The best natural ways to whiten your teeth at home
We all want to make a positive first impression, and a dazzling white smile can be a key part of that. Furthermore, there is a promising variety of products which claim to help whiten teeth.
However, with most of these products bleaching the teeth through the use of chemicals, you could easily be reticent about using them. Here are some natural alternatives which have been proven highly effective; you can rest easy knowing that these methods can be relatively low-risk.
Brushing and flossing
If you aren’t already in the habit of doing this regularly, then now is a good time to start. When teeth discolor, it can often be due to plaque building up, which you can prevent with regular flossing, Heathline advises. Flossing takes away bacteria that causes plaque. Brushing with toothpaste gently removes stains – and even whitening toothpastes won’t bleach your teeth, WebMD reassures.
Brushing with baking soda
There is a good reason why commercially-available toothpaste often contains baking soda: it has properties that are conducive to natural whitening. Once baking soda is in your mouth, it produces an alkaline environment which prevents bacteria growing.
Studies indicate that brushing with products containing baking soda will, as time passes, assist in reducing surface stains. Making your own baking soda paste is an option, though using toothpaste with sodium bicarbonate could reap even greater returns. Just don’t expect overnight results.
Using hydrogen peroxide
The majority of home whitening kits include this as a bleaching agent. It is effective in killing bacteria – hence why, for years, it has been used for disinfecting wounds. It shouldn’t greatly surprise, then, that hydrogen peroxide is in many commercial whitening products – albeit at a much greater concentration than you would actually need.
One study discovered that teeth which had been painted with an over-the-counter gel containing 6% hydrogen peroxide looked noticeably whiter after just a couple of weeks.
Using apple cider vinegar
This type of vinegar has, as its main ingredient, acetic acid. This is effective in killing bacteria – and so, in turn, whitening teeth. Nonetheless, while a study that treated cow teeth with this vinegar did back up the claim of a bleaching effect, it also noted that the vinegar could soften teeth.
If you are interested in trying apple cider vinegar, you should resist using it daily or keeping it touching your teeth for too long. The vinegar’s acetic acid could, sadly, erode your teeth’s enamel.
Trying oil pulling
If the mention of bleaching has deterred you from trying certain natural whitening methods that we have advocated, then we would urge you to sample what is called oil pulling.
This practice, even when used daily, does not bleach the enamel – or change or damage it. To try this method, you would swish a particular, high-quality oil in your mouth for up to 20 minutes and then spit it out without swallowing. The oil will absorb bacteria from your teeth. Suitable oils are widely available, such as from the UK-based The Big Fruit.