Natural Teeth Whitening. What Works, and What Doesn’t?admin November 16, 2018 0 COMMENTS
I’m of the opinion that the more we use natural products the better, and
whitening our teeth is no exception.
Most natural teeth whitening methods however, won’t give you the same results, or in as fast a time, as proprietary brand-name products. That’s just a fact. Otherwise we’d have no need for brand names at all.
What these types of treatments will do though, is complement your whitening regime. Myself, I’ve found that by using some of the methods outlined here I have been able to extend the time between treatments quite a bit. Lets face it, less whitening treatments equals less chemicals introduced into our bodies – and that can’t be a bad thing!
Anything that is absorbed or ingested into our bodies becomes a part of us, maybe for ever! Just think of all the chemical agents that have been produced over the years and certified as safe, only to later be found to have some long-term detrimental effect. Having said that, I’m willing to admit I still use proprietary treatments myself. I just use them as sparingly as I can and supplement with natural whitening treatments.
There’s a link here that will take you to a post on commercial teeth whitening methods.
Now let’s look at some Natural Teeth Whiteners
- Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar
As the name suggests, apple cider vinegar is produced by first fermenting crushed apples along with yeast to produce apple cider. This turns the sugars from the apples into alcohol. Bacteria are then added, which digest the alcohol and convert it into acetic acid. This is the main component of all vinegars.
In French, vinegar translates as “sour wine”.
Vinegar’s chief benefit as a teeth whitener is its antibiotic properties. (It was used as a medical antibiotic for centuries).
What you need to do is make a solution of one part cider vinegar to two parts water. After brushing and flossing, swish this solution around in your mouth for a minute or so and rinse.
One of the reasons our teeth become discolored is the unwanted and unhelpful bacteria that live in our mouths. This bacteria is hard to remove by brushing and the vinegar will kill off these bad bugs, while at the same time introducing some beneficial bacteria of its own. A win-win in my opinion.
Apple cider vinegar has a well-deserved reputation as a beneficial addition to our diet. (in moderation, of course) You can access a US Readers’ Digest report on some of those benefits from this link.
Just one note of caution though. A study published in the Journal of Sichuan University found that apple cider vinegar made cow’s teeth whiter, but weaker. I suspect the vinegar used would have been very strong, but if you’re unsure then talk to your dentist before trying this remedy.
- Charcoal Paste
Charcoal is one of natures superstars in the stain absorption stakes. Few substances can absorb surface stains with greater efficiency. However, there are some things we need to consider before giving it a go.
Firstly, it needs to be medical-grade activated charcoal, not the stuff retrieved from your fireplace.
Secondly, charcoal is highly abrasive, so if you were to brush with it you could easily strip away some of the enamel layer.
The best method for treating stained teeth with charcoal is to firstly mix up a paste of water and crushed activated charcoal tablets (these should be available from your local pharmacy or supermarket). You can then apply this paste gently to your teeth, and allow it to sit in place for three minutes or so, before rinsing thoroughly. (Hoping that your phone doesn’t ring in the meantime)
I’ve found this helps quite a bit, as a maintenance regime. Especially after a few dry reds the night before.
- Oil Pulling
No, it’s not what you may be thinking! Oil pulling is the name given to an ancient technique which definitely will improve your overall oral health and help to reduce plaque. There’s actually little or no clinical evidence of its teeth whitening prowess but there’s lots of anecdotal evidence.
There is also, however, no evidence of any harmful or negative effects. I’m including oil pulling here simply because it’s something else I found while doing my research.
If you want to give it a try, then swish a spoonful of coconut, sunflower or sesame oil around in your mouth for five minutes or more after brushing and flossing.
Personally, I’d be unsure about using sesame oil simply because of its strong taste, but if it floats your boat…
A 2016 study published in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice said oil pulling is “safe, natural, and has no side effects”.
Those who swear by it promise whiter teeth, less plaque, and fewer toxins in the body.
Now we’re talking! Strawberries are one of my favorite fruits, and when I found that they can help to whiten teeth I thought it was too good to be true.
Strawberries boast stain-busting malic acid, and they have become a commonly used natural remedy for stained teeth.
What you need to do is mix one mashed strawberry with some baking soda and brush gently for around five minutes. The malic acid and the baking soda will work together to dissolve tooth staining and leave your mouth feeling fresh. And the taste isn’t bad either!
Brush again afterwards with regular toothpaste and you’re done.
One Dr So Ran Kwon, of the University of Iowa, has been quoted as saying that this will make teeth look whiter by “removing plaque accumulation”.
- Eating Raw Foods
We all know the things we should be avoiding – coffee, red wine, tea etc. – but there are actually many foods that will clean your teeth as you eat them.
Crunchy foods such as carrots, celery, and so on are especially good when eaten raw. These are truly Nature’s toothbrushes. They will help to remove plaque with their rubbing action and the mild acids in most raw vegetables will also have a de-staining effect on your teeth.
It seems Grandma was really on the money after all when she said to eat an apple after a meal.
- Whitening toothpastes
While I realize I’m in danger of straying off the path of “natural teeth whiteners” here, I’ll just mention one type of whitening toothpaste that I think does fit the bill. Toothpaste with baking soda has, according to a US National Library of Medicine report, been shown to be ” relatively more effective in enhancing plaque removal from harder-to-reach areas of the dentition”. That’s medical-speak for “better at cleaning hard-to-reach places”.
Actually, baking soda toothpastes have been shown to be very effective at removing yellow tooth stain in many clinical tests. You should start to see results in two to six weeks.
I found this video on You Tube about how effective baking soda and lemon juice can be as a natural teeth whitener. Take a look. I’ll wait here for you.
- Cleaning Your Tongue
Strange as it may seem, paying your tongue attention after brushing can help to reduce teeth staining. Our mouth and tongue are literally teeming with bacteria that can, and will, eventually leech onto our teeth and could cause them to discolor.
Brush away these stain-causing nasties and be sure to rinse the bristles after each stroke.
You can buy tooth brushes these days with special rough backs designed for tongue cleaning.
Well, that’s a round-up of what I’ve been able to find out about natural teeth whiteners. If you know of any others that I’ve missed, please leave me a message below. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you like. I’ll read every email or message and get back to you.
Cheers for now,
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