- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Tried and Tested Teeth Whitening Home Remedies
Your teeth are the most important part of your smile, and as such, they need to be looking their best so that you can successfully carry out the task of capturing the heart of the one you are talking to! Yellow teeth can be a major turn off and it’s hard to take a person with yellow teeth seriously. The brown stained teeth of a smoker can look unsightly, as can the yellowish teeth of an avid curry connoisseur. Of course, not all smokers have brown teeth and not all avid curry eaters have yellowish teeth! People with stained teeth may even feel uncomfortable smiling or laughing. I have a jolly friend who drinks a lot of coffee. Her teeth have a brownish hue to them. I’ve noticed that every time she bursts out laughing, she immediately covers her mouth to hide her stained teeth. It’s a pity to see my friend restrain her laughter just because of her teeth.
My own story is that I had normal looking clean teeth all my life…until I got braces. The braces made it hard for me to brush my teeth thoroughly. To be honest, I would get a bit lazy sometimes and go to bed without brushing my teeth while I had braces. It was also a time where I was stressed by various things and would binge on lots of refined sugary foods. Being an avid curry lover didn’t help either. Well, after one whole year, when my orthodontist removed my braces, I was delighted to see my lower crooked teeth were all set straight – but I was also shocked to see that my teeth were YeLLoW. Without wasting any time, I set out to the World Wide Web in search of a natural way to whiten my teeth. Today, my teeth are not flashy white (who wants chemically whitenized unnaturally white teeth anyway?) – but I have pearly clear teeth, which I am very happy with.
Why should you consider whitening your teeth naturally with home remedies? Surely it’s easier to walk into your dentist’s office and let him apply various treatments on your teeth? The primary reason I did not do that – even if my orthodontist insisted is because I try to live a natural healthy life and I did not want to bleach my teeth with strong chemicals that are not only expensive but are often not worth the money because they are temporary. Furthermore, although home remedies may take time to realize any results, they are far cheaper than chemical whitening.
Take note that the following people may not be encouraged to carry out teeth whitening; for further info, do consult your local dentist;
- persons with sensitive teeth.
- persons with worn down or weak enamel.
- persons with gum disease/ mouth disease.
Home remedies can work for persons with topical superficial staining that may have been caused by;
- coffee/ tea
- curry (turmeric in food)
- smoking, to a certain extent
If you have topical staining like I did, then I’m convinced that you can whiten your teeth within a few weeks of consistent practicing of the remedies below;
1. Baking Soda, Lemon and Salt: This is the number one remedy that I used consistently for 1 week at the beginning of my teeth whitening process. I got a pinch of salt, a pinch of baking soda and I quickly mixed these into a paste with a squeeze of lemon juice. I would first brush my teeth normally with my every day toothpaste, and then I would brush my teeth for the second time using the above combination. The first time I did this, my teeth were noticeably whiter and shinier!
2. Hydrogen Peroxide: While using hydrogen peroxide, many people may notice their gums turning pale. Don’t let this put you off. This paleness usually disappears after a few hours. However, this should not be a problem for those using it only once a day. Use 1.5% hydrogen peroxide. Do not swallow the hydrogen peroxide. What you should do is to swish the hydrogen peroxide around your teeth for about 30 seconds or more, after using the above baking soda-lemon-salt combination. Hydrogen Peroxide is safe and environmentally friendly. It has various other uses you may be pleasantly surprised to hear of.
3. Oil pulling: If you haven’t read about oil pulling, please do so here or here. Oil pulling is basically very simple, no quantum physics involved. All you have to do is to get an oil of your choice and swish it around your mouth, pulling it between your teeth and working it around your mouth – all this without swallowing any bit of it. I did this every morning on an empty stomach for about 10 – 15 minutes after brushing. I still carry out oil pulling every morning. I mostly use a teaspoon of sesame oil but many people use sunflower oil, coconut oil and even olive oil. Oil pulling helps to clean in between your teeth and strengthens your gums making them pink and healthy. I had plaque on the sides of my incisors and almost all of it has now disappeared. I attribute this to oil pulling, which I believe is a great health-boosting technique, not only for your teeth but also for other various ailments.
4. Strawberries: Who would have thought the humble strawberry would terrific teeth whitening properties. During my teeth whitening journey, I did not use strawberries daily (because I don’t have easy access to them where I live) but based on the accounts of numerous people, strawberries are a great home remedy for teeth lightening. Strawberries contain malic acid, which has astringent properties that erase teeth discoloration. Simply cut a strawberry in half, sprinkle a dash of baking soda and rub on your teeth for a noticeably whiter smile.
5. Extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar: These are both ingredients that can commonly be found in anyone’s home. Pour a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a wide-mouthed bowl. Dip your toothbrush into this and brush your teeth vigorously. Re-dip until it gets finished. Your teeth should be visibly brighter. You can use 2 teaspoons in one cup of drinking water for an effective and sanitary mouth wash too. This mouth wash also helps relieve any inflammation of the gums that may happen while your brushing your teeth vigorously.
I must warn you that there is some conflict on whether baking soda should be used on teeth as it is abrasive and wears down the enamel. But its abrasive properties help get rid of topical stains and plaque. The same goes for lemon juice which has citric acid that unlocks some of the calcium of the enamel, causing the teeth to whiten. This is why I used the baking soda-lemon-salt combination only for about a week.
Use Point number 1 and 2 once a day for only 1 week. Point number 3, Oil Pulling is a regimen that I would encourage you to integrate into your daily life. Strawberries and a little baking can be used for the second week and after these intensive 2 weeks, by which time your teeth should have whitened remarkably, just use any one of the remedies once a week only.
Please use these remedies at your own discretion. These remedies have worked for me without any side effects. I have been able to maintain my white teeth but I have had to avoid tea, I rarely drink coffee, and if I happen to eat refined foods, I make sure I floss immediately (though I hate flossing like hell. Eugh). Good things don’t come without sacrifice ;)
With these home remedies, you can hopefully whiten your teeth by at least 50% if not more!
Good luck and make sure you tell me about your teeth whitening journey and the remedies that you used too!