Most of us strive to always showcase a pearly-white smile to the world, but sadly, the cost of achieving that in the dentist’s chair can easily blow your budget to kingdom come.
The good news is that there are a lot of cheaper and gentler approaches that you can use to achieve a whiter set of teeth. In this post we’ll be showing you how to easily whiten your teeth at home, using products that might already be lurking in your kitchen cupboards!
Baking Soda (bicarbonate of soda) is a stock pantry item, but have you ever considered using it for more than just a meal prep ingredient? Baking soda can clean your teeth, sure, but it also has the ability to tackle stains that have built up on the teeth due to caffeine and smoking. The reason why baking soda can help clean up surface stains from the teeth is because it’s abrasive. Because baking soda’s crystals dissolve in water, it can penetrate deep into crevices that most other abrasives cannot reach.
Heads Up: Since baking soda is a powerful abrasive, it should only be used once or twice a month until you have the results you were aiming for. You can also mix it with Activated Charcoal for an even more effective teeth whitener.
How to Use: Simply mix a teaspoon of baking soda with enough water to form a smooth paste. Apply the paste to a toothbrush and then proceed to brush your teeth for about two minutes before rinsing and brushing a second time with regular toothpaste.
You might have thought of “drinking milk for strong teeth” as nothing more than an old wives tale. Sure, adults don’t actually absorb calcium from milk in order to promote the good health of their teeth, but dairy products may actually help whiten up your teeth. Dairy products are crammed full of lactic acid, and it has been found that this substance has the ability to restore teeth strength and might also be able to prevent tooth decay. Since the lactic acid strengthens the enamel on your teeth, it can actually help preserve the white glow of your teeth.
Oil pulling is recorded as an ancient Ayurvedic tooth-whitening method because it has been used to promote oral health and general dental hygiene over the ages. This method of whitening hasn’t been confirmed by clinical studies, but given its long history, you really have nothing to lose.
All you need to do to try this method is to swish a teaspoon of oil (choose between coconut oil and sesame oil) around in your mouth for about a minute each morning. Coconut oil has been reported to be the most effective when it comes to whitening power (since it contains lauric acid), but oil pulling, in general, can help rid your teeth of plaque and other grime, which makes teeth appear yellow.
While you can use those three methods to help brighten up the appearance of your teeth, you need to keep in mind that these are not instant fixes, and that they’ll take some time to show a remarkable difference. While you’re working towards achieving the results you’d like to see, there are a few things that you can start doing to ensure that your teeth don’t yellow any further.
We’re talking about sugar-free chewing gum here, not the sweet bubblegum that kids adore. By chewing gum on a regular basis, you can help reduce the amount of bacteria and acid inside of your mouth, which promotes better oral hygiene. The other way that chewing gum helps is by producing more saliva (or rather stimulating the production thereof). Saliva contains special enzymes that can help protect your teeth, and may also help prevent a yellow appearance.
Fruits and vegetables aren’t only essential to a balanced immune system; they can actually help promote the good health of your teeth! Natural abrasives include crunchy foods like apples, carrots, and celery. These foods help to gently clean your teeth, and since they’re high in cellulose, they may aid in removing surface stains on the teeth, and prevent tooth decay.
Strawberries fall into a “superfood” category, and with good reason. Not only are they crammed full of good-for-you vitamins and minerals, they may actually restore the natural whiteness of your teeth and help prevent further yellowing. Since they contain malic acid, strawberries might be able to remove surface stains on the teeth and also help protect the teeth from plaque buildup.
Written for NG by Megan Thompson.
Megan is a DIY health & beauty addict. She’s committed to making her itsy-bitsy apartment chemical free and her diet as unprocessed as possible. You can find her work at Gold Mountain Beauty where she is responsible for the blog, Instagram and Pinterest.