Yellow, stained, blackish teeth are no one’s friend. You don’t ever want to feel self conscious about smiling or showing your teeth while laughing, so what can you do if your teeth are subpar? Well, you can do many things from cosmetic surgery to trying any or every over the counter whitening products, but then you may damage your enamel or make your teeth super sensitive so that you can’t ever eat vegan ice cream again! Don’t let that happen to you. Before you resort to seeing a cosmetic surgeon, try out some of these tips and tricks to naturally whiten your teeth.

1. Oil Pulling with Coconut or Sesame

One possible way to whiten your teeth naturally would be oil pulling. It’s super easy, and it only requires one ingredient: a healthy oil! If you’ve never heard of oil pulling, it’s an Ayurvedic practice that cleanses the mouth through beneficial oils such as coconut oil ( and some people also use sesame). All it takes is 15-20 minutes of your time, a teaspoon of oil, and a strong mouth to swish that oil around. Be sure not to swallow the dirty oil, and after swishing it around, just spit the oil in the trash or in the toilet.

2. Banana Peel

Did you know that you don’t have to throw out your banana peels? You can compost them, of course, but you can also use them for teeth whitening! Essentially you just rub the inside of the peel over your teeth (the yellow, spotty part on the outside and the white part on the inside by your teeth). This trick may take a few days of repetition until you see results, but if you keep at it, you might be surprised at the results!

3. Activated Charcoal

This trick will have your teeth glaring white in a jiffy. I had no idea how potent this technique was until I tried it, and I’ve been doing it once a week for the past month, and my teeth have never been cleaner looking. You simply open a pill of activated charcoal on your toothbrush and then put toothpaste on top of it, and brush away! It’s best to leave the charcoal mixture on your teeth for a minute or so without salivating all over it, and then remove it for best results.

4. Baking Soda

Because baking soda is abrasive on the teeth, this trick should only be used sparingly to make sure that you don’t remove any of your enamel. Baking soda is found in many toothpastes, however, so it’s useful for whitening teeth in small amounts. Use an aluminum-free baking soda and mix with a little coconut oil to make a paste. Brush 2-3 times a week.

5. Lemon or Strawberry Teeth Scrub

Who would’ve thought that lemons and strawberries would whiten your teeth? You’d think red strawberries wouldn’t be good for your teeth, but they sure are! Mash up 1-3 strawberries, add some lemon juice and a pinch of salt, dip your toothbrush into this mixture, and brush your teeth, letting it sit for around 5 minutes. Rinse and enjoy the delicious, whitening benefits at the same time!

6. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can cause enamel erosion, so don’t use it alone – be sure to dilute it. This cleaning vinegar is helpful for many things, but most people don’t know it’s also helpful for oral cleaning, especially whitenting. To whiten without damaging your teeth, mix apple cider vinegar with some water and swish in your mouth for a few minutes. Spit, rinse, and reveal sparkling white teeth! Do this after you eat or in the morning before you brush your teeth, and watch the magic happen!

7. Eat Crunchy Fruits and Vegetables

If you don’t like any of the above topical methods of teeth whitening, you can always just eat crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, pears, celery, or carrots to maintain your dental health and an overall white smile. Their crunchy texture helps naturally remove excess plaque that can get stuck in the gums and teeth. How easy is that?!

These are just seven of the numerous ways to achieve a pearly white smile. You don’t have to waste your money on toxic whitening treatments. Instead, look no further than the produce section at your local market, or your pantry or fridge. Nature has numerous remedies just waiting for you to discover them!

 Image Source: Rupert-Taylor /Flickr