There’s a reason so many of us smile with our mouths closed when having our pictures taken.
We are embarrassed by our stained teeth.
Your smile is one of your defining characteristics. It’s an important aspect of making a good first impression.
It’s also the cause of undue anxiety for those of us with stained teeth from a lifetime of drinking coffee, tea and soda, or smoking, irregular brushing or just plain bad luck (blame the genes).
The fact that so many people worry about the look of their stained, brown teeth is the reason why the teeth whitening industry has exploded in recent years.
You can go to the dentist to get your teeth whitened professionally, you can find boutique shops that specialize in nothing but teeth whitening, or you can buy over-the-counter teeth whitening kits.
While all of these options may work, they can be extremely expensive and potentially hazardous to your health.
The hidden dangers of modern teeth whitening techniques have led many to search out natural alternatives that don’t rely on special equipment, bleach or other chemical concoctions.
Top Natural Teeth Whitening Methods
1Hydrogen Peroxide + Baking Soda for Teeth Whitening
This time-tested combination is perhaps the most popular natural teeth whitening method.
It’s an easy DIY recipe that takes just seconds to prepare. Plus, it’ll cost you only pennies compared to expensive kits or trips to the dentist.
The trick to getting the mixture right is to keep the consistency more on the liquid end of the spectrum (versus a thick paste). Baking soda is gritty, and while your goal is to remove stains from food, beverages and/or smoking, you don’t want to strip the enamel off your teeth in the process.
So make sure your baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mixture isn’t gritty simply by adding in more hydrogen peroxide as necessary as you mix.
When you’ve got your mixture ready, simply brush with it like you would regular toothpaste. You can also use it as a mouth rinse, swishing it around in your mouth and between your teeth for a good soak.
Not only with your teeth look cleaner and whiter, they’ll feel cleaner, too.
2Oil Pulling for Teeth Whitening
This ancient Ayurvedic technique has been used for thousands of years, far longer than any modern teeth whitening methods.
That alone should tell you something about its effectiveness. But to be clear, this method isn’t for everyone. It will take a bit of getting used to, but your persistence can pay off.
Oil pulling is a natural teeth whitening technique that not only helps remove stains from your teeth, but also helps detoxify your entire body, according to Ayurvedic practitioners.
So how does it work?
First, you need to select your oil. Most people choose either coconut oil or olive oil.
Second, you swish the oil around in your mouth as vigorously and thoroughly as possible for up to 20 minutes.
Third, spit it out into the garbage can (not down the drain).
When you’re done, most people prefer to then brush their teeth to remove any excess oil and freshen their mouth.
3Activated Charcoal for Teeth Whitening
The Wellness Mama said it best: this looks and sounds terrifying, but you might be surprised at the results when you’re all done.
Using activated charcoal (not charcoal from your BBQ grill) to whiten teeth is one of the more controversial methods, but it has been shown to be effective.
Why it’s effective has more to do with the properties of the charcoal itself than because of any action or agitation on your part (like the act of oil pulling or brushing).
Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent and porous substance that can bind to things like the tannins that stain your teeth.
To whiten your teeth with activated charcoal, simply apply some of the fine powdered charcoal to your toothbrush and brush your teeth as you normally would.
Alternatively, you may also mix a small amount of activated charcoal in water and swish in your mouth like a mouthwash or like you would when oil pulling. Regardless of which method you use, finish the process with a good brushing and a thorough rinse.
Hopefully, after trying one of these natural whitening techniques, you'll be all like:
Have you tried any natural teeth whiteners? What natural teeth whitening techniques worked or didn't work for you?