Most people dread visits to the dental office, but yet, having a set of shiny pearly whites is what many desire.
There are plenty of other ways to get your killer-smile bragging rights without stressing yourself out with a dental appointment! Here are a few nifty tricks to whiten your teeth through natural, safe and non-invasive ways that will restore your thousand-watt smile.
Activated charcoal is one of those things that have been integrated in all sorts of holistic manners – as medicine and food, especially. But activated charcoal’s ability to adsorp (attracting and holding certain substances to its surface like a magnet) makes it a pretty effective teeth whitening agent.
Activated charcoal is able to pull in tannins – the compounds found in coffee, tea, wine and blueberries that stain teeth. Don’t worry – activated charcoal will not strip away the enamel. It also does not adsorp vital minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, inorganic phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc. Activated charcoal promotes good oral health by balancing the mouth’s pH, helping to prevent cavities, bad breath and gum disease.
Dip a wet toothbrush into some powdered activated charcoal and brush like normal. Leave it in for 2-3 minutes before rinsing your mouth thoroughly.
Did you know that this spice is able to reduce gingival inflammation AND has anti-plaque properties? Turmeric has loads of oral health benefits due to its inherent anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and antiseptic properties. So, it’s a no-brainer that turmeric is used to relieve dental pain, as a mouthwash, and has a role in the treatment of oral cancers!
Due to its astringent and abrasive properties, turmeric is purported to be able to whiten teeth. A common home turmeric toothpaste recipe is to mix ¼ teaspoon of turmeric powder and 1/8 teaspoon coconut oil (2 parts turmeric to 1 part coconut oil, for larger quantities), and dip a toothbrush into the paste. Brush like normal, but allow the turmeric to sit for 3 minutes before rinsing.
Although the turmeric paste may taste a little funky, many anecdotal experiences do agree on perceptibly whiter teeth after application.
A fair warning: Turmeric stains nearly everything in sight (except your teeth), so take note that your brush bristles and sink may be mustard-yellow afterwards.
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is the miracle health potion of the 21st century, and considering how versatile it is, we say that it’s a well-deserved title. When it comes to oral health, ACV has natural whitening properties; hence it’s able to remove stubborn stains from teeth over time, while eliminating bacteria too.
Gargle with ACV and brush regularly after, as the acidic nature of the vinegar may wear down the enamel. But do note that obvious results can only be obtained through consistent use of ACV after a length of time. Try this solution as a natural, non-toxic mouthwash!
Another safe and non-toxic natural measure, oil-pulling involves swishing around organic oil (usually coconut) in the mouth to cleanse and enhance oral health. Jessica T. Emery, DMD explains that microbes are picked up as though they are being drawn to a powerful magnet. The oil needs to be swished around long enough (15-20 minutes) for it to turn a milky white, which indicates that the bacteria has been ‘pulled’ out.
Coconut oil is a popular option as the lauric acid in the oil is an agent that is able to break down the surface bacteria that yellows teeth. Coconut oil also has anti-microbial activity that inhibits the growth of bacteria that causes tooth decay.
Give oil-pulling a try if you’re one for more holistic approaches to oral health.
Fresh, sweet, and a fruity teeth whitener! Dr. Irwin Smigel, president of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics, says that the malic acid from strawberries act as a natural astringent that is able to remove discolouration from the surface of the teeth. Mashing a few strawberries and brushing teeth with the paste a few times a week will leave you with a dazzlingly bright smile in no time!
If you were to search all-natural teeth whiteners online, chances are baking soda and lemon juice would be at the top of the results. We have some rather unfortunate news for those keen on this solution. Although effective, the very powerful and acidic chemical reaction erodes the tooth enamel and may increase gum and tooth sensitivity with long-term use. Hence, it is not a recommended natural solution for whitening teeth, at least not for regular use.