Multiple factors cause teeth to become dull and lose their white shine. Some foods can stain your enamel, which is the outermost layer of your teeth. You can choose from many products to whiten your teeth. Most teeth whitening products, however, use chemicals to bleach your teeth. There are many natural and safe alternatives you can choose from.
Is it Ok to whiten your Teeth at Home?
Many of the teeth whitening remedies are safe and effective, but if you use them in a wrong way, you will probably damage your teeth. Some examples of damaging your teeth are when you use chemical containing products include:
- tooth sensitivity
- etching of teeth
- gum irritation,
- tooth fracture
- loss of tooth enamel
If you have lost tooth enamel, your teeth will become more sensitive and darker. To prevent these risks, it’s better to talk to a professional dentist. Here 8 methods to whiten your teeth naturally at home.
1. Hydrogen peroxide
Because of its effectiveness to kill bacteria, people have been using hydrogen peroxide for years to disinfect wounds. However, many commercial teeth whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide. There is no study to support hydrogen peroxide as teeth whitening agent, but there are some studies conducted on commercial toothpaste that contains peroxide. One study discovered that a toothpaste containing baking soda and 1% hydrogen peroxide resulted in considerably whiter teeth. Another 6 weeks study discovered that brushing with a commercial toothpaste containing baking soda and peroxide twice daily resulted in 62% whiter teeth. (1, 2)
Hydrogen peroxide diluted in water appear to be safe, but high levels or overuse can trigger gum irritation and teeth sensitivity. There is also concern that using elevated doses can cause cancer. Before you brush your teeth, one way to use hydrogen peroxide is to use it as a mouthwash. Make sure you use a 1.5% hydrogen peroxide solution to prevent side effects. A 3% solution is the most common concentration of hydrogen peroxide you can find at a pharmacy.
By mixing equal peroxide with water, you can easily dilute this concentration to 1.5%. Another way to create a toothpaste using hydrogen peroxide is to mix it with baking soda. Combine 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and rub the blend softly to your teeth. Overuse may destroy tooth enamel, therefore, limit the use of this homemade paste to once a month. (3, 4, 5, 6)
Summary: Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound used in wound cleaning to eliminate bacteria. It is found in many commercial teeth whitening products. High doses or excessive use might cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. There is fear that overuse of hydrogen peroxide may cause cancer, but the cause for this concern is unknown.
2. Baking soda
Baking soda has natural whitening compounds, which is the key ingredient in most of commercial toothpaste products. It is a mild abrasive that can help remove stains from the teeth surface. Baking soda also produces an alkaline environment in your mouth that stops the growth of bacteria. This is not a solution to whiten your teeth instantly, but over time you should notice a difference in your teeth’s appearance. Science does not support baking soda use for teeth whitening, but several studies have shown that toothpaste that contains backing soda has a significant whitening result.
One study discovered that toothpaste containing baking soda was considerably more efficient than conventional toothpaste without baking soda in removing yellow stains. The greater baking soda concentration, the better the result. Another research of five studies discovered that toothpaste containing baking soda is more efficient in removing plaque from teeth than non-baking soda toothpaste. Mix 1 teaspoon baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water and brush your teeth with the paste. Use the solution twice a week to reduce side effects. (7, 8, 9)
Summary: Baking soda can remove stains off the surface of the teeth. It creates an alkaline environment in your mouth, which inhibits bacterial growth.
3. Oil pulling
Oil pulling is a traditional Indian folk remedy intended to enhance oral hygiene and eliminate toxins. Swishing oil in your mouth can remove bacteria accountable for plaque formation in your mouth. Indians have traditionally used sunflower or sesame oil, but any oil will work. Coconut oil is a best option as it has an enjoyable flavor and provides many other health advantages. Coconut oil is high in lauric acid, known for reducing swelling and killing bacteria. A study has shown that pulling coconut oil daily efficiently decreases bacteria in the mouth and prevents plaque and gum disease. (10)
One of the main bacteria in the mouth that causes plaque and gingivitis is Streptococcus mutans. One study discovered that daily swishing with sesame oil decreased Streptococcus mutans in saliva. However, there are no scientific studies to show that oil whitens your teeth. It’s a safe practice, and worth trying. Anocdotal claims show that pulling oil on the regular basis can make the teeth whiter and brighter. To use oil for oral hygiene, put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth, push the oil through your teeth and squeeze it through. Coconut oil at room temperature stays firm, so you may have to wait for it to melt for a few seconds. Continue pulling the oil for 10-15 minutes. Donnot spit coconut oil in your wash basin because it can become firm after spitting and can clog the pipe. (11)
Summary: Oil pulling is a popular Indian folk remedy for improving mouth hygiene. Swishing oil in your mouth may help eliminate bacteria that cause plaque buildup. Indians have traditionally used sunflower or sesame, but any oil will do the work. There has been no scientific evidence that oil whitens teeth.
4. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been used as a natural cleaning agent and a disinfectant for centuries. Acetic acid is the primary active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, which can kill bacteria. What makes it beneficial for cleaning your mouth and whitening your teeth is the antibacterial property of vinegar. One animal study that was conducted on cow’s teeth discovered that apple cider vinegar has a whitening effect on teeth. They also concluded that vinegar can soften the teeth. (12)
The vinegar contains acetic acid, which can can destroy your teeth’s enamel. Therefore, you shouldn’t use apple cider vinegar every day for this purpose. The quantity of apple cider vinegar is in touch with your teeth should also be limited. Dilute it with water and swish it in your mouth for several minutes can be as efficient as a mouthwash. Make sure you rinse your mouth with plain water after using Apple cider vinegar.
Summary: Apple cider vinegar is a natural disinfectant. Acetic acid is the main active element in apple cider vinegar, and it can kill microorganisms. The vinegar includes acetic acid, which may erode the tooth’s enamel. After using Apple cider vinegar, rinse your mouth with plain water.
5. Strawberries and baking soda
The combination of strawberry and baking soda is a natural teeth whitening solution. Many people who use this method claim that the malic acid discovered in strawberries can clean the yellowness of your teeth, while baking soda will clean the stains away. However, there no scientific evidence to support this method. A study discovered that the teeth whitening results of baking and strawberry were disappointing. If you would like to try this method, limit its use to a few times a week. Despite study showing a minimal or no impact, excessive use of strawberry and baking soda may cause harm to your teeth. To use this method, smash a fresh strawberry and combine it with baking soda and brush your teeth with the mixture. (13)
Summary: Strawberry and baking soda is a natural tooth whitening remedy. This method, however, is not supported by scientific data. According to one study, the method’s findings were unsatisfactory. Despite studies, showing a limited or no effect, excessive use may ruin your teeth.
6. Activated charcoal
Charcoal is a popular ingredient in cosmetics products such as face masks. It may seem counterintuitive that some people use charcoal to whiten their teeth. They make activated charcoal from oxidised wood, coconut shells, and other natural substances. Today, there are many charcoal toothpaste brands available. It is extremely absorbent and used in medicine to absorb and eliminate toxins. All you need to do is dump a capsule in a cup and mix it with water, then dip your toothbrush in. Brush your teeth for 2 minutes and spit it out.
Next, with regular toothpaste, brush your teeth and rinse. The charcoal will may help in cleaning the staining compounds found in wine and coffee. Studies on charcoal as teeth whitening agent are limited. According to a recent study, dentists should advise their patients to be cautious while using charcoal-based toothpastes because of unsubstantiated claims and safety concerns. (14)
Summary: Charcoal is produced of oxidised wood, coconut shells, and other natural materials. It is a highly absorbent material that is used in medicine to absorb and expel toxins. Charcoal may aid in the removal of staining substance from the teeth, which are found in wine and coffee.
Some people believe that pineapple can whiten your teeth. The teeth are covered with a layer of salivary proteins, which called pellicle. The pellicle layer protects the teeth, and it also absorbs food pigments. This can cause discolouration and stain buildup. Pineapple can clean pellicle layer of the teeth naturally. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme found in pineapple. This is because the proteolytic enzymes in pineapple, which can break down those proteins in the pellicle layer. A study discovered that a bromelain-containing toothpaste was considerably more efficient than a conventional toothpaste in removing tooth stains. There is no proof, however, that eating pineapples has the same result. (15)
Summary: Pineapple can dissolve salivary proteins known as pellicle. Pellicle protects the teeth while absorb dietary pigments that cause discoloration and stain buildup. Bromelain is a proteolytic enzyme found in pineapple, may breakdown protein in pellicle.
8. Regular teeth brushing
Brushing your teeth regularly helps remove bacteria and plaque from your teeth. When you eat a sugary meal or snack, the bacteria in plaque create acids that destroy tooth enamel, which can cause cavities. Unremoved plaque can develop into tartar, making it more difficult to keep the teeth clean. Tartar buildup on your gums increases inflammation, which can lead to gum disease. While some decoloration of the tooth naturally occurs with the age, it is mainly because of plaque build-up. Regular brushing and flossing can protect your teeth to remain white.
Summary: Regular brushing and flossing removes stains and bacteria from your teeth. Regular dental cleaning may also enable to keep your teeth white and tidy.
Some food and drinks may stain the tooth enamel, which is your teeth’s outermost layer. In fact, plaque build-up can make your teeth look yellow. Usually, frequent cleaning and teeth whitening remedies can treat these types of discoloration. Sometimes, you need to visit your dentist if you notice the solid enamel falls away, exposing the dentin below. Dentin is a yellow, bony tissue below the teeth.
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