One of my readers contacted me about natural teeth whiteners. Great question!
We all want whiter teeth, especially as we age, and teeth whitening has become big business. According the ADA, bleaching is the most requested procedure among patients ages 40 to 60. Americans spend billions on over the counter whiteners too. For those of us who want an alternative to chemical whiteners, there are several do-it-yourself options.
- Baking Soda – Or sodium bicarbonate has been around for a long time and as been accepted by the American Dental Association since 1931. It reduces stains and plaque through its gentle polishing action, as well as deodorizes the mouth leaving a clean feeling. Here’s how: Put a little baking soda on a wet toothbrush and brush normally; for extra whitening make a paste of 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 1 teaspoon of food grade hydrogen peroxide.
- Strawberry Tooth Brightener – Strawberries have a slight bleaching action and if used daily can help get rid of stains from tea, coffee or cigarettes. Here’s how: Remove the stem and mash the strawberry into a pulp, dip your toothbrush into the pulp, brush normally, then rinse.
- Oil Pulling – Oil pulling is an Ayurveda remedy started in India thousands of years ago that uses oil to clean, detoxify, and nourish teeth and gums. Oil pulling removes excessive and bad bacteria from your mouth, which also helps with detoxification of the entire body. And it whitens teeth and makes your mouth feel clean. Here’s how: swish a teaspoon or two of coconut oil (sesame oil or olive oil) for approximately 20 minutes. Spit it out and rinse with warm water.
- Activated Charcoal – I haven’t tried this remedy yet, but charcoal is being used in everything now from soaps to toothbrushes to towels due to its antimicrobial benefits. Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent porous substance that binds to tannins that stain and yellow teeth and pulls the toxins from the mouth to remove the stains. Here’s how: Dip a clean wet toothbrush into the powdered charcoal and brush in small, gentle circles for 2 minutes. Spit and rinse well. (Be careful not to stain your sink!)
- Turmeric – Turmeric spice is one of the most potent natural anti-inflammatories available and along with its numerous health benefits is reducing gum inflammation and teeth whitening. Here’s how: Dip a wet toothbrush in 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder and brush as normal. Allow the turmeric to sit on your teeth for 3-5 minutes, then spit and rinse. Brush your teeth again using your regular toothpaste. (It also can stain your sink.)
It’s important to remember that natural remedies take longer to work. So, give it a few weeks – you’ll be pleased with the results. Email me with which remedy (ies ) you like.
For more green living tips, visit greenwithbetsy.com.
Information compiled from: http://wellnessmama.com/35837/natural-teeth-whitening/, Baking Soda Bonanza, Peter A. Ciullo, Organic Body Care Recipes, Stephanie Tourles