When it comes to whitening your teeth, there are plenty of products to choose from, however, most of the products use chemicals in order to bleach your teeth, which may concern many people.
If you want to whiten your teeth but want to avoid the nasty chemicals, this article will provide a couple options that are both natural and safe.
Before we delve into it, let’s take a look at what causes teeth to look yellow. There are multiple factors which cause teeth to become dull and lose their white sparkle. For example, certain foods can stain your outermost layer of your teeth, which leads to plaque buildup on your teeth, causing them to look yellow. This type of discoloration can usually be treated with regular brushing and whitening at home.
However, if this enamel layer has eroded it will reveal the dentin underneath which is naturally yellow looking.
So, without further ado, let’s get straight into those simple ways to naturally whiten your teeth.
Brush with baking soda
This is a method that has been pushed for a long time and for good reason. Commercial toothpaste also lists it as an ingredient because baking soda has natural whitening properties. It is mildly abrasive and can help scrub away surface stains on teeth.
As an added benefit, baking soda can also prevent bacteria from growing by creating an alkaline environment in your mouth.
This remedy will not whiten your teeth overnight, but over a period of time you should notice a difference in the appearance of your teeth. Better take a photo every other week to check the progress.
One study conducted by PubMed Central found that toothpastes containing baking soda were significantly more effective at removing yellow stains from teeth than standard toothpastes without baking soda. The higher the concentration of baking soda, the greater the effect. You can read more about it here.
Another study conducted by the same source also found that toothpastes containing baking soda were more effective at removing plaque from teeth than their non-baking soda counterparts.
In order 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.
Use hydrogen peroxide
PubMed Central mentions that hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that also kills bacteria in your mouth, just as baking soda does.
In fact, hydrogen peroxide has been used to disinfect wounds for years because of its ability to kill bacteria. Until the time of writing this article, there have been no studies done to investigate the effects of rinsing or brushing with hydrogen peroxide alone, but there were several studies done which analyzed commercial toothpastes containing peroxide.
One study found that a toothpaste containing baking soda and 1% hydrogen peroxide led to significantly whiter teeth.
Another study found that brushing with a commercial toothpaste containing baking soda and peroxide twice per day led to 62% whiter teeth in just 6 weeks.
However, there are some questions in regard to the safety of hydrogen peroxide. Used in a heavily diluted concentration, it appears to be safe, but strong concentrations or overuse can cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. Some people worry that high doses might cause cancer, but this has not yet been proven.
One way to use hydrogen peroxide is as a mouthwash before you brush your teeth. Make sure you are using a 1.5% or 3% solution to avoid side effects.
The most common concentration of hydrogen peroxide at the drugstore is a 3% solution. You can easily dilute this concentration to 1.5% by mixing equal parts peroxide and water.
Another way to use hydrogen peroxide is by mixing it with baking soda to make a toothpaste. Combine 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and gently brush your teeth with the mixture.
Limit the use of this homemade paste to a few times per week, as overuse can erode your tooth enamel.
Most of these remedies work by gently removing surface stains on your teeth.
However, most dentists offer whitening treatments that are much stronger than these natural remedies. They involve bleaching the teeth, which may be more effective for severe tooth discoloration. Overuse of any whitening product can damage your teeth.
Always check with your dentist about your options and which would work best for you.