Top 10 Ways to Naturally Whiten Teeth

I’m not afraid to admit it.

I’m openly obsessed with looking good.

 

I browse Pinterest for wardrobe ideas, Instagram for body toning exercises, YouTube for makeup tricks, and let’s face it, Google is pretty much my doctor.

 

There’s a sea of information on the web and I’ll be honest, I’m willing to try anything if it could mean looking better.

 

A few weeks ago, my fiancé pointed out that my teeth could use some whitening. And frankly, I’m not surprised.

 

With all the coffee and wine I’ve been drinking, it was about time I gave my smile some love.

 

Since I wasn’t interested in spending hundreds of dollars on teeth whitening kits and treatments, I turned to the net and searched for DIY natural teeth brightening ideas.

 

I was looking for an easy, convenient, natural solution that was affordable and pain-free.

 

Last time I whitened my teeth with the nasty gel I got from my dentist, the sensitivity was seriously unbearable.

 

This time, I needed to get the job done and still be able to enjoy my favorite foods and drinks … hot or cold.

 

Here’s what I found, all of which I’ve tried, plus what I liked and what I would never dare do again!

 

1. Lemony “Let’s Do This” Paste

 

I came across so many posts, which promised a whiter, brighter smile using 1 simple ingredient … baking soda. But one in particular grabbed my attention. Mainly because I’m in love with lemons and figured baking soda mixed with lemons couldn’t be so bad.

 

Here’s what you’ll need ….

 

  • 3 tsps of baking soda
  • 3 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • a toothbrush

     Directions:

     

    1. Mix 3 tsp of baking soda with lemon juice and form a paste.
    2. Make sure your teeth are dry before applying the mixture.
    3. Dip your toothbrush in the mixture and evenly apply, covering all of your visible teeth.
    4. Leave on for 1 minute and rinse.

     

    Yay or Nay?

     

    Definitely nay! After doing further research, I discovered that lemons are acidic and dentists advise against this natural method of whitening the teeth.

     

    Here’s why.

     

    Lemons contain a high concentration of citric acid, which can lead to tooth erosion, a condition that thins tooth enamel. Destroying the enamel not only increases the risk of teeth sensitivity and cavities, it also exposes underlying dentin, which makes teeth look yellow. The thickness of our enamel will thin as we age, however, acidic foods like lemons will accelerate this natural process and lead to discoloration early on.

     

    2. Strawberry + Sea Salt

     

    Celebrities like Catherine Zeta Jones and Tyra Banks have both attempted to whiten their teeth using strawberries as a natural tooth-cleanser. Strawberries contain a high amount of vitamin C, even more than oranges, which works to reduce plaque stuck to the teeth. Strawberries are also rich in malic acid and when combined with sea salt, help to polish brighten your smile.

     

    Here’s what you’ll need ….

     

    • 3 large strawberries
    • a pinch of sea salt
    • a toothbrush

       

      Directions:

       

      1. Mash the strawberries and combine with sea salt.
      2. Using your toothbrush, evenly apply to your teeth.
      3. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes, then brush and rinse well.

       

       

       

      Yay or Nay?

       

      Well, according to Health Services at Columbia University, it’s a nay. Like lemons, malic acid found in strawberries is acidic and can break down tooth enamel. This can lead to irreversible dental decomposition and reduce the surface hardness of teeth by up to 10 percent.

       

      3. Coconut Oil Pulling

       

      This ancient Ayurvedic practice has recently gained a lot of popularity and I was super excited to try it. Using organic coconut oil mixed with the right amount of essential oils, oil pulling works to reduce bacteria, minimize plaque buildup, and whiten teeth without sensitivity. Gwyneth Paltrow and other celebs swear by oil pulling for their pearly whites and bright smile.


      Here’s what you’ll need ….

       

      • 1 tbsp of raw coconut oil
      • Peppermint essential oil

       

      I’m all about convenience, so I ordered CocoClear packets, which I absolutely fell in love with.

       

      Directions:

       

      1. Empty contents of CocoClear into your mouth, away from food, preferably on an empty stomach.
      2. Swish oil around in your mouth for 10 – 15 minutes.
      3. Spit out in the trash can and rinse with water.

       

      Yay or Nay?

       

      Coconut oil pulling is backed by clinical research and actually works to strengthen teeth enamel, unlike acidic teeth whitening choices. It’s a definite yay! Not only is oil pulling safe and effective, it’s 100% pain-free. It has been found to be equally as effective as chlorhexidine for halitosis, helps to prevent cavities, and even improves oral health.

       

       

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      4. Baking Soda with Hydrogen Peroxide

       

      Brushing your teeth with this combo can whiten teeth and freshen your breath. Many dentists advise against baking soda for teeth whitening because of its grittiness, claiming it can literally scrub enamel right off, so it’s important to be careful with this popular teeth whitening procedure.

       

      Here’s what you’ll need ….

       

      • baking soda
      • hydrogen peroxide

       

      Directions:

       

      1. Dip your toothbrush into the hydrogen peroxide and then into the baking soda.
      2. Gently brush your teeth for 2-3 minutes.
      3. Rinse well.

       

      Yay or Nay?

       

      Baking soda is commonly used for teeth whitening mainly because it’s cheap. Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, may increase the pH in the oral cavity, potentially neutralizing the harmful effects of bacterial metabolic acids. Not all dentists agree with this method, suggesting it can weaken teeth enamel with regular use being that it is slightly abrasive.

       

      Strong enamel is important in the prevention of cavities and any teeth whitening method that weakens enamel should be avoided. Although popular, I’m not so sure I like this option. If it can destroy enamel and darken teeth in the long-term, I prefer other options that seem much better.

       

      5. Apple Cider Vinegar

       

      This natural mouth cleaner works to remove stubborn stains and naturally kill bacteria. Many people swear by this option over conventional teeth whitening solutions such as strips, gels, and mouthwashes.

       

       

      Here’s what you’ll need …

       

      • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
      • ¼ cup water

       

      Directions:

       

      1. Rinse with diluted apple cider vinegar for 15-20 seconds.
      2. Spit out and rinse well.

       

      Yay or Nay?

       

      Once again, being highly acidic, apple cider vinegar can cause erosion of the teeth enamel and the tissues of the mouth and throat. Additionally, it can take months to work and you’ll need to be consistent in order to see results.

       

      6. Orange Peels

       

      I love oranges, so when it came to trying this teeth whitening method, I was really happy! It offers minimal whitening but it’s simple, easy, and cost-effective.

       


       Here’s what you’ll need …

       

      • 1 organic orange peel

       

      Directions:

       

      1. Rub the inside of the orange peel (the white part) over your teeth for 2 – 3 minutes.
      2. Follow with brushing your teeth as you normally do.


      Yay or Nay?

       

      Lacking scientific evidence, this option is frowned upon by dentists. The orange peel tastes great and I found this method easy and tasty, but unfortunately, it didn’t work that well. I barely noticed a difference and I did this everyday for 2 weeks.

       

      7. Activated charcoal

       

      The thought of using this on my teeth made me cringe and I was very skeptical. However, I did my research and found that activated charcoal binds to tannins, which are responsible for teeth discoloration. It may also be effective against cavities, bad bacteria, and gingivitis.

       

       

      Here’s what you’ll need …

       

      • 1 tsp powdered activated charcoal (food grade)
      • ¼ cup water

       

      Directions:

       

      1. Mix 1 tsp of activated charcoal powder in water and swish for 2-3 minutes.
      2. Spit out and rinse well.

       

      Yay or Nay?

       

      Definitely yay! I know the idea of swishing black charcoal is gross, however, I have seen fairly good results with this and it really isn’t that bad. It was pretty funny when I had a mouth full of it and smiled at my fiancé. Needless to say, it scared the hell outta him!


      8. DIY Whitening Toothpaste

       

      Conventional toothpaste brands are convenient, tasty, and cheap. However, the ingredient list is predominantly chemicals, which can be harmful. 95% of toothpaste products typically contain sodium fluoride, triclosan, propylene glycol, polysorbate 80, parabens and artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners, all of which can have a negative impact on your health. Why not make your own toothpaste with ingredients that are natural, gentle, and safe?

       

      Here’s what you’ll need …

       

      • 2 tbsp baking soda
      • 1 tbsp cold-pressed raw coconut oil
      • 5 drops essential oil (peppermint)
      • stevia (to taste)

       

      Directions:

       

      1. Combine all ingredients together and mix thoroughly.
      2. Put in a small jar and scoop out with a clean utensil with each use.
      3. Brush your teeth as you normally would and rinse well.

       
      Yay or Nay?

       

      Definitely a yay! I absolutely love this DIY toothpaste. It tastes great, freshens my breath, and even worked to whiten my teeth. It does contain baking soda so if you prefer, you can opt for calcium carbonate powder instead.

       

      9. Turmeric

       

      This cooking spice offers numerous health benefits like improving digestion, reducing inflammation, and treating acne, but I was really surprised to learn that it can whiten teeth. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of turmeric in my food and since it’s staining, I hesitated to try it. However, it’s all over Pinterest as a natural teeth whitener, so I decided to give it a go.

       

      Here’s what you’ll need …

       

      • ¼ tsp organic turmeric powder
      • ¼ tsp coconut oil (melted)

       

      Directions:

       

      1. Mix ingredients together.
      2. Simply dip your wet toothbrush into the turmeric mixture and brush your teeth as you normally would.
      3. Before rinsing, allow turmeric mixture to sit on your teeth for 5 minutes.
      4. Rinse well and brush your teeth with your creative DIY toothpaste.

       

      Yay or Nay?

       

      Besides tasting pretty bad and staining my toothbrush, I was surprised how well this worked. I noticed a difference within 10 days and I was pleasantly surprised.

       

      10. Banana Peel

       

      I’m nuts for bananas so whitening my teeth with banana peels was a dream come true. Bananas are high in potassium and other minerals, which act to remove stains and whiten them.

       



      Here's what you'll need...

       

      • 1 just ripe banana

       

      Directions:

       

      1. Cut a small piece of the peel of a ripe banana (has a small amount of green at each end).
      2. Rub the inner peel over your teeth for 2 – 3 minutes, covering each tooth well.
      3. Rinse well and brush as you normally would.


      Yay or Nay?

       

      Well, this was by far the most fun! I love bananas and it was super easy to do, much more fun than making my own toothpaste. I saw a slight improvement after two weeks and it’s great knowing that the minerals work to strengthen my tooth enamel. Definitely a Yay!

       

      So there you have it! The top 10 ways to naturally whiten your teeth. Looks like grandma and grandpa had it right all along.

       

      Most teeth whitening products are reaped with chemicals and lead to teeth sensitivity. I highly recommend a more natural approach. My fiancé is amazed with how quickly I was able to achieve a whiter smile, all for under $62. I don’t plan on cutting back on my coffee and wine, so I’ll keep you posted on my progress in 6 months.

       

      Happy Smiling!

      xx

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