Thinking about whitening your teeth probably brings to mind images of dentist’s chairs, lasers and intensive chemical treatments to get rid of unsightly stains and dullness. However, some people look for more natural ways to get their teeth white. If you have heard the buzz about natural teeth whitening, then you probably have a few questions about what the methods are and how well they work. Can you really get whiter teeth using natural remedies? If so, which remedies work and which don’t? Here is a rundown of some of the most popular teeth whitening methods that use natural ingredients. Read on to find out how to use them, how long they take to show results, and what those who actually tried them have said.
1. Activated Charcoal Paste
This whitening option has gotten a lot of buzz recently with online videos and posts showing a grinning model brushing a black paste onto her teeth. But does activated charcoal actually leave your teeth whiter when you rinse away all of that black powder?
- How you do it: You need to buy activated charcoal. A lot of places sell it nowadays, so it won’t be hard to get hold of. Combine the charcoal powder with some water to form a paste, and place the paste on a specially designated toothbrush (it’ll get pretty messy). Brush the paste on your teeth for a few minutes and then rinse out your mouth thoroughly, spitting out all of the charcoal paste.
- How long it takes: 1st Family Dental had one of their blogging contributors try it out, and she noticed her teeth were about a shade whiter after a full week of brushing them with activated charcoal.
- Does really it work?: Even though results are mixed for this method, many people do see modest improvements. Kimberly Harms, DDS, warns that one of the biggest concerns of brushing with activated charcoal is how abrasive it is because that can strip away the enamel you need to protect your teeth.
2. Coconut Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a fairly old method for keeping teeth and gums healthy. Recently, more natural beauty enthusiasts have begun using it to keep their teeth a bit whiter.
- How you do it: Buy good quality coconut oil, take a tablespoon or so and place it in your mouth. Then, slowly move it around ensuring to coat all of your teeth. Pull the oil through the spaces between your teeth and swish it across every surface. Finally, spit out the oil and rinse your mouth.
- How long it takes: Some people report seeing noticeably whiter or brighter teeth after the first time they try pulling coconut oil. Others see results after several days of using this method, but many users also report not really seeing much of a difference at all.
- Are there any issues?: It has been suggested that it can make some people feel a bit nauseous. This stomach issue has been reported by a few beauty bloggers who tried the oil pulling method. If you have a weak stomach, it might be best to opt for another method to get your teeth whiter.
3. Strawberry & Baking Soda Paste
It might seem surprising that a favourite summertime fruit could get your teeth whiter. Fans of this method claim that the malic acid that strawberries have can help get rid of any discolouration that you might have on your teeth.
- How you do it: Get a pack of strawberries and mash them together with baking soda until they combine to make a paste. Then, coat your teeth with the mixture (preferably with a toothbrush) and let it sit on your teeth for a few minutes. After about 5 minutes, rinse off the paste.
- How long it takes: It has been recommended by users to only brush with the strawberry paste once or twice a month, since the mixture can be pretty rough on the enamel that coat your teeth.
- Does really it work?: Crest challanges this claim, saying that it doesn’t work very well and the paste could even hurt your teeth because the seeds from the strawberries can get stuck in the tiny areas between your teeth.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
You think that apple cider vinegar is just for cooking? Think again! A lot of people have started using it to remove stains on their teeth and get them to a more uniform shade of white.
- How you do it: Buy apple cider vinegar at your grocery store and either rub it on your teeth or mix it with water and swish it around in your mouth.
- How long it takes: According to Colgate, it typically takes a few weeks for people to start seeing results when they use apple cider vinegar to whiten their teeth.
- Does really it work?: Most people do report seeing some improvement from gargling apple cider vinegar to get whiter teeth. It doesn’t hurt that apple cider vinegar has also been reported to have some significant positive impacts on the rest of your mouth health – even killing the bacteria that might cause gum disease.
Choosing the right method for you
There are even more natural tooth whitening options out there right now than we could pack into this list. These are just a few of the most popular and most talked about methods that we thought you should know about. Remember, it is always important to talk to your dentist before using any new teeth whitening or dental care routine. They will be able to help you figure out if your teeth are strong enough to be whitened, and if the method you choose is the one that is best for you. They can also help you to figure out if there are any potential drawbacks or negative side effects to the method that you are considering. However, some natural methods are just what the dentist would suggest. So get ready to start seeing whiter teeth using ingredients you might already have at home by using one of these natural teeth whitening methods!