No one wants to have yellow teeth but the methods that we often use to whiten them can be invasive to some patients. The most common ingredient in dental office bleaching sessions is hydrogen peroxide and the most common ingredient in at-home whitening treatment kits is carbamide peroxide. Some who undergo whitening treatments with these chemicals have reported increased sensitivity, so we are suggesting some alternative ways to keep your pearly whites white. Here are six suggestions that may surprise you:
- Coconut Oil
Yes, along with being extraordinary delicious and healthy as a food, coconut oil can also help whiten your teeth. This can be accomplished through a process called oil pulling, which has been used for thousands of years.
To oil pull with coconut oil, use extra virgin coconut oil and swish the oil around your mouth in the morning for 5-10 minutes, then spit it out (preferably not into the sink, as it can lead to clogs), and brush as you normally do.
If you oil pull on a regular basis, you may soon notice that your teeth are whiter. Oil pulling also has a number of health benefits for your entire body.
- Baking soda
If your teeth are seriously stained, and you’re looking for a whitening solution, it’s baking soda to the rescue. The process is simple: mix baking soda and water to make a thick paste, and use this paste to brush your teeth for one week. Make sure to rinse thoroughly after you brush. You’ll soon notice that your teeth look significantly whiter.
Note: Don’t brush with baking soda for longer than a week, as this may damage tooth enamel. Stick to a week and then wait a few months before doing it again.
Lemons contain citric acid and just eating them can help to remove some staining from your teeth. However, when mixed with baking soda, it can be even more effective. For a super-powered whitening treatment, mix equal parts lemon juice and baking soda, and use the mixture to brush your teeth.
As this mixture is very strong, don’t do this more than once a week — and give your teeth a break after a couple of weeks. Too much lemon juice and baking soda can have a negative effect on tooth enamel.
- Crunchy fruits and veggies
That’s right: simply eating crunchy, fresh fruits and vegetables can help remove stains from your teeth. This is because the act of chewing helps to remove scraps of food and bacteria from your mouth. Their crispy texture also helps to gently remove surface stains.
There are many great crunchy fruits and veggies out there — like carrots and apples — so load up your plate with fresh produce!
Another fruit to add to your tooth-whitening diet is the delicious strawberry. Strawberries may be one of the best fruits to munch on to whiten your teeth, thanks to their combination of vitamin C (citric acid, which helps to remove stains) and malic acid. The malic acid found in these summer fruits aids in removing surface stains from your teeth.
- Banana peel
The inside of a banana peel is rich in potassium, magnesium, manganese and other minerals, to whiten teeth. The minerals in a banana are absorbed into your enamel and have a healthy, whitening effect. Rubbing a piece of ripe banana peel on your teeth for two minutes after brushing and flossing, before rinsing your mouth, can yield benefits.