Woman's smile with white teeth

DIY Natural Teeth Whitening

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By Maddie Santiago

 

Making a good impression is important. Although some people put their teeth on the back burner because they think no one notices teeth, the mouth is actually what people look at while someone is talking to them. Yellow teeth can portray a sense of not taking care of yourself or bad overall health. Some causes of yellowing of the teeth may be coffee, tea, or red wine consumption, genetics, poor diet, mouth breathing, or use of antibiotics. Without having to go to the dentist, you can try some DIY whitening treatments at home with common household items like citrus fruits, coconut oil, or hydrogen peroxide.

Citrus Fruits

As we know, citrus fruits are high in acidity. This acid can help whiten teeth. First, peel an orange, making sure that you get most of the white part. The white part that is between the orange-colored skin and the meat of the fruit contains d-limonene. This is the chemical that you need for whitening purposes. Rub the white part that you peeled onto your teeth and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. Then spit the peel out and brush your teeth normally to get all of the orange rind and/or pulp out of your mouth. Flossing is important too, since the orange pieces could get lodged between your teeth.

The orange peel method will take about two to three weeks of daily usage to see noticeable results. However, the high acid content can also eventually wear away the enamel on the teeth if this method is used too often. If you use lemon or orange peel for teeth whitening always rinse, brush, and floss afterward to be on the safe side.

Coconut Oil

Just when you thought you heard everything about coconut oil, here’s another use: it can aid in oral health! Oil pulling is actually a part of Ayurveda, an ancient Indian healing lifestyle. It involves swishing a tablespoon or two of coconut oil around your mouth every morning for 20 minutes. The oil is used to cleanse your teeth and gums of bacteria. The coconut oil sticks to the oil in the cell membranes of the cells in your mouth, so when you spit it out, you’re also spitting out all the bacteria. The 20-minute swishing time is key because this is long enough to break through plaque and bacteria, but not too long that the body starts re-absorbing the toxins and bacteria.

Some users of this method have reported increased oral health, less sensitivity, and whiter teeth. While there are mixed reviews on the effectiveness of the coconut oil pulling method, there are no reports that it does any harm. So why not give it a try.

Hydrogen Peroxide

My mom, who has been a dental assistant for 22 years and then a dental treatment coordinator for the last 11 years, told me that using hydrogen peroxide is your best bet for safe, effective, and natural teeth whitening. Originally, doctors started using peroxide to fight infections in the mouth. They found that this works very well, furthermore, they noticed that all the patients had much whiter teeth! They went further to develop teeth whitening solutions like the bleach you get at the dentist’s office. The main ingredient to most teeth whitening products is, you guessed it, hydrogen peroxide.

For this method, brush your teeth like normal and then swish a mouthful of hydrogen peroxide for about a minute, just like you would with regular mouthwash, twice a day. When finished, rinse your mouth with water. The best part about it is that it is effective for whitening as well as killing bacteria and does not harm the enamel of the teeth like some other methods have the potential to do.

Those are some simple ways to whiten your teeth with common household ingredients. Make sure to always maintain a healthy smile before you whiten, because you can’t whiten if there is plaque in the way. A bright and clean smile can help you make a great impression in life, so put your best smile forward!

 

 

 

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