It seems like one of the most desirable physical traits today is a mouth full of bright white teeth. While there are medical-grade whitening treatments and over the counter whitening strips and pastes, there is also a whole range of natural options. Natural teeth whitening treatments are often created from things found in your cupboard, though some are more effective than others.
Let’s take a look at some natural teeth whitening options, and their effectiveness.
Natural Teeth Whitening Options
This common ingredient is a trusty home whitening treatment and is often an ingredient in store-bought toothpaste for good reason. Baking soda provides a gentle abrasive to break down stains, is a natural bleaching agent and helps prevent bacteria buildup to positive results. Sprinkle some on your toothbrush as a stand-alone treatment or add it to your regular routine.
Hydrogen peroxide is an over the counter bleaching agent that also kills bacteria in your mouth, and when used in small, diluted quantities can be very effective for whitening. Try mixing it with baking soda (see above) and pure peppermint oil for a nice homemade toothpaste.
Oil pulling is the act of purposefully swishing a tablespoon or two of oil (sesame or coconut work well) around the mouth for around 20 minutes each morning. If you are just starting this practise, know that it does get easier after a week or two! Oil pulling is an age-old treatment that can help break down bacteria in the mouth and stains on the teeth. Many people see a difference after a couple of weeks.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Not everyone supports this method since, depending on the existing state of your tooth enamel, the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar can be too harsh for some teeth. Swishing it around like mouth wash can also help kill bacteria but if you go this route, monitor closely and use a diluted amount sparingly.
Some people swear that increasing the number of certain foods will help whiten the teeth – strawberries and pineapple are two common fruits that are said to be effective. While there is no scientific evidence to back up the claims, it certainly doesn’t hurt to increase the amount of fresh fruit in one’s diet.
This is one of the trends that has really taken off in the last couple of years and activated charcoal is now found in a range of beauty treatments from face masks to toothpaste. It’s fun to try since it turns your mouth black before your teeth get white, but there are mixed reports on the effectiveness of charcoal for tooth whitening. To begin, try slowly incorporating it into your routine and expand after a visit to your dentist.
Not exactly a treatment but prevention is a natural way to reduce stains on teeth. Practicing good oral hygiene by brushing, flossing and rinsing, and avoiding goods high in things like sugar will ensure your teeth are stronger, longer. Limiting the number of staining foods like coffee and wine will also lessen the need for whitening.
If you are concerned about the colour of your teeth, ask us at your next dentist appointment what the best options are for whitening treatments – we are always happy to talk about oral health and hygiene!