Everyone wants whiter teeth. We buy home bleaching kits. We visit cosmetic dentists to get teeth whitening procedures performed, and we brush our teeth religiously three times a day. But if you have sensitive teeth or a chipped or cracked tooth that hasn’t been repaired, conventional whitening methods may not work for you. You may also be concerned about all the chemicals in these whitening products.
The good news is that there are natural ways to whiten your teeth using simple tried-and-true methods that people have been using for hundreds of years. We’re going to share with you three simple ways to whiten your teeth using products you probably already have in your kitchen.
1. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurveda practice that dates all the way back to 500 A.D. Not only is it used to improve oral health, but it’s also used to help treat other conditions, like asthma and eczema. Studies suggest that oil pulling can actually reduce gingivitis, oral plaque, and improve your overall oral health. People who practice oil pulling daily also say that it has whitened their teeth over time.
The oil pulling concept is simple:
- Swish oil in your mouth for 20 minutes to remove bacteria and plaque.
It’s best to do oil pulling early in the morning before you eat anything.
Sesame oil is recommended, but coconut oil can also be used. Many people prefer coconut oil because it has been proven effective against the bacteria that contributes to gum disease and cavities.
2. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal maybe an unconventional way to whiten your teeth, but it’s highly effective and all-natural. It’s commonly recommended by holistic dentists but there is one caveat to this practice: it turns your teeth black – temporarily.
Activated charcoal is a porous substance that’s highly absorbent and binds to tannins, which leaves your teeth brown or yellow. Some research also suggests that activated charcoal can change the pH and the overall health of the mouth, which helps kill bad bacteria and prevent cavities.
For this teeth whitening practice, you’ll need food grade activated charcoal.
- Simply dip your toothbrush in the charcoal, and start brushing. We recommend leaning over your sink while you brush to avoid getting the charcoal on your clothes or counter tops. We also recommend purchasing a designated toothbrush for charcoal brushing.
- Rinse as normal.
- Brush your teeth again using your regular toothbrush to remove any remaining charcoal.
For best results, use daily. Just like any other natural whitening process, it will take a few months for you to see results.
3. Lemon Juice and Baking Soda Paste
Lemon juice and baking soda are two of the more conventional natural tooth whitening methods. It’s easy to see why this combination is effective.
Baking soda, a.k.a. sodium bicarbonate, is mildly abrasive, so it can gently scrub away surface stains. Baking soda is also alkaline, which can help balance out the pH in your mouth and counteract the acidic properties of lemon juice.
Lemon juice acts as a natural bleaching agent to help eliminate stains on the surface of your teeth.
Although lemon juice is highly effective, use it sparingly as the acid in the juice can wear away your enamel.
These are the three most effective and natural ways to whiten your teeth at home. All three of these methods are generally safe, it’s best to speak with your dentist before starting any new oral hygiene routine.