Did you know that cosmetic tooth whitening is a $3.2 billion industry worldwide? From whitening gels to strips to bleaching products, there are countless varieties of products designed to give you a brighter smile.
But with so many options, it can be difficult to decide which to choose. And if you’re worried about the chemicals included in over the counter whitening products, you may be hesitant to try any at all.
Then there are the professional options. A procedure done under a professional’s care is likely going to make you feel more at ease than any over the counter products would. However, not only do these often come with a hefty price tag, but you’re also still getting a mouthful of chemicals.
Well, believe it or not, there are many ways to whiten your teeth at home without any ten syllable chemicals that you can’t even begin to pronounce. We’ve gathered 6 of those options right here!
If you want to learn more about how to whiten teeth naturally from the comfort of your own home, just keep reading!
Types of Stains
With any whitening product, natural or not, it’s important to remember that there are two types of stains you’re tackling: intrinsic and extrinsic.
Extrinsic stains are caused by plaque and tartar built up by repeated contact with substances such as coffee, tea, tobacco, soda, and wine. These can be lightened quite easily with whitening treatments and proper routine oral care.
Then there are intrinsic stains, which are actually inside of your teeth. Regular oral care such as brushing and flossing will do nothing to remove them, and home whitening treatments will take longer than with extrinsic stains.
Also, natural teeth whitening treatments are a great option, but you need to go into the process with realistic expectations. Your teeth will look much brighter, yes, but you likely won’t have that Hollywood-white smile without seeking professional treatments.
Don’t be afraid to contact your dentist with any questions you have regarding smile-improving treatments, such as the cost of Invisalign or custom teeth whitening trays. You never know, it might be more affordable than you think!
Now, without further ado, here are 6 of the best ways to whiten teeth naturally:
1. Activated Charcoal
Charcoal may sound counterproductive. How is rubbing a black substance on your teeth going to help whiten them? Well, activated charcoal is used in many whitening agents because it absorbs whatever it touches.
Its binding capabilities make it excellent for teeth whitening, as it absorbs extrinsic stains caused by everyday consumables like coffee and tobacco. All you have to do is smear an activated charcoal paste on your teeth and leave it for 5-10 minutes, then rinse and brush it away.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been touted as a wonder ingredient in recent years, and for good reason! It offers many antioxidant and antimicrobial benefits. It also has an effect similar to bleaching on teeth!
While apple cider vinegar does wear away plaque buildup, using it comes with a caveat: it’s incredibly acidic. Because of this, it’s vital that you brush and rinse thoroughly after using it, as it can break down your enamel.
If you aren’t careful, you can do more harm than good – acidic foods and beverages are among the most damaging to your teeth.
3. Coconut Oil
You may have heard of the benefits of coconut oil on your skin and hair, but it does wonders for your teeth as well! Not only does coconut oil contain lauric acid, a substance that kills teeth staining bacteria, it’s also an ideal option for oil pulling.
When oil pulling, all you have to do is swish a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 15-20 minutes like you would a traditional mouthwash. Coconut oil combats gum disease, whitens teeth, and is a safe alternative to mouthwash!
4. Baking Soda
As with most at-home whitening agents, baking soda won’t help with any intrinsic stains you have. However, it does an excellent job of clearing away the extrinsic (surface) stains!
In fact, baking soda is a common ingredient in natural toothpaste for this very reason. Those with high blood pressure should exercise caution with baking soda, as it has a high sodium content.
Like activated charcoal, turmeric is an interesting whitening agent as it’s bright yellow in color. Fun fact, turmeric has been used as a healing herb in Ayurvedic medicine for centuries!
A study conducted on the connection between turmeric and gingivitis showed that it’s a great tool for fighting the disease, as well as removing plaque and inflammation – just like a traditional mouthwash.
Turmeric and coconut oil make the perfect team. Mix them together and apply the combination to your teeth to improve both your oral health and the whiteness of your smile.
6. Hydrogen Peroxide
Last but not least, hydrogen peroxide is probably the most common whitening agent and is technically natural because it’s a simple molecule (H2O2). Although it’s harmless in small doses, many people prefer not to use it because of its aggressive nature.
A good way to avoid any negative effects of hydrogen peroxide is to dilute it! If you have a 3% solution, for example, you can mix it with water in equal parts to create a 1.5% solution.
Improve Your Smile With These Tips on How to Whiten Teeth Naturally
Well, there you have it! You no longer have to wonder how to whiten teeth naturally, by using any of these 6 products, you’ll have a brighter smile in no time!
Remember, if you’re looking for a whiter, healthier smile, you can find it with any of these items. However, if you want movie-star level white teeth, you will likely need to consult a dentist.
That being said, you can always try these whitening agents and if you don’t see the results you’re looking for after a month or two of use, move on to a professional approach.