Teeth are supposed to be white. That is the color they are when they come in, and that is the color they should stay. Unfortunately, our diet is full of things that want to change that natural color of our teeth. The cool thing is that Mother Nature loves to play both sides in this game. For all of the foods that stain your teeth, she has created foods that will naturally whiten them also.
Natural Teeth Whiteners
Natural teeth whiteners are easier to find than you might think. All of the following can be found at your local grocery store.
- Strawberries – These don’t just taste great, but they also contain something called malic acid. Now, you probably have been told that acid is bad for your teeth, but this acid is different. Malic acid has natural whitening properties for your teeth enamel. The trick is that just eating these berries does very little to whiten your teeth. All whitening solutions, natural or not, need time to begin to have an effect on your teeth. The way to use strawberries to whiten your teeth is to mash them into a paste. Mix the pulp with a bit of baking soda, and you have an all-natural whitening solution. Just spread across your teeth, and wait for about five minutes before rinsing. NOTE: Strawberry seeds are very small and will get stuck in your teeth during this process. Be sure to rinse well afterward to rid your teeth of these little invaders.
- Coconut Oil – Have you ever heard of the practice of oil pulling? Probably not, but the practice has been around for more than 3,000 years. It comes from India and is a traditional Ayurvedic medical technique. Take about a single teaspoon of oil and swish it around your mouth. You should try and work your way up to about 20 minutes of swishing to get the most benefit from the practice, but 5-10 minutes can still be effective. Coconut oil has other benefits as well. Recent studies have shown that coconut oil can help treat mild gingivitis and bad breath. The oil actually draws the cells of the bacteria that cause gingivitis. The oil also draws out the cells of microorganisms responsible for halitosis (bad breath). This method has stood the test of time and may be worth a shot for you as well.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – This is not just for your coffee maker anymore. Apple cider vinegar has natural whitening properties that can help improve the look of your smile over time. There are two ways that apple cider vinegar can help whiten your teeth. The first is as an oral rinse. Dilute half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in one cup of water. Swish and gargle with the mixture in the mornings. The vinegar-water mix will help remove stains on your teeth over time and will also help remove bacteria from your mouth. If you can use it to effectively clean the coffeemaker only twice a year, it can definitely help your mouth. You can also use vinegar to make an at-home supplemental whitening toothpaste. Just mix the vinegar with baking soda, and use the resulting paste with a toothbrush. NOTE: Only use as much baking soda as you need to make the paste a usable consistency. Baking soda, when used in excess, can have a damaging effect on your tooth enamel.
- Lemon or Orange Peel – This may strike you as odd, considering the constant drumbeat from the dental community to avoid acidic foods (citric acid can be very harmful to your tooth enamel), but there is a whitening benefit to be had from lemon and orange peels. By rubbing the white side of the peel on your teeth, you will experience a whitening effect. This part of the peel contains a load of natural substances including vitamin C, pectin, and limonene. Limonene, in particular, is known to have natural whitening properties and is also a natural solvent. You can find limonene in household cleaners and whitening toothpastes. Be sure to rinse your mouth out after using the peel. Though the acid content of the peel isn’t even close to the level that the fruit itself has, it is always better to rinse and be safe than sorry.
Quick Tip To Actively Protect Your Smile Against Staining
Wine, juice, tea, and coffee are major contributors to stains on your teeth. Rinsing or brushing after drinking any of these beverages will help to minimize their impact on the look of your teeth. Call Dr. Boyle today to find out more about how to effectively whiten your teeth and get the smile you want. You can reach our Lancaster, CA office at 661-524-8457 to schedule your appointment. You can schedule online as well using our online form.