You don’t need harsh chemicals to have whiter teeth.
We all want a dazzling Hollywood smile. But as we age, our once-bright tooth enamel turns duller.
Coffee and red wine can take a toll. Some medications, like antihistamines and blood pressure drugs, also cause teeth to lose their luster.
The answer for many people is teeth whitening treatments. Teeth whitening is America’s most popular cosmetic procedure, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. The teeth whitening industry is massive. It has annual revenues of more than $11 billion.
Procedures to lighten teeth are performed in dental offices or at home with over-the-counter preparations. Either way, chemical bleaching agents are applied to remove stains.
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Chemicals commonly used include carbamide peroxide, hydrogen peroxide, 6-phthalimido peroxy hexanoic acid, and sodium perborate. Even when used in a dentist’s office, these chemicals can be risky. They can damage your teeth and gums, sometimes severely. Gum irritation, tooth sensitivity, bluish coloring, and uneven whiteness are common side effects.1
Commercial teeth whiteners are not regulated by the FDA. That means manufacturers can put just about anything in them, even ingredients that are harmful.
Many people who use teeth whiteners end up regretting it.
A study in the Journal of the American Dental Association found that half of people who used these products experience painful side effects. They include tooth pain and blistered gums. Some patients report their gums became so sensitive that air exposure simply from opening their mouth gave them searing pain.2
6 Safe and Natural Teeth Whiteners
You don’t have to risk your health to get a brighter smile. These natural teeth-whitening methods are safe, inexpensive, and effective.
- Coconut oil: Swish a teaspoon in your mouth for five minutes every day. It may seem strange that coconut oil whitens teeth, but it works through something called “oil pulling.” This is the principal that “like dissolves like.” Tooth stains are generally oil soluble. So swishing with coconut oil every day gradually eliminates stains, making your teeth whiter. Coconut oil also has antimicrobial properties that help reduce gingivitis-causing plaque.3
- Turmeric: Many people take a turmeric supplement for heart health, to relieve joint pain, or to help balance blood sugar. But the spice can also whiten your teeth. Turmeric’s astringent properties tighten gums and remove plaque. Since it is a mild abrasive, it polishes your teeth. To make a homemade whitening solution, mix two parts turmeric powder with one part coconut oil and one part baking soda. Put a bit on your toothbrush and brush for two minutes. Rinse well. Do this once a week.4
- Banana peel: The skin of a banana contains high levels of magnesium, manganese, and potassium. All of these help remove teeth stains. Use a ripe banana. Cut a small rectangle of peel. Rub the inside of the peel over your teeth for two minutes. Then brush as usual. Do this once a week.5
- Baking soda and table salt: Mixing these two ingredients with water releases free radicals that bond with stain molecules, lifting them off your teeth. The mixture is slightly abrasive, so it also polishes your teeth. Combine a half teaspoon of both baking soda and table salt. Dip a wet toothbrush into the mixture. Brush teeth gently. Do this once a week.6
- Activated charcoal: It seems strange that something black would turn your teeth white. But activated charcoal binds to stains and lifts them off teeth. It’s also known as activated carbon and is available at health food stores and online. Mix a paste of charcoal and water. Dab on your teeth. Let it sit for three minutes. Rinse thoroughly. Don’t brush with this paste. The abrasiveness can damage enamel. Repeat twice a week.7
- Apple cider vinegar: Vinegar is a great household cleaner. And it does the same for your teeth. It is especially effective against coffee and tobacco stains. Simply dip your toothbrush in the vinegar and brush as you normally would. Afterwards, rinse your mouth thoroughly. You don’t want the acidity to remain on your teeth and attack your enamel. Do this once a day. It takes about a month to see results, but many people notice a big difference.8
One more thing… Many commercial toothpastes contain toxic additives. We recently told you how to make your own completely natural toothpaste. It not only prevents decay, but does a great job whitening. Click here for the recipe.
In Good Health,
Executive Director, INH Health Watch