There are plenty of teeth whitening products available at any retailer that carries personal care products, including toothpaste, strips, gel pens, and even UV light devices.
However, you may have wondered if these products are safe or if there are less expensive at-home treatment alternatives.
If you’re curious about exploring other options, you’re in luck.
Let’s discuss a few of the most popular methods of naturally whitening your teeth at home.
1. Baking Soda Paste
Baking soda is a naturally occurring ingredient initially used in the kitchen because it helps bread and other goods to rise in the oven. But it’s also useful for many different household and homeopathic healthcare reasons.
Formally known as sodium bicarbonate, baking soda has been used to treat heartburn, as a deodorant, help relieve itchy skin, and whiten teeth.
Mix baking soda with warm, purified water until you perform a paste, and brush gently for a minute or two to whiten teeth.
Because baking soda has abrasive properties, it’s effective in removing stains. But don’t use this paste more than once or twice per week to avoid damaging the protective layer of enamel that guards your teeth against decay.
2. Hydrogen Peroxide Rinse
Most likely, you’ve noticed hydrogen peroxide in first aid kits and medical practices due to its effectiveness in treating wounds.
What you might not know? Hydrogen peroxide can also be a natural alternative to chemical teeth whitening products when used as a rinse.
The recipe is simple. Just mix one-half of a tablespoon hydrogen peroxide with about eight ounces of water, mix, and use just as you would any other mouthwash.
Never swish with hydrogen peroxide alone, as higher concentrations can do more harm than good.
3. Prevent Teeth Grinding
Most people aren’t even aware of how frequently they grind their teeth. It can happen due to stress during the day or at night while you’re sleeping.
Teeth grinding (bruxism) has the potential to cause severe and painful issues with jaw and tooth alignment. Over time, however, it erodes the layer of enamel that protects your teeth and gums from disease and discoloration.
To reduce unintentional teeth grinding, try stress relief techniques, reduce caffeine, get sufficient sleep, and consider using a custom mouth guard.
4. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is rooted in the Ayurvedic medical practices of ancient India. The process involves placing one tablespoon of coconut, sesame, or olive oil in the mouth and swishing it around for about 20 minutes before spitting it out.
Including teeth whitening properties, advocates also tout benefits such as removing toxins from the body and eliminating the harmful bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.
While thousands of people worldwide swear by oil pulling to maintain oral health, the effects have not yet been scientifically proven and are not a replacement for brushing and flossing.
5. Oral Health Care
Brushing and flossing your teeth is not a revolutionary hack. But it is one of the most important ways to whiten your teeth at home over time.
Be consistent: tempting as it may be to skip a complete dental health routine when you’re rushing in the morning or exhausted in the evening, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
Brush and floss your teeth twice daily to remove the bacteria, plaque, and food or beverage residue that causes yellowing and stains.
6. Dietary Changes
It’s common knowledge that certain beverages like coffee, tea, red wine, and soda pop can cause stains.
However, moderating these drinks may not be enough to fight tooth discoloration.
Refined carbohydrates and sugar allow harmful bacteria to proliferate and cause the excess buildup of plaque, which turns teeth yellow and puts you at a greater risk for conditions like cavities or gum disease.
Some examples of foods containing refined carbohydrates include:
- White Bread, Bagels, and Tortillas
- White Rice
- Non-Whole Grain Cereal
- Most Pastries, Cakes, and Baked Sweets
Although there is no need to eliminate refined baked goods and pasta from your diet completely, opt for fresh, crunchy fruits and vegetables as soon as possible. These foods are better for your overall health and help remove plaque buildup instead of promoting bacterial growth.
Tooth discoloration can impact your self-confidence or even indicate a risk for dental health issues that may require painful, expensive treatments in the future.
If you’re noticing yellow or stained teeth, it’s not too late to take action. Try these tips, but don’t overdo any one treatment (including over-the-counter whitening options).
As always, if you’re not sure whether an at-home and natural treatment method is safe for you personally, consult your dentist.