Lots of everyday foods and drinks can stain our teeth, including coffee, tea, red wine, and dark berries. Below are four natural remedies that may be helpful in making those pearly whites a little bit brighter. Although not clinically proven to be effective, they are inexpensive, gentle on teeth, and may be worth a try.
Oil pulling: Oil pulling has been done for centuries around the world, and it’s just now becoming popular in America. Simply take one tablespoon of sesame, sunflower, or coconut oil, and gently swish it between your teeth for 5 to 20 minutes. As the oil runs over the surfaces of your teeth, it gently works to pull away stains and leftover food.
Baking soda: Baking soda is a great low-cost way to whiten teeth. Mix one part baking soda with one part water, and make a paste. Spread the paste over your toothbrush, then brush for one minute. Follow this up by brushing with your normal toothpaste. You should notice a difference after a few weeks.
Strawberries: Believe it or not, strawberries contain a special compound that has been shown to whiten teeth. Start by mashing one or two fresh strawberries. Mix in a little bit of baking soda to make a paste. Spread the paste over your teeth and leave on for 3-5 minutes. Another option is to simply bite into a big strawberry and hold it between your teeth for a few minutes each day.
Charcoal: Activated charcoal is a messy powder, so the best way to use it is to buy capsules, and use one at a time. Mix the charcoal and some water in a small bowl, then dip your toothbrush into the paste. Brush for ~1 minute. The charcoal acts like a very fine scrub, polishing your teeth and removing stains. Warning: it will turn your mouth jet black, but don’t worry. Charcoal washes away easily, leaving your teeth looking whiter and feeling super smooth!
Because these methods are not as harsh as many store-bought whiteners, expect them to take longer to make a difference. You won’t see results overnight, but with daily use, you might see a brighter smile in as little as a few weeks! Talk to your Dentist if you have questions about whitening your teeth.