub with an alkaline component which means it might help reduce tooth staining while promoting overall oral health when regularly brushing with baking soda added to your toothpaste.
There are many conventional and natural baking soda choices of toothpaste on the market to choose from. You can also make your own paste by mixing baking soda with warm water. If you choose to make your own paste it’s best not to mix in mashed berries or other nonproven ingredients as you may not get the desired results of whitening teeth naturally.
Fruits And Vegetables
Eating crunchy vegetables and fruits is known to help scrape plaque off your teeth while chewing them. Fruits and vegetables are not a replacement for brushing your teeth, however, eating fruits and vegetables can not only help maintain a healthy body but may keep teeth from developing stains if chewing them with your meals.
The reason for this is that the food does not sit on the teeth for prolonged periods of time. Therefore, healthy eating habits like this might hopefully contribute to good oral hygiene practices.
Some people claim that these fruits pineapple, strawberries, and apples may help to whiten your teeth. Pineapple has an enzyme known as bromelain that may help to effectively remove stains.
Strawberries contain malic acid, which may help to remove the discoloration on your teeth and whiten teeth by making them appear whiter.
Be careful with strawberries because citric acid can break down tooth enamel. Apples when eaten contain malic acid which activates saliva and may help to wash away acids from the teeth.
If you’ve tried many of the methods mentioned above with not a lot of success and your teeth are continuously becoming more and more yellowish, or the tooth stains are not improving it might be time to let a professional dentist take a look at your mouth.
If you want to try a specific whitening product, whitening gel or whitening toothpaste make sure to check with your dentist to find out the best method that whitens teeth for you. Sometimes these products may make your teeth more sensitive if their is an underlying gum or tooth problem.
To be on the safe side before you try any of these at-home bleaching products look for ones with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which means they’ve been tested to be safe and effective for your teeth.
In the dental field, cleaning is always of utmost importance. Poor hygiene can contribute to a host of problems including tooth decay, gum disease, and enamel erosion among other more serious problems. In clinical dentistry, cleaning routines are a significant part of running a successful and safe operative dentistry practice.
Your dentist will need to check your teeth to see if natural teeth whitening is right for you. Depending on the cause of tooth discoloration and/or decay you may need to concentrate on these issues first before attempting to whiten teeth naturally.
White enamel plays a role in tooth structure and looks like a crystal under magnification, it looks much like a chain link fence which may help to explain why over time stains get embedded in between the links.
These layers of chain link fencing helps to protect the darker-colored dentin underneath it as well as to protect the living pulp inside the tooth. The enamel layer is skinny and precious so it needs protection because tooth enamel does not grow back when we dissolve or wear it away.
Your dentist may discover that there are intrinsic discoloration forms in between your teeth. This type of discoloration is most commonly caused by a childhood illness, infection, trauma, aging, or medications to name a few reasons for this type of stains.
In order to remove intrinsic discoloration, your dentist may recommend professional in-office whitening treatments. Depending on the reason your dental insurance may not cover this procedure calling it a cosmetic treatment.
These products might be able to whiten your teeth, however, for some, they can also damage teeth and gums because they are manufactured from chemicals.
Some of these products may have the exact opposite effect of what you’re seeking because depending on the cause they may make your teeth less white over time and even cause painful sensitivity. Your dentist will be able to guide you on this problem and it’s worth the consultation.
What could be the solution to maintaining those pearly whites? The American Dental Association recommends that with professional cleaning and polishing you may be able to improve your smile and who knows this process when done on a regular basis may help to naturally whiten your teeth over time.
Tips To Keep Your Teeth Bright And Healthy
If you want to keep your teeth from staining do your best to avoid foods and drinks that are known to stain teeth. Foods with acids or tannins can dull or stain teeth over time so rinse with water after consuming these foods if you cannot brush right away.
To keep your smile looking white, go light on these particular foods. Foods like white and red wine, colored sports drinks, heavily carbonated beverages, black or green tea coffee, berries, and strong colored foods. Go easy on condiments such as tomatoes, curry, and soy sauces.
Be practical and carry a toothbrush with you to brush after consuming foods that can stain teeth. The idea here is to clear the food off of your teeth before it has a chance to cause havoc on the teeth.
Incorporate some healthy hygiene practices into your lifestyle such as
- brushing at least twice daily,
- flossing at least once a day or after meals,
- rinsing with a healthy mouthwash to kill bacteria
- eat crunchy vegetables with your meals
Some people prefer to use whitening toothpaste a couple of times a week to prevent stain build-up and regular toothpaste the rest of the time.
Carry snacks such as fruits and veggies, to help scrub your teeth when you’re pinched for a quick snack. Your teeth will thank you for a nice scrub when chewing on apples that are loaded with fiber and your breath will smell much nicer after this natural treat.
We all hear that tobacco whether smoking or chewing can be bad for your health but it also wreaks havoc on your teeth creating stains. Cigars and pipes also contribute to those hard-to-clean stains so it’s going to be a harder struggle to bring those pearly whites back into existence if this habit continues.
As a reminder check in with your dentist with regular visits and stay on top of those professional cleanings and take care of any dental issues while they are discovered during your regular visits.
A super good tip to consider is to drink through a straw when consuming those tough staining drinks. This way the drinks have less of a chance of passing through the teeth or sitting on them for a period of time.
Natural teeth whitening may not work for everyone depending on the cause of teeth discoloration or your oral mouth health. However, some of the natural methods discussed may help to improve teeth whitening effects.
Healthy habits are the key to better overall health including mouth health. Brushing your teeth regularly, cleaning between your teeth after meals, and limiting foods that stain your teeth like tea and red wine. If you smoke or use chewing tobacco you might want to quit if you want your teeth whiter with fewer stains.
Finally, visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings. Your dentist may also recommend a whitening toothpaste or fluoride toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance for those stubborn stains.
This blog serves to provide general information about whitening teeth naturally. While these methods may not work for everyone it’s best to talk with your dentist before beginning any teeth whitening protocol whether natural or conventional. The above content is not intended to be a replacement for medical advice for a licensed dentist