One of the first things we notice about other people is their smile. After a glowing complexion and a shining personality, teeth can make one of the biggest impressions. And while we’d all love to have that perfect Hollywood smile, coffee, red wine and certain foods, as well as plaque buildup, can cause teeth to look yellow. That’s not what you want, now is it?
Of course there are the traditional methods for teeth whitening, from at-home white strips to professional whitening at the dentist, but there are actually a number of natural ways to get those pearly whites whiter than ever.
Want to whiten your smile the natural way, the white way? Here are our top tips for doing it the way nature intended.
1. Brush with baking soda. It’s perfect for making sweet potato brownies and keeping your fridge smelling fresh, but did you know that the white stuff could also help you get your teeth white? Because it’s a mild abrasive, baking soda helps scrub away surface stains on teeth. It also creates an alkaline environment in your mouth, keeping future bacteria at bay.
2. Try activated charcoal. Activated charcoal absorbs plaque and other substances that stain teeth. Because it binds to toxins, rather than neutralizing them, it helps to whiten teeth. Not up for tackling charcoal on its own? Try an activated charcoal toothpaste from De Witte Tandenwinkel in the 9 straatjes and see the difference after continued use.
3. Opt for oil pulling. The traditional Indian folk remedy of oil pulling is an age-old technique to keep your mouth fresh and smile bright. Rather than brushing your teeth (or in addition), try swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for 10 minutes each morning. It also does wonders for bad breath.
4. Use hydrogen peroxide. Now this one may sound scary, but we promise it’s totally safe. Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that will also help kill bacteria in your mouth. Combine it with baking soda for extra whitening power.
5. Go for apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar contains high concentrations of acetic acid, which kills bacteria, making it an excellent tool for whitening teeth and killing bacteria in your mouth. Mix it with a bit of water and use it as a mouthwash, swishing it around for several minutes before rinsing thoroughly with water.
6. Get fruity. We all know that a diet high in fruits and vegetables is good for your body, but it’s also great for your teeth. Crunchy raw fruits like apples scrub your teeth while you eat and rub the plaque away, making them appear brighter. Pineapples and strawberries are two of the best fruits for teeth whitening because of their high concentrations of malic acid and bromelain.
7. Brush and floss! It may sound simple, but regular brushing and flossing is your best bet for ridding teeth of plaque and keeping your teeth as white as possible. Toothpaste gently rubs away stains, and flossing helps remove bacteria that leads to plaque. And don’t forget about regular dental cleanings.