How To Whiten Your Teeth Naturally and Cheaply
If you want to whiten your teeth, you can buy any of the many tooth whitening products and methods on the market. However, if you want to try a more basic approach and also save money, here are some ways to whiten your teeth naturally and cheaply.
So you want a whiter smile?
A new study appearing in Monographs of Oral Science notes that even though toothpastes were developed thousands of years ago, development “is by no means complete as many challenges and especially the poor oral substantivity of most active ingredients are yet to overcome.” Many of today’s toothpastes claim they help whiten and brighten your teeth, yet many people still turn to their dentists or to expensive whitening products to do the job.
The main concern about tooth whitening methods, regardless of who does it, is making sure the substances are safe and used properly. Several of the suggested tooth whitening ingredients can damage tooth enamel if misused, so be sure to heed any warnings regarding their use.
Tooth enamel is the outermost layer of your teeth, and it protects dentin, which is the next layer of the tooth. Dentin is harder than bone and is typically pale yellow, although it can range from gray to black. Thus the color of the dentin can show through enamel and affect tooth color.
Therefore, it is important to eat a nutritious diet to support the health of your teeth as well as use safe methods to whiten your smile. With that in mind, here are some suggestions.
How to whiten your teeth naturally
Activated charcoal: Among the many benefits of activated charcoal is an ability to absorb substances that can stain the teeth. Activated charcoal powder is readily available in pharmacies and natural health stores. Place a small amount of the powder in a cup or saucer and dip a wet toothbrush into the powder. Gently brush your teeth, let the powder stay on for 60 seconds, then rinse your mouth thoroughly. You can use activated charcoal to help whiten teeth once or twice a week.
Banana peels: Here’s an unusual use for banana peels. Rub the outside of a banana peel against your teeth once a day to help whiten them.
Bentonite clay: A combination of bentonite clay and water, made into a paste, can help whiten your teeth. That’s because bentonite clay is an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, and silica, all necessary for healthy enamel. Leave the clay mixture on your teeth for up to 2 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. You can use bentonite clay up to twice a week.
Crunchy foods: Eating the right foods can help support your efforts to whiten your teeth. That means to include crunchy raw fruits and vegetables in your diet every day. These include apples and pears (with the peels), cucumbers, broccoli, and carrots.
Hydrogen peroxide mouthwash: Pour 2 tablespoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide into your mouth and swish it around for 60 seconds. Don’t panic when the peroxide begins to foam, because that means it is working to kill bacteria. Spit out the peroxide and rinse your mouth well with water. You can then brush your teeth as you normally do.
Natural toothpaste recipe #1: Gather the following ingredients: 5 tablespoons (Tbs) calcium powder or calcium magnesium powder (helps remineralize teeth), 2 Tbs baking soda (a gentle abrasive that also neutralizes acids made by oral bacteria), 3 Tbs xylitol powder (optional; takes the edge off any bitterness), 3 to 5 Tbs coconut oil. Place the calcium powder, baking soda, and xylitol powder in a bowl and slowly add the coconut oil until you reach a desired consistency.
Store in a lidded glass container. You can also add several drops of peppermint oil or cinnamon oil to add flavor. Use this natural toothpaste up to 3 times a week. You can use the hydrogen peroxide mouthwash once daily as well.
Natural toothpaste recipe #2: Combine 1 Tbs baking soda and 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. You may need to slightly adjust the amounts to get the paste to be thick like toothpaste. Once you do, mix in a dash of salt. Brush your teeth with the mixture and let it stay on your teeth for no more than 2 minutes. Then rinse your mouth thoroughly and brush them with a wet brush to be sure you have removed all the hydrogen peroxide. Use this mixture once a week only.
Oils: Take one tablespoon of coconut, olive, sesame, or sunflower oil and put it into your mouth. Swish it around your mouth and strain it through your teeth for 15 to 20 minutes. Do not swallow the oil. Spit out the oil when you are done and thoroughly rinse your mouth with water.
Orange peels: Don’t throw away those orange peels! Rub your teeth with the inside of orange peels. This reportedly can whiten your teeth without harming the enamel. Using the inside of orange peels, rub your teeth to remove any stains. Orange peel reportedly does not damage the enamel.
Strawberries: These berries contain malic acid, which can help eliminate stains on teeth. Mash several ripe strawberries and add a small amount of baking soda to make a paste. Apply to your teeth with your finger or a toothbrush and let it stay for about 2 minutes. Then brush your teeth with water to remove the strawberry paste and thoroughly rinse your mouth. Use this method no more than twice a week.
Lippert F. An introduction to toothpaste—its purpose, history and ingredients. Monographs of Oral Science 2013; 23:1-14