When it comes to smiling, are you embarrassed to show your teeth? Do they look yellowish brown from drinking coffee or tea? You shouldn’t have to shy away from conversations because your self conscious of your smile. But not everyone wants to use the peroxide bleach solutions from the dentist office. Is in office whitening effective? Yes. Does it harm your teeth? No. Are there other more natural options that effectively whiten your teeth? Yes. More and more people are looking to natural remedies they can do at home to brighten their smiles. Let’s look at 5 ways you can naturally brighten your smile.
1. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is the process of swishing either coconut oil, avocado oil, sesame oil or sunflower oil in the mouth for 5 to 20 minutes. The process comes from an ancient Indian tradition. The oils are naturally antimicrobial. Toxins are drawn out from the teeth and gums which improves the appearance of your gums, prevents decay and brightens your smile. There are no negative side effects from using any of the oils. There are also many studies showing oil pulling is just as effective as using a prescription mouth rinse to treat gingivitis.
2. Baking Soda & Salt
Baking soda is a safe and gentle natural cleanser. When you mix 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda with 1/2 teaspoon of table salt it becomes a powerful stain remover for your teeth. You can brush once a day to remove surface stains with the baking soda and salt mixture. Many people think that baking soda is abrasive, however it is actually much less abrasive than whitening toothpastes sold in stores.
3. Orange Oil
Orange oil is made from the peel of oranges which contains the compound d-limonene. D-limonene is anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant. Simply place 2 drops of orange oil onto your dry toothbrush and brush for 2 minutes. You will instantly noticed whiter teeth. A 2010 study reported a significant reduction in tobacco stains after brushing twice a day for 2 minutes with toothpaste containing 5% d-limonene.
Turmeric is another natural remedy that has been around for thousands of years. It is anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial. Even though turmeric is known for its bright yellow color, the compound curcumin is known for it’s whitening properties. Simply mix 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric with 1/4 teaspoon of melted coconut oil and use it as a toothpaste. For better results leave the mixture on your teeth for 5 minutes and then brush off with water.
View this post on Instagram
Turmeric-based Whitening 😬 At Linden Dental Care, we are always striving to find options that fit every patient. We have a homeopathic, turmeric-based whitening method that is easy, effective, and safe for everyone, including women who are expecting a baby and would like to avoid bleaching. #turmeric #whitening #turmericwhitening #prosthodontist #beverlyhills #dds #ucla #whiten #smile #homeopathic #pregnant #women #dentist
5. Activated Charcoal
Brushing with black charcoal can seem a bit frightening. But activated charcoal absorbs impurities and stains from the enamel. It works very well (sometimes too well) and can cause damage to the enamel or root surfaces by abrading them while brushing. It is recommended to only brush with activated charcoal once a week to reduce the risk doing more harm than good. You will notice a brighter whiter smile after using activated charcoal.
Bonus: Does Coconut Oil Whiten Teeth?
A very common question that many home remedy aficionados have is “does coconut oil whiten teeth”. The complicated answer is “it depends”.
While coconut oil does contain lauric acid, which is known for its antimicrobial properties and could theoretically help to remove bacteria that contribute to tooth discoloration, there is currently limited scientific evidence to fully support the claim that oil pulling with coconut oil will effectively whiten teeth.
We don’t know much about the technique behind it, but we do know that the American Dental Association (ADA) has expressed skepticism about oil pulling due to the lack of solid scientific evidence supporting its benefits. The ADA currently recommends traditional oral health strategies, such as brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily, for maintaining oral hygiene and preventing dental disease.
So, while some people may find that their teeth appear whiter after using coconut oil, this effect is not guaranteed, and it’s important to continue practicing good oral hygiene habits and have regular check-ups with a dental professional.
While all of these natural whitening remedies will naturally whiten teeth and give you a noticeably whiter smile we do recommend consulting the dentist to ensure the health of your teeth and gums. See Dental Design twice a year for a hygiene maintenance visit and examination by the doctor.