Teeth whitening strips were all the rage years ago and are still somewhat pretty popular, along with professional whitening treatments. Something about that big, bright glistening smile just allures us all into wanting one ourselves. Teeth can suffer from discoloration for a variety of reasons, with some of the top causes being smoking and drinking coffee, tea, wine, beer, and soda. Since smoking, excess alcohol, and drinking soda both come with major health risks, first, be sure you try to eliminate those as much as possible; they offer far greater harm than simple whitening strips will. But what should you do if you just have to have that morning cup of coffee/tea, or you’re just looking to whiten your teeth?
While they may seem convenient, we should try to stay away from chemically-based teeth-whitening products as much as possible, including strips that are sold over the counter. These typically contain much different, potentially toxic chemicals than what you’ll find in regular whitening toothpastes. Like we want to avoid harmful chemicals in our food, we should also do the same with our hygiene routine.
There are several, natural ways to brighten up your smile that everyone can try.
Here are some of the easiest to try …
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda can be a harsh on the teeth on its own, but is the main product found in natural whitening toothpastes that don’t contain chemicals (many vegan brands contain it as well). It’s one of the most natural ways to remove stains from the teeth and is a natural cleanser for the mouth. Baking soda is typically diluted with other ingredients in a toothpaste, making it a bit safer in this form, however, once a week, you can also brush a water-based paste made with baking soda too. Mix 1 tsp. baking soda with 3 tsp. water, stir into a paste, and brush for a natural whitening treatment. Just do this sparingly and only use a bit to ensure you protect your teeth enamel.
2. Eat Raw Veggies
Raw veggies are crunchy and naturally scrub our teeth the way nature intended. Keeping your teeth clean is important for maintaining a white smile and crunchy foods act just like your toothbrush to whisk away debris (though you should still brush afterwards!) Raw veggies also help optimize healthy bacteria levels in the mouth to keep our mouths overall healthy, unlike sugar and refined foods that lead to cavities and can lead to discolored teeth as well. You should still be sure to brush your teeth, of course, but crunchy foods like carrots, broccoli, celery, and peppers are all great foods to munch on instead of processed foods.
3. Use a Natural Rinse After Brushing
A simple helpful way to keep teeth white naturally is to be sure you keep them clean around the clock. The longer food sits on our teeth, the more likely we are to have discoloration due to the build-up of bacteria in the mouth. Overall good hygiene helps keep you mouth not just clean, but also helps assist in naturally white teeht. After brushing your teeth, use a natural rinse made of either hydrogen peroxide diluted in water or apple cider vinegar. Dilute 1 tbsp. of either of these with 1/4 cup cold water and swish for 1-2 minutes. Just be sure to rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards since apple cider vinegar and peroxide are very cleansing and slightly abrasive, which is how they work their magic. If you don’t like the taste, feel free to use a drop of peppermint oil for a minty boost!
Though it’s thought of as a new health trend, oil-pulling has actually been done for many years in Ayurvedic cultures and is said to help naturally cleanse the mouth. Coconut oil is the top oil to use because it’s a natural anti-bacterial oil. The gist of this practice is to swish with oil in the morning without swallowing it for as long as you can. You only need around a teaspoon of oil. You then spit out the oil and brush as accordingly. It works differently for many people, but since coconut oil is pretty much amazing at almost any hygiene need, why not give it a try here too?
5. Natural Toothpaste
Another simple way to whiten your teeth is to make a natural toothpaste. Use 1/2 cup coconut oil and add in 1/4 cup natural baking soda, and a couple drops of peppermint extract. Mix all of these together and store in a mason jar. This is a great natural toothpaste many people use and can naturally help keep your teeth white. You can also use it as a face scrub as a side benefit!
You can also check out natural vegan whitening toothpastes that normally contain coconut oil, baking soda, and other natural ingredients if you wish. If you have a secret for how you whiten your teeth, let us know, we’d love to hear it!
Lead Images Source: BayBack Dental/Flickr