When you smile, the whole world stops and stares for a while, sings Bruno Mars. Of course, if your pearly whites are as pearly and white as they should be, you have one beauty woe less. But therein lies the problem – for most of us, those pearly whites are not as white as they should be or just not white at all.
What Causes Yellow Teeth?
There are various factors that cause teeth to turn yellow. This includes genetics, the food and drink we consume, and our oral hygiene. While some food and drinks directly stain the teeth, ultimately it is the breakdown of enamel that causes teeth discoloration. So even as we try out various natural and easy teeth whitening methods, care should be taken to strengthen the enamel.
How To Get Whiter Teeth
While there are various over-the-counter products as well as whitening treatments available, most of them use chemicals that can harm tooth and tooth enamel and create tooth sensitivity problems. There are also many habits you can avoid to keep your teeth from getting discolored or stained. Another option is the various home remedies that provide good results. From munching on foods such as celery, apples, pears, and carrots to chewing sugarless gum, many of the home remedies center on triggering saliva production in the mouth – a good way to neutralize the acid that causes tooth decay as well as wash away food debris on the teeth.
We have put together a few trusted teeth whitening methods that can easily be done at home:
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a mild abrasive. It is this abrasiveness that helps remove the stains and plaque from the teeth and whiten it. And all this, in just a few minutes.1
Note: Baking soda can wear down the protective enamel on your teeth. So, use it only once or twice a week for whitening results.
- Wipe your teeth dry with a towel. Wet your toothbrush, dip it in some baking soda, and brush as normal. You should brush for about 3 minutes.
- You can also use baking soda along with your regular toothpaste and brush your teeth.
- Mix baking soda with hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. Then use it to brush your teeth.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide
It is the bleaching properties of hydrogen peroxide that help whiten teeth.2 Hydrogen peroxide oxidizes the organic (living) matrix under the teeth enamel, bleaching them of their color.3
Note: Prolonged exposure to hydrogen peroxide can lead to damage of oral tissues.
It does not cause any significant changes in tooth enamel and is a completely safe method to try out for fast teeth whitening. The only thing to keep in mind is to not swallow the product.
- Take the hydrogen peroxide solution in a small container, dip a clean face cloth in the liquid, then use the soaked cloth to gently rub your teeth.
- Dip your toothbrush in the hydrogen peroxide solution and use it to brush your teeth.
Strawberries contain folic acid that helps in cleaning and exfoliating the teeth. This makes the teeth look cleaner and whiter. It also has vitamin C which can help break down plaque. The malic acid in strawberry also helps provide some amount of bleaching to the teeth.4
- Munch on a couple of strawberries for dessert.
- Mash a strawberry and mix it with some baking soda to make a natural whitening toothpaste.
- Chop the berry into halves and use it to brush your teeth.
- Mash up a strawberry and use it to brush your teeth for 1 minute.
- Another recipe involving strawberries also uses sea salt. The sea salt provides abrasiveness to scrub out stains. Mash three strawberries into a pulp and add a pinch of sea salt. Wipe any extra saliva off your teeth with a paper towel, and then apply a generous portion of the mixture all over your teeth. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then rinse. Do this every night.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is believed to help remove stains from teeth. Though it might not yield instant results, apple cider vinegar is a healthy organic method that will help restore teeth whiteness over regular use.5 There are many other benefits of apple cider vinegar for your teeth and gums.
- Combine 1 part apple cider vinegar with 2 parts water. Swish the solution around for about 2 minutes every morning after your regular oral care.
- Mix 1 part of baking soda with 2 parts apple cider vinegar. Use this to brush your teeth.
- Apply apple cider vinegar directly on the teeth and rinse after a few minutes.
id="banana-rind">5. Banana Rind
Another easy to use home treatment to get whiter teeth is to use banana rinds. Bananas are packed with nutrients, even in their peels. Nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, manganese, sodium, iron, and sulfur are some of the nutrients and minerals present in bananas.6 Banana rind works by absorbing the bacteria and microbes on the teeth, thus making the teeth whiter.
Take a ripe banana and rub the inner part of the peel on your teeth for 2 minutes. Then rinse off with water. Repeat twice a day.7
6. Coconut Oil/Oil Pulling
One of the best and easiest ways to get white teeth naturally is to opt for oil pulling. And oil pulling with coconut oil is probably one of the best ways to whiten your teeth at home.8 This is because the lauric acid in coconut oil helps break down the bacteria responsible for the yellowing of teeth. Studies have shown that oil pulling has the ability to reduce plaque and gingivitis.9
Since oil pulling is safe to do on a regular basis, you can do it every day along with your regular oral care routine. You can also opt for sesame oil as this too is believed to be highly beneficial for dental health.10
- Oil pulling: As soon as you wake up, swish a tablespoon of oil in the mouth on an empty stomach for 20 minutes and spit the content out. This can be followed by regular brushing.
- Soak a clean piece of cloth in the oil and rub your teeth with it. Repeat procedure each day until desired results are achieved.
- Refrigerate the coconut oil. Use this slightly thickened coconut oil and brush your teeth with it every day.
7. Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent substance that is capable of absorbing and expelling toxins from our body, internally as well as externally.11
Activated charcoal does this without getting absorbed into the body itself. When it comes to whitening teeth, it works by binding the plaque and microscopic titbits that stain the teeth onto it and flushing them out. It also absorbs bad odors and bacteria and works as a disinfectant.12
Note: Activated charcoal is likely to stain crowns, caps, or porcelain veneers. If your teeth become sensitive, stop using it.
- Wet a toothbrush and dip it in powdered activated charcoal. Brush teeth as normal for up to 2 minutes, rinse mouth thoroughly till the spit is clear.
- Add some water to powdered charcoal to make a thick paste, dip brush into this paste and brush teeth as normal for 2 minutes. Rinse mouth thoroughly till spit is clear. Repeat the process 2 to 3times a week.
Most of these methods are slow and gentle and safe on the teeth. However, some of the treatment methods that use acidic products can be too strong for daily use. Eventually, the acids create tiny holes in the teeth, and then every kind of staining type food will seep into these tiny holes and remain there. Remember to always rinse your mouth with regular water after using any of these products.
Your Doubts Answered
|↑1||Putt, Mark S., Kimberly R. Milleman, Annahita Ghassemi, Linda M. Vorwerk, William J. Hooper, Pramod M. Soparkar, Anthony E. Winston, and Howard M. Proskin. “Enhancement of plaque removal efficacy by tooth brushing with baking soda dentifrices: results of five clinical studies.” Journal of Clinical Dentistry 19, no. 4 (2008): 111.|
|↑2||McLaughlin, Gerald. “Accelerated method and instrumentation for whitening teeth.” U.S. Patent 6,440,396, issued August 27, 2002.|
|↑3||Eimar, Hazem, Ryan Siciliano, Mohamed-Nur Abdallah, Samer Abi Nader, Wala M. Amin, Pedro-Pablo Martinez, Alicia Celemin, Marta Cerruti, and Faleh Tamimi. “Hydrogen peroxide whitens teeth by oxidizing the organic structure.” Journal of dentistry 40 (2012): e25-e33.|
|↑4||Afrin, Sadia, Massimiliano Gasparrini, Tamara Y. Forbes-Hernandez, Patricia Reboredo-Rodriguez, Bruno Mezzetti, Alfonso Varela-López, Francesca Giampieri, and Maurizio Battino. “Promising health benefits of the strawberry: a focus on clinical studies.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 64, no. 22 (2016): 4435-4449.|
|↑5, ↑8||Karimi, M. “Grandma remedies and herbal medicines for relieving toothache.”|
|↑6||Anhwange, B. A., T. J. Ugye, and T. D. Nyiaatagher. “Chemical composition of Musa sapientum (banana) peels.” Electronic Journal of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Chemistry 8, no. 6 (2009): 437-442.|
|↑7||Majumdar, Shivprasad H., Nayana V. Pimpodkar, and Tejashree A. Ghadge. “Devising an economical water purification unit using bio-adsorbent.”|
|↑9||Amith, H. V., Anil V. Ankola, and L. Nagesh. “Effect of oil pulling on plaque and gingivitis.” J Oral Health Community Dent 1, no. 1 (2007): 12-18.|
|↑10||An, T. Durai, C. Pothiraj, R. M. Gopinath, and B. Kayalvizhi. “Effect of oil-pulling on dental caries causing bacteria.” African Journal of Microbiology Research 2, no. 3 (2008): 63-66.|
|↑11||Neuvonen, Pertti J., and Klaus T. Olkkola. “Oral activated charcoal in the treatment of intoxications.” Medical toxicology and adverse drug experience 3, no. 1 (1988): 33-58.|
|↑12||Owens, David M. “Therapeutic chew device for cleaning teeth and breath of dogs.” U.S. Patent 6,050,224, issued April 18, 2000.|