In 2015, Americans spent more than $ 11 billion on teeth whitening, including more than $ 1.4 billion on home whitening products. There are a lot of products to choose from when it comes to teeth whitening. However, most whitening products use teeth whitening chemicals, which concerns many people. If you want whiter teeth, but you also want to avoid chemicals, then this article lists many options that are natural and safe.
What Causes Teeth to Appear Yellow?
There are multiple factors that cause the teeth to become opaque and lose their bright white color. Certain foods can stain enamel, which is the outermost layer of teeth. In addition, the buildup of plaque on the teeth can make them appear yellow. This type of discoloration can usually be treated with regular cleaning and whitening remedies. However, sometimes the teeth appear yellow because the hard enamel has eroded, revealing the dentin underneath. Dentin is a naturally yellow bone tissue found under enamel.
Here are 7 Simple Ways in Which You Can Naturally Whiten Your Teeth:
1. Rinse with Oil or “Oil Pulling”:
Rinse with oil or Oil Pulling is a traditional Indian folk remedy to improve oral hygiene and eliminate toxins from the body. The practice involves whipping the oil around the mouth to eliminate bacteria, which can become plaque and make the teeth look yellow. Traditionally, Indians used sunflower or sesame oil for oil pulling, but any oil would work. Coconut oil is a popular option because it has a pleasant taste and offers many additional health benefits.
“Coconut oil is also high in lauric acid, which is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria”.
Some studies have shown that daily oil pulling effectively reduces bacteria in the mouth, along with plaque and gingivitis. The Streptococcus mutans is one of the main types of bacteria in the mouth that cause plaque and gingivitis. One study found that daily shake with sesame oil significantly reduced Streptococcus mutans in saliva in just one week. Unfortunately, there are no scientific studies that show that oil pulling whitens teeth. However, it is a safe practice and definitely worth a try. Many people claim that their teeth are whiter and brighter after pulling do the oil pulling regularly. To make the oil pulling, put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in the mouth and rinse it with the oil through the teeth. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so you may have to wait a few seconds for it to melt. Continue rinsing with the oil for 15 to 20 minutes. Be sure to spit coconut oil in a toilet or trash, as it could return to the solid form when it reaches the drain pipes and cause an obstruction. Unlike many other teeth whitening methods, oil pulling with coconut oil does not expose your teeth to acid or other ingredients that erode enamel. This means that it is safe to do it daily.
Summary: Oil pulling with coconut oil involves beating the oil in your mouth for 15 to 20 minutes to remove the bacteria. Practicing this daily can reduce plaque and whiten teeth.
2. Use the Brush with Baking Soda:
Baking soda has natural whitening properties, making it a popular ingredient in commercial toothpaste. It is a mild abrasive that can help remove surface stains on teeth. In addition, sodium bicarbonate creates an alkaline environment in the mouth, which prevents bacteria from growing. This is not a remedy for teeth whitening at night, but you should notice a difference in the appearance of teeth over time. Science has not yet shown that brushing with sodium bicarbonate can whiten teeth, but several studies show that toothpaste with sodium bicarbonate has a significant whitening effect. One study found that toothpastes containing sodium bicarbonate were significantly more effective in removing yellow stains from teeth than standard toothpastes without sodium bicarbonate. The higher the bicarbonate concentration, the greater the effect. In addition, a review of five studies showed that toothpastes containing sodium bicarbonate removed plaque from teeth more effectively than toothpastes without sodium bicarbonate. To use this remedy, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water and brush your teeth with the paste. You can do this a few times a week.
Summary: Brushing with a paste made with baking soda and water can reduce bacteria in the mouth and eliminate surface stains.
3. Use Hydrogen Peroxide:
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that also kills bacteria in the mouth. In fact, people have been using hydrogen peroxide for years to disinfect wounds due to their ability to kill bacteria. Many commercial bleaching products contain hydrogen peroxide, although in a much higher concentration than what you will use. Unfortunately, there are no studies that show the effects of rinsing or brushing with hydrogen peroxide alone, but several studies have analyzed commercial toothpastes that contain peroxide. One study found that a toothpaste containing sodium bicarbonate and 1% hydrogen peroxide led to significantly whiter teeth. Another study found that brushing with a commercial toothpaste containing sodium bicarbonate and peroxide twice a day resulted in 62% whiter teeth in six weeks. However, there are some questions regarding the safety of hydrogen peroxide. While very dilute concentrations appear to be safe, strong concentrations or excessive use can cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. There is also concern that high doses can cause cancer, but this has not been proven. One way to use hydrogen peroxide is like a mouthwash before brushing your teeth. Make sure you are using a 1.5% or 3% solution to avoid side effects. The most common concentration of hydrogen peroxide in pharmacies is a 3% solution. You can easily dilute this concentration to 1.5% by mixing equal parts of peroxide and water. Another way to use hydrogen peroxide is to mix it with baking soda to make a toothpaste. Combine 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and gently brush your teeth with the mixture. Limit the use of this homemade paste a few times a week, since excessive use can erode tooth enamel.
Summary: Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent and can kill bacteria in the mouth. You can use it as a mouthwash or mix it with baking soda to form a whitening toothpaste.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar:
Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries as a disinfectant and natural cleaning product. Acetic acid, which is the main active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, effectively kills bacteria. The antibacterial property of vinegar is what makes it useful for cleaning the mouth and teeth whitening. A study in cow teeth found that apple cider vinegar has a whitening effect on teeth. However, they also found that vinegar can soften teeth. The acetic acid in vinegar has the potential to erode enamel on teeth. For this reason, you should not use apple cider vinegar every day. You should also limit the amount of time that apple cider vinegar is in contact with the teeth. To use it as a mouthwash, it is recommended to dilute it with water and shake it in the mouth for several minutes. Be sure to rinse your mouth with running water afterwards.
Summary: Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that can help whiten teeth. However, excessive use of vinegar can also erode enamel on teeth, so its use should be limited to a couple of times per week.
5. Consumption of Fruits and Vegetables:
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can be good for your body and your teeth. While they don’t replace tooth brushing, crunchy and raw fruits and vegetables can help rub plaque while chewing. In particular, strawberries and pineapple are two fruits that have been claimed to help whiten teeth.
- Teeth whitening with a mixture of strawberries and baking soda is a natural remedy that has been popularized by celebrities.
- Proponents of this method claim that the malic acid found in strawberries will eliminate discoloration in the teeth, while baking soda disguises stains.
- However, this remedy has not been fully supported by science.
- While strawberries can help exfoliate the teeth and make them appear whiter, it is unlikely that they will penetrate the stains on the teeth.
- A recent study found that a mixture of strawberries and baking soda produced very few color changes in the teeth, compared to commercial whitening products.
- If you decide to give this method a try, limit its use to some times per week.
- Despite studies showing that a strawberry and baking soda paste has a minimal effect on tooth enamel, excessive use could cause damage.
- To use this remedy, you must crush a fresh strawberry, combine it with baking soda and brush the mixture on your teeth.
- Some claim that pineapple can whiten teeth.
- One study found that a toothpaste containing bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, was significantly more effective in removing tooth stains than a standard toothpaste.
- However, there is no evidence that eating pineapples has the same effect.
Summary: Certain fruits may have properties that help whiten teeth. Consuming raw fruits and vegetables regularly can help eliminate plaque and keep teeth bright.
6. Prevent Stains on Teeth:
Teeth turn yellow naturally as people get older, but there are some things that can be done to prevent tooth stains.
Limit Dark Foods and Drinks:
- Coffee, red wine, soda and dark berries have a reputation for staining your teeth. That doesn’t mean you have to avoid them completely, but you should limit the amount of time these substances are in contact with your teeth.
- If possible, drink beverages known for staining the teeth of a straw to avoid direct contact with the teeth.
- Also, brush your teeth soon after consuming one of these foods or drinks to limit their effects on the color of your teeth.
- Also, avoid smoking and chewing tobacco, which can cause discoloration of the teeth.
Limit Sugar in Your Diet:
- If you want whiter teeth, reduce your sugar intake.
- A diet rich in sugar promotes the growth of Streptococcus mutans bacteria, the primary type of bacteria that causes plaque and gingivitis.
- When a sugary meal is consumed, you should brush your teeth shortly after eating.
Include Plenty of Calcium in Your Diet:
- In some cases the discoloration of the teeth is caused by erosion of the tooth enamel and the exposure of the dentin that is underneath, and is yellow in color. Therefore, anything you do to consolidate tooth enamel will help keep pearly white teeth.
- Calcium-rich foods, such as milk, cheese and broccoli, can help protect teeth from enamel erosion.
Summary: A healthy diet with enough calcium can help prevent teeth from turning yellow. Brushing your teeth soon after eating can also help prevent stains.
7. Do not Underestimate the Value of Brushing and Flossing:
While in some cases the discoloration of the teeth occurs naturally with age, it is largely a result of plaque buildup.7 simple ways to whiten your teeth naturally. Regular brushing and flossing can help your teeth stay white by reducing bacteria in the mouth and preventing plaque buildup. Toothpaste gently rubs stains on teeth, and flossing removes bacteria that cause plaque. Regular dental cleanings can also help keep teeth clean and white.
Summary: Daily brushing and flossing, along with regular cleaning at the dentist’s office, prevent yellow plaque buildup on your teeth.
Other Methods That Have Not Been Tested:
There are some other natural methods for teeth whitening, but there is no scientific evidence to prove that they are effective or safe.
Here are Some of the Methods that Have Not Been Tested:
- Activated carbon: Brushing with powdered coal supposedly removes toxins from the mouth and removes stains from the teeth.
- Kaolin clay: Proponents of this method claim that brushing with clay helps remove stains from teeth.
- Fruit peels: Rubbing orange, lemon or banana peels on the teeth is said to make them whiter.
Proponents of these methods claim that they make teeth significantly whiter, but no studies have evaluated their effectiveness. This also means that no side effects have been tested when used on teeth. Activated carbon, kaolin clay and fruit peels can help whiten teeth, but no studies have evaluated the safety or effectiveness of these methods.
Bring the Message Home:
There are several natural methods to help whiten teeth. Most of these remedies work by gently removing superficial stains on teeth. However, most dentists offer whitening treatments that are much stronger than these natural remedies. They involve teeth whitening, which can be more effective for severe tooth discoloration.