Teeth Whitening Home Remedies: What You Should Know

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - geralt

Looking for natural ways to whiten your teeth? In this article, we’ll introduce some of the most popular natural teeth whitening home remedies and explain what to watch for.

We often equate sparkling white teeth with good health and beauty – regardless of age. Unfortunately, not all us were blessed with naturally white teeth at birth. The color of your teeth is simply unique to you.

Teeth whitening home remedies are often touted as a great way to brighten up your teeth without the expensive bleaching products – some of which are known to contain microplastics. Other natural remedies don’t live up to their reputation. And some can even damage your teeth.

Teeth Whitening Home Remedies: Lemons and Strawberries

Teeth whitening home remedies strawberries lemons
So how exactly does a bright red strawberry whiten your teeth? (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Louis Hansel @shotsoflouis)

Lemons and strawberries are said to be natural ways to whiten teeth. For a whitening effect, cut a lemon open or purée strawberries and rub onto your teeth. After you’ve applied this natural teeth whitener, your teeth will actually look brighter at first. The acid from the fruit will remove any discoloration from your teeth.

However, fructic acid dissolves the enamel on your teeth and can eventually lead to tooth decay. In order to protect your tooth enamel, you should steer clear this teeth whitening home remedy.

Natural Ways to Whiten Teeth: Baking Soda and Baking Powder

Baking soda and baking powder are two of the most popular home remedies for whitening teeth. For this method, you apply the powder to a damp toothbrush and brush your teeth as you would normally. Because the granules do not dissolve, you’re essentially “sanding” down your teeth. This removes any deposits from your teeth, which makes them look brighter after use.

However, by sanding your teeth, you’re also damaging the enamel at the same time. This abrasive form of cleaning roughens your teeth and thus creates an ideal surface for dirt and colored particles to stick to. In the long run, your teeth will be more prone to discoloration.

In short: Baking soda and baking powder do not deliver on their natural whitening promise and damage your tooth enamel – two good reasons not to add this method to your list of natural ways to whiten teeth.

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Natural Teeth Whitening: Swishing Oil

Coconut oil swishing whiten teeth naturally
Coconut oil is popular among home remedies for whitening teeth. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Tijana Drndarski)

Unlike the other home remedies for teeth whitening, swishing oil does not harm your teeth. This natural teeth whitening method has you swish vegetable oil (about a tablespoon) around in your mouth for about 20 minutes and then rinse.

This recipe is actually an Ayurvedic cleansing method that is supposed to detoxify the body. Whiter teeth are said to be a pleasant side effect. Whether or not oil extraction actually succeeds in whitening teeth has not been proven.

Natural Teeth Whitening Home Remedies

Since most of the natural home remedies which promise teeth whitening results actually attack your tooth enamel, we recommend avoiding these altogether. Enamel is the protective layer of your teeth, underneath it lies the yellower layer of dentine. As your enamel shrinks, your teeth not only become more yellow, but also more sensitive.

If you really want to maintain healthy, clean teeth, you should prevent tooth discoloration as much as possible. Keep your teeth clean and healthy the natural way and you’ll have no need for whitening products which damage your enamel.

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How to Avoid Tooth Discoloration

avoid teeth whitening home remedies
Practice proper dental hygiene and you won’t ever even need any teeth whitening home remedies. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - kjerstin_michaela)
  • The absolute best way to maintain healthy, white teeth is brushing your teeth regularly – preferably three times a day for three minutes at a time. You should also be sure to clean the spaces between your teeth with dental floss or special brushes. Replace your toothbrush at least every three months to prevent bacteria growth.
  • Coffee and tea contain a lot of coloring agents that like to deposit on your teeth. Quitting coffee and avoiding these drinks can help prevent discoloration. If you simply can’t go without your cold brew coffee in the morning, you can try mixing it with milk. Milk binds with the color particles and prevents them from settling on your teeth.
  • Red wine also contains many dark pigments that easily settle on your teeth. It may help to rinse your mouth with water after drinking wine.
  • Sugar is bad for the teeth – everybody knows that. It dissolves tooth enamel and leaves your teeth prone to debris buildup and discoloration. How about trying out some well-known sugar substitutes instead?
  • Your teeth turn yellow very quickly if they are regularly exposed to cigarette smoke. Smoking damages you and the environment and makes your teeth look bad – so drop the cigarettes.

These tips can help you prevent discoloration – an even better approach than teeth whitening home remedies.

Don’t Skip the Dentist

Even if you steer clear of all these unfriendly things and brush your teeth regularly, you should still go to the dentist twice a year. Your dentist will determine whether your teeth are healthy and will advise you to have your teeth professionally cleaned if necessary. Professional teeth cleaning gently dissolves plaque and cleans your teeth.

This article was translated from German to English by Evan Binford. You can view the original here: Zähne bleichen: Das taugen die bekanntesten Hausmittel

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