4 Simple Ways To Naturally Whiten Teeth

African American man smiling outside white teethThe desired smile that many people wish to have looks like this: straight teeth and brilliantly white. Everywhere we look dazzling white teeth are smiling back at us. From celebrities, people we see on the news and other public figures, we are surrounded by this “perfect smile”. So, what if your smile isn’t “perfect”?

There are several factors that play part in why teeth become discolored: age, smoking habits and eating habits. The nicotine in cigarettes leaves brown residue that soak into the teeth’s surface, leaving a brownish tint on the teeth and gums. The most common foods that stain the teeth include coffee, tea, red wine, carrots and other deeply colored foods and beverages. Foods that are highly acidic, such as vinegar and citrus fruits, cause discoloration by enamel erosion.

As we begin to age, our teeth naturally gain a cast ranging from yellow to brown as a result of years of accumulation. In the 20s, it begins as a yellow cast which is easy to whiten. By the 40s, the teeth have a brown cast which becomes a little more difficult to treat. By the 50s, it is significantly more difficult to treat the teeth.

There are several methods for brightening teeth, but in order to determine which to use you need to know the difference between whitening and bleaching. “Whitening” works to restore teeth to their natural, brightest surface color by removing stains and debris. “Bleaching” works to whiten teeth beyond their natural surface color. These products include bleach (hydrogen peroxide or carbide peroxide), per the Consumer Guide to Dentistry.

In most cases, people seek help from a dental professional to brighten their smile. These treatments can range anywhere from $100-$800 per visit. Luckily, there are several simple, natural remedies that are used to brighten teeth.

Coconut oil. Coconut oil has many uses and a popular beauty us is “oil pulling”. With this method, you swish coconut oil around in your mouth, “pulling” in between your teeth, for about 20 minutes. Do this daily. In addition to reportedly helping to whiten teeth, coconut oil’s antibacterial properties make it a great protectant for your gums.

Citrus fruit peels. Citrus foods, such as oranges and lemons, have acidic properties in their peels that help remove stains on the teeth and whiten them. When using acids, be sure not to use too often because the enamel on the teeth can wear away if used too aggressively. After applying the peels, be sure to rinse your mouth with water or a hydrogen peroxide oral rinse.