There’s more to a beautiful smile than simply looking good or making that great first impression during business or social interactions. It can also have a big impact on personal health – both emotional and physiological. While professional whitening may work faster than using natural ingredients, who really wants a mouthful of bleach (and heavens know what other toxic chemicals) in their mouth? Even if you don’t swallow any of them, they can still absorb through the skin and make it into your bloodstream.
Before you go to the dentist and subject yourself to a potentially harmful and costly procedure, try out some of these 14 natural ways to whiten your teeth!
What To Avoid
1. Excessive Scrubbing
While brushing your teeth regularly will help to keep them healthy and bright, scrubbing too hard has the potential to wear away enamel which will cause teeth to stain more easily. When you brush, use enough pressure to remove debris, but try to avoid excessive scrubbing.
2. Overuse of Abrasives
If you make your own toothpaste, there’s a good chance your homemade paste contains baking soda. This popular natural ingredient is great for removing stains and maintaining excellent dental hygiene, but it’s also very abrasive. If you use baking soda toothpaste, be extra careful not to scrub too hard as this can also wear away the enamel from your teeth.
Not familiar with all-natural homemade toothpaste, yet? Be sure to read all about it, as well as 23 other great uses for this versatile household ingredient in 24 Baking Soda Uses & Why You Need It In Your Home!
3. Dark-Colored Beverages
Whether it’s pomegranate juice, coffee, tea, or red wine, dark-colored liquids leave behind stains on your teeth. Of course, you don’t want to stop drinking these beverages all together as many of them have invaluable health benefits. However, if you want to naturally whiten your teeth, keep in mind that your favorite beverages may be quietly sabotaging your efforts.
4. Sugary Foods
Not only are sugary foods bad for your health, they can also wreak havoc in your mouth. Sugars feed the bacteria which naturally live around your teeth and will cause them to multiply rapidly, produce more plaque (the stuff they use to hold on to your teeth), and eventually lead to staining. If you do feel the need to eat a sugary treat, just remember to brush immediately afterward to protect your pearly whites.
It’s no secret that smoking is terrible for the health of every part of your body, teeth included. Nicotine and other chemicals found in tobacco products leave behind a sickly yellow-brown residue which sticks to everything it comes in contact with. If you want whiter teeth (not to mention a longer lifespan) it’s high time to give up smoking!
What To Do
6. Get a New Toothbrush
Over time, the bristles of your toothbrush begin to wear out and become soft. When this happens, a brush no longer removes plaque and debris from teeth effectively enough to maintain optimum dental hygiene. If you want a whiter smile, you should replace your trusty toothbrush at least once every three months to be sure it’s getting the job done.
7. Make Your Own Toothpaste
As previously mentioned, baking soda toothpaste is a great option for removing stubborn stains. While there are commercial brands which offer baking soda-based products, homemade toothpaste is the best for achieving maximum results.
Also, be sure to check out these 10 Ways To Replace Your Personal Care Products With Coconut Oil to learn more about making your own whitening toothpaste (plus 9 additional recipes for concocting your own all-natural PCP’s!)
8. Brush After Every Meal
Because so many foods have the potential to stain your teeth – more so the longer they remain in contact with your pearly whites – it’s a good idea to brush after every meal. If you tend to eat a lot of meals away from home, consider carrying a brush and small container of toothpaste with you when you go out.
9. Scrub Your Tongue
The same bacteria that cause plaque live in all parts of your mouth, not just on your teeth. When you brush, be sure to scrub your tongue to remove those extra microbes and prevent them from migrating to and staining your teeth later in the day.
10. Rub With Fruit Peels
The citric acid in raw fruit peels such as those of lemons and oranges are perfect for removing stains and bacteria. Try rubbing the inside of a raw peel over your teeth to whiten them. Just remember to rinse well afterward so the acid doesn’t eat away at your tooth enamel.
11. Rinse After Consuming Citrus
Because citric acid is a powerful biochemical with the ability to dissolve enamel from teeth after prolonged exposure, you’ll want to rinse your mouth well after consuming citrus fruits like tomatoes, oranges, or grapefruits. Remember, the same advice applies for after drinking citrus juices!
12. Drink Through a Straw
If you’re going to drink any dark-colored or highly acidic beverages, try drinking through a straw to minimize exposure of these liquids on your teeth. This will help to prevent staining and make cleaning easier later on. Make sure you use re-usable glass straws rather than disposable plastic ones to avoid contributing more plastic waste.
13. Eat Crunchy Raw Foods
Due to their texture, raw foods like nuts, apples, cauliflower, and celery naturally remove plaque and stains from teeth while you eat them. If your goal is achieve a whiter smile, make it a habit to include crunchy raw foods to your diet as often as possible.
14. Rinse With Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar mixed with water makes a great natural alternative to commercial mouth rinse. Simply mix these two ingredients at a ratio of one part ACV to two parts water, rinse for thirty seconds to one minute, then follow up with a clear water rinse to remove the acidic vinegar from your teeth. You’ll have a whiter smile in no time!
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most healthy and useful natural ingredients in the world! Read more about the amazing health benefits of ACV in our incredibly popular article: 12 Eye-Opening Reasons Apple Cider Vinegar Should Be In Every Home!