Our culture is becoming increasingly fascinated with white teeth. With ‘news’ stories in front of us everyday showing us celebrities with their shiny, white teeth, it seems that so many of us these days want to have an ultra white smile too. In today’s article on how to naturally whiten your teeth, we will detail several strategies that we have researched and deem to be safe for long-term use. We will also provide some ‘supercharged’ strategies to provide extra whitening support without the potential risks associated with whitening (bleaching) treatments.
1. Brush With Baking Soda
Baking soda has natural whitening properties, which is why it’s a popular ingredient in commercial toothpaste. It’s a mild abrasive that can help scrub away surface stains on teeth. Additionally, baking soda creates an alkaline environment in your mouth, which prevents bacteria from growing. This is not a remedy that will whiten your teeth overnight, but you should notice a difference in the appearance of your teeth over time.
Science has not yet proven that brushing with plain baking soda will whiten your teeth, but several studies show that toothpaste with baking soda has a significant whitening effect. One study found that kinds of toothpaste containing baking soda were significantly more effective at removing yellow stains from teeth than standard kinds of toothpaste without baking soda. The higher the concentration of baking soda, the greater the effect.
To use this remedy, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water and brush your teeth with the paste. You can do this a few times per week.
Brushing with a paste made with baking soda and water can reduce bacteria in your mouth and buff away surface stains.
2. Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries as a disinfectant and natural cleaning product. Acetic acid, which is the main active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, effectively kills bacteria. The antibacterial property of vinegar is what makes it useful for cleaning your mouth and whitening your teeth.
The acetic acid in vinegar has the potential to erode the enamel on your teeth. For this reason, you should not use apple cider vinegar every day. You should also limit the amount of time that apple cider vinegar is in contact with your teeth. To use it as a mouthwash, dilute it with water and swish it around in your mouth for several minutes. Make sure to rinse your mouth with plain water afterward.
Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that may help whiten your teeth. However, overuse of vinegar can also erode the enamel on your teeth, so limit its use to a few times per week.
Whitening your teeth with a strawberry and baking soda mixture is a natural remedy that has been made popular by celebrities. Proponents of this method claim that the malic acid found in strawberries will remove discoloration on your teeth, while the baking soda will buff away stains. However, this remedy has not been completely backed up by science.
While strawberries may help exfoliate your teeth and make them appear whiter, they are unlikely to penetrate the stains on your teeth.
If you decide to give this method a try, limit its use to a few times per week. Despite studies showing that a strawberry and baking soda paste had a minimal effect on tooth enamel, excessive use could cause damage. To use this remedy, smash up a fresh strawberry, combine it with baking soda and brush the mixture on your teeth.
How To Prevent Tooth Stains Before They Happen
Your teeth naturally yellow as you age, but there are some things you can do to prevent stains on your teeth.
1. Limit Staining Foods and Beverages
Coffee, red wine, soda and dark berries are infamous for staining teeth. That doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid them, but you should limit the amount of time these substances are in contact with your teeth.
If possible, drink beverages known to stain teeth out of a straw to prevent direct contact with your teeth. Moreover, brush your teeth soon after consuming one of these foods or beverages to limit their effects on the color of your teeth.
Additionally, avoid smoking and chewing tobacco, both of which can cause tooth discoloration.
2. Limit Sugar in Your Diet
If you want whiter teeth, cut back on your sugar intake. A diet high in sugar supports the growth of Streptococcus mutans bacteria, the primary type of bacteria that causes plaque and gingivitis.
When you do consume a sugary food, brush your teeth soon after you eat.
3. Get Plenty of Calcium in Your Diet
Some tooth discoloration is caused by enamel eroding away and exposing the dentin underneath, which is yellow in color. Therefore, anything you do to strengthen the enamel of your teeth will help keep your teeth pearly white.
Calcium-rich foods, such as milk, cheese and broccoli, may help protect your teeth from enamel erosion.
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