About 18 percent of people report “usually concealing their teeth in photos,” many due to being embarrassed over the yellow appearance of their teeth.Having great teeth is very important in our culture today — hence the growing number of people using white strips at home or turning to professional in-office whitening treatments. Your teeth are some of the first things people notice; they’re a sign of health as well as confidence. When making a first impression, most worry about having aged, crooked or discolored teeth, which can send a signal that you don’t really care about yourself.
The sad truth is that some people, no matter how many times they brush their teeth, have stained teeth from habits like drinking coffee or tea and/or smoking. Oftentimes yellow- or brown-tinted teeth can also point to a larger problem: unhealthy gums, thinning enamel and overall poor dental hygiene.
How to whiten your teeth naturally
Brush After Drinking or Eating
The best way to whiten your teeth naturally, however not always the easiest, is to simply brush your teeth after eating or drinking something. This takes a lot of persistence and can even be kind of difficult depending on where you are at the time of eating (such as work or school).
Avoiding smoking cigarettes, drinking too much coffee and/or soda, improving your oral hygiene overall, and eating a healthy diet also help prevent yellow teeth. If you do regularly drink staining beverages, do so through a straw and try to cut back. Try to drink more plain water after eating or drinking something staining or acidic to help reduce the negative effects.
Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is an antibacterial agent and works great as a total mouth and gum cleaner and keeps the mouth free of germs. A good oral mouth rinse can be made using hydrogen peroxide; use half water and half hydrogen peroxide, swish around in your mouth for about one minute, and then rinse. Research shows hydrogen peroxide keeps breath fresh by eliminating bad bacteria due to acting as a natural antiseptic/antibacterial agent.
Coconut Oil Pulling
Can it be true? Coconut oil to clean your teeth? Just when you thought you heard it all when it comes to coconut oil, along comes the news that coconut oil pulling can serve as a natural teeth whitener. Some people attest to their teeth becoming whiter and overall healthier by applying coconut oil to their teeth after they brush, and most people praise the results of oil pulling.
Simply put a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it between your teeth for five to 20 minutes, or add a few drops to your toothbrush and brush it on. Another option is to apply coconut oil to a corner of a clean washcloth and rub it on the teeth. A bonus regarding coconut pulling? Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties so it’s great for protecting and cleaning your gums as well.
Apple Cider Vinegar
It makes sense that apple cider vinegar (ACV), which effectively works as a natural antibiotic and teeth/gum cleanser, would also be able to remove stubborn stains on the teeth. ACV is especially helpful for removing stains due to common culprits like coffee and nicotine (smoking). Studies suggest that for many with dark stains it even works just as well as commercial products as a natural teeth whitener. No wonder some report that after using ACV it looks like you just got your teeth professionally cleaned.
The key to using ACV for teeth whitening is to be consistent, using it for at least a month continuously in order to see the best results. However, be careful, as with all acids, it can remove the enamel on your teeth if you brush too hard or use too much. After brushing with ACV, you need to brush again with regular toothpaste, preferably a non-fluoride paste, or rinse your mouth out well. Take your finger and rub apple cider vinegar on your teeth for about one minute. Then rinse your mouth out with water or a hydrogen peroxide rinse.
Similarly to apple cider vinegar, some swear that using citrus fruits — including lemon and/or orange peels, or lemon essential oil, which contain beneficial acids — also does the trick for whitening teeth. These foods overall are very healthy, such as benefiting digestion due to regulating levels of stomach acid, but the high acid content can also eventually wear away the enamel on the teeth if used too aggressively. Like with ACV, if you use lemon or orange peel on your teeth always rinse your mouth afterward to be on the safe side. Use the hydrogen peroxide oral rinse formula described above for best results.