Even though we logically know that we don’t need pristine white teeth to be attractive, it’s hard to resist the lure of products that claim they can brighten and whiten your teeth in a few hours or days. It’s even harder to resist them when we know they can work – Crest WhiteStrips, for example, have a good reputation for actually making your teeth brighter and they’re very easy to use. Whitening toothpaste is also known to keep stains at bay. And I can’t be the only one who is inspired to buy a little mouth laser like the one Scott Disick is always Instagramming, right?
So, sure, all of these products work, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t downsides. When you use items like fast-acting WhiteStrips and such, some other side effects can sometimes come along with them, like irritated gums and a really uncomfortable feeling if your teeth are sensitive. On top of that, these products can get expensive AF. WhiteStrips are on the cheaper side, but those little lasers and an actual bleaching sesh? That costs serious cash! Plus, do you ever wonder what, exactly, is making your teeth so white in those things? Oral hygiene is more important than white teeth, so it’s important to consider all of that.
Sure, there many more important things than making your teeth look like a perfect row of Chiclet gum, but if teeth whitening makes you feel good about yourself, then you do you! But maybe, before you spend money on an item or start using something that might be slightly painful, you should try more natural methods. They don’t include added chemicals or anything else, you probably already have them in your kitchen, and they might have less side effects. Hey, they’re worth checking out! Here are a few natural ways to whiten your teeth that you should test before buying something new:
Baking Soda And Hydrogen PeroxideAs the active ingredient in over-the-counter, methods, you can use hydrogen peroxide to create your own mixture. Add a small amount to baking soda to mix a paste--make sure it's a thick paste and not too gritty, as the rough texture of the baking soda can damage your enamel. Use it once a day and give it some time before you see results. Image source: iStock
Apple Cider VinegarBrush with apple cider vinegar before your usual toothpaste on a regular basis. Though it may take more than a month to see results, this natural method also works to clean your gums. But beware: apple cider vinegar is not super pleasant to eat! Make sure you don't swallow any of it. Image source: iStock
Coconut OilThe many wonders of coconut oil have been praised for a few years now. One use is "oil pulling," which is the practice of swishing the oil around your mouth for five to 20 minutes daily. This is the best method for using coconut oil to whiten teeth, but you can also add a few drops to your toothbrush and just apply them as you brush your teeth. Again: coconut oil does not taste great on its own! Image source: iStock
Citrus PeelsLemon or orange peels have been reported to whiten your teeth because of their acidity. If you do rub your teeth with the citrus rinds, make sure to rinse off the additional acid afterward. Just be careful - if you have any cuts in your mouth, this is going to really hurt. Image source: iStock
BananasThe rich minerals in bananas--potassium, magnesium, and manganese--can be absorbed by your enamel and work to whiten them. You can rub your teeth with a banana peel after brushing, but the mix of mint and fruit might taste funny! Image source: iStock
StrawberriesThe high content of vitamin C in strawberries can break down plaque that's yellowing your teeth. Mash a few strawberries and add a pinch of salt and baking soda and apply the paste to your teeth. Rinse after sitting for five minutes, and repeat daily. Image source: iStock
CharcoalActivated charcoal is known for its detoxifying abilities, but it also has whitening benefits. Mix it with water and then apply to your teeth. Leave for two minutes before rinsing. We had editor Sara Hendricks try out this tip, so if you want more info on it, check out her post about it in that link. Image source: iStock
TurmericAlthough its yellow color may seem off putting, Turmeric is an astringent, which can remove plaque that yellows your teeth. Mix two parts turmeric with one part coconut oil and one part baking soda to combine many whitening elements for a DIY product. Our write Aliee tried this one out, so check out her review for more info! Image source: iStock
How do you whiten your teeth? Have you ever tried any of these methods? Let me know in the comments!