We all want a smile as bright as our favorite Hollywood celebrities. Unfortunately, those stunning white teeth cost a fortune, require continual maintenance, and are most likely the result of hours of chemical applications.
There are better, cheaper and natural ways to get whiter, cleaner and brighter teeth. And it doesn’t mean you have to give up coffee, tea and red wine. Here are three of our favorite ingredients (okay, technically four!) to naturally whiten your teeth, reduce bacteria and increase your level of dental hygiene.
Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
Tried and tested, these two ingredients are a powerhouse-cleaning duo that every household should have. What may be less commonly known is that together they can clean your teeth and brighten them as well.
Baking soda has a relatively neutral pH, which is maintained regardless of whatever it’s mixed with, including acidic elements. More popularly used for cooking, hence its name, the white powdery alkaline substance cuts through grime and excess dirt on any surface.
It’s natural and you can buy it from any local grocery store. Lemon juice’s more acidic properties combine well with baking soda, to leave a shine on your teeth after the baking soda has scoured away plaque. There will be adjustment to the slightly salty taste of the soda and the acidic tartness of the juice.
To use, squeeze a lemon and use the juice to make a paste with baking soda. Apply some of the paste to your toothbrush and brush your teeth as normal. You should feel the smooth texture of your teeth afterwards.
Most people know activated charcoal as that substance used to revive victims of toxic ingestion. It has truly amazing powers to bind toxins to its surface, negating the negative effect of massively powerful poisons.
What you may not know, is that it can also be used for whitening your teeth. By a process called adsorption, activated charcoal binds to tannins and substances that contain Chromogens. Chromogens do the actual staining, while tannins help them stick, allowing them to stain easier.
It may seem totally counter-intuitive to brush your teeth with a chalky, black, substance but it does work. Sure, you will look a little strange with a black mouth, but once you see the results you’ll learn to see the funny side of scaring yourself for five minutes a day.
The best thing about charcoal is that as a neutralizer, it doesn’t have an odor or a taste. If you’re not convinced to give it a try, these before and after pictures might change your mind.
Make sure you use food-grade activated charcoal. It is not the same as the charcoal from the barbecue in your backyard.
This yellow root herb is another favorite. It helps with dental hygiene by preventing gingivitis and toothaches because it contains Curcumin, which makes it an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and antibiotic. It has a couple of downsides, including the color and the taste.
Apart from its ability to maintain excellent oral and dental health, it cleans away plaque and whitens teeth with its mild abrasive nature.
To clean, just dip your toothbrush in water and then into a teaspoon of turmeric powder and brush as normal. Don’t rinse immediately; wait for around 3-5 minutes to let the turmeric absorb then spit and rinse. Repeat this with your normal toothpaste.
Foods that Contribute to Stained Teeth
It’s advisable to reduce your intake of red wine, coffee and black tea and eating heavily colored foods like berries if you do so regularly, but there’s need to cut them entirely. (Tip: If you are like me and can't give up your coffee, use a straw!)
Good for your dental hygiene, the environment, and your purse, turmeric, activated charcoal and baking soda and lemon juice will brighten and clean your teeth for a fraction of the cost of chemical treatments.