We all want a white, glowing smile revealing perfect, pearly teeth. However, finding the best method to whiten them can be challenging. With all the different teeth whitening remedies available online and at the drugstore, it only gets more confusing. Quick, at-home teeth whitening products are not one-size-fits-all, and many home treatments aren’t the safest.
The causes of yellowed or stained teeth are numerous. From getting older, your genetic makeup, the foods you eat, and whether you smoke, many things affect the color of your teeth. Instead of using traditional bleaching remedies to combat this—like whitening strips, mouth guards, foams, and gels—we recommend going all-natural. Natural teeth whitening remedies are safer, easier to use, and have other benefits.
Let’s review the ins and outs of pricey and potentially damaging at-home teeth whitening products vs. healthy and natural methods of brightening your smile.
Are At-Home Teeth Whitening Remedies Safe?
For the most part, teeth whitening is safe, but there can be a few unwanted side effects of using teeth whitening products too often or improperly or using harmful at-home methods. That’s why it’s first important to talk to a dentist about your options and do your research.
Improper teeth whitening could cause:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Gum irritation
- Increased risk of tooth fracture
- Loss of protective tooth enamel
- Patchy results
A few at-home teeth whitening remedies that can damage your teeth include activated charcoal, which is highly abrasive and can damage the enamel of your teeth and cause tooth erosion, and wood ash, which contains potassium hydroxide that can prove harmful to your teeth.
Popular Methods of Natural Teeth Whitening at Home
Instead of hopping on the latest at-home teeth whitening craze, stick to some tried and true methods to eliminate that unwanted yellow color. Here are a few natural teeth whitening methods to try on for size.
1. Add fruits to your diet.
A simple change in your diet can improve the color of your smile. When you snack on crunchy, raw fruits, plaque rubs away from your teeth, but there are also a few specific fruits that have been proven to show whitening results.
- Strawberries: When combined with baking soda, the malic acid in strawberries will remove discoloration on your teeth.
- Pineapple: While no studies have been done on the effects of eating pineapple on whiter teeth, one study found that bromelain, an enzyme in pineapples, could help remove tooth stains.
Besides the delicious taste and whitening properties that many fruits can have on your teeth, they’re also part of a healthy diet, leading to better results for your whole body.
2. Remove staining foods from your diet.
Similar to adding good foods into your diet, it’s also important to remove bad ones. We all know that coffee and wine stain our teeth over time. If you’re looking for a significant change quickly in the color of your teeth, simply take these things out of the equation. Slowly ween yourself off your cup of joe in the morning, or try a healthier substitute to get your jolt in the morning.
3. Try oil pulling.
Oil pulling involves swishing oil around the mouth and using it like a mouthwash. Research has shown that oil pulling with specific oils—coconut, sunflower, and sesame—may help whiten teeth.
- To try this method: rinse your mouth with oil for about 20 minutes after brushing, then spit all the oil out.
4. Brush with baking soda.
While brushing your teeth with plain baking soda has not been proven to whiten your smile, several studies show that toothpaste containing the ingredient does. More research needs to be done on its effects when used alone, but many people have seen its benefits from continued use.
- To try this method: Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of water to brush with a few times per week.
5. Brush with hydrogen peroxide.
Many of the more in-depth teeth whitening products use hydrogen peroxide as a powerful bleaching agent to whiten teeth. Once again, no studies have looked into the effects of brushing with hydrogen peroxide alone, but many show the benefits when it’s included in a specific product. But use caution—high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide or overuse of this chemical can cause those unwanted effects of tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.
- To try this method: Use a 1.5% or 3% hydrogen peroxide solution as a mouthwash before you brush your teeth, or mix it with baking soda to make toothpaste. To mix, combine two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with one teaspoon of baking soda and gently brush your teeth with the mixture.
Anders Dental is a holistic dentistry provider serving WNC with personalized and customized patient care. Contact us today if you want to work with our team on your natural teeth whitening journey. You deserve pearly whites!