Have you become an ingredient detective? Whether it’s food, hair care, or skincare, you’ve probably become more aware of what you put in and on your body. Like the old adage says, “If you knew better, you do better” and do better you shall.
Gone are the days where your cabinets were filled with products containing hard-to-pronounce chemical compounds. Instead, they are replaced with ingredients so common you probably already have a few in your pantry. It makes sense then, that as you move to more holistic solutions for your well being, you incorporate your mouth. Because as we know, mouth health is a window into your overall health.
In recent years, especially in the age of social media, at-home teeth whitening treatments have pretty much become as common as toothpaste. But unlike most toothpastes, these brighteners usually come with side effects if used incorrectly or too frequently. Healthline mentions irritated gums and sensitivity as two common harmful reactions to standard brightening systems. They also have varying (and not so impressive) results if you have implants, crowns, and dentures.
Luckily, there are some natural teeth whitening tricks that even your dentist will support. The key is to use ingredients you probably have at home. Not only is it the healthier option, it’s also really cost effective.
Ingredients for Natural Teeth Whitening
So, you’ve decided to give natural teeth whitening a try but are unsure of what to buy and where. Dr. Catrise Austin of VIP Smiles (yes, the dentist Cardi B got a bag and fixed her teeth with) created a list of ingredients for your brighter smile starter kit. The first ingredient Dr. Austin says, is a favorite of Catherine Zeta Jones and “is delicious too”.
- Fresh strawberries– a natural brightener (thanks to malic acid) that works to remove surface stains from your teeth.
- Baking soda– the alkaline neutralizes stains from acidic foods and also prevents the overgrowth of bacteria.
- Hydrogen peroxide– It’s the most common ingredient found in professional grade whiteners. The drug store bottle of hydrogen peroxide should do just fine, even though they are heavily diluted. The less concentrated formula reduces the risk of damage to the teeth.
- Organic cold pressed coconut oil-a plaque buster that results in whiter teeth and is said to have a plethora of health benefits
- Turmeric powder– Turmeric powder is the pantry gift that keeps on giving. Not only does it work wonders for your face, it also helps brighten and reduce gum inflammation. Not to mention it limits the risk of gum disease.
- Orange-increases saliva and breaks down plaque
- Lemon-increases saliva and breaks down plaque
We suggest taking your time researching each of these ingredients and testing them out to see what gives you the best results.
How Do You Use Natural Teeth Whitening Ingredients At Home
Every dentist we talked to agrees that the best way to whiten at home is to create a paste or a mouthwash out of the ingredients above. Dr. Lilya Horowitz of Domino Dental also adds that timing is of the essence. She suggests “rinsing the mouth out with water after consuming coffee, tea, wine, red sauce with turmeric can help remove stains immediately before they settle into the tooth’s surface. ” There is also simply eating the fruits ang vegetables mentioned above.
Dr. Hugh Flax of Flax Dental in Atlanta explains, “While they’re no substitute for brushing your teeth, crunchy, raw fruits and vegetables can help rub plaque away as you chew and help whiten your teeth.” Most of these pastes and mouthwash solutions can be made using one ingredient, peroxide and baking soda. One easy to try recipe from Dr. Austin’s book, Home Teeth Whitening Recipes Made Straight From Your Kitchen And Bathroom Cabinets is one large strawberry and 1/2 tsp of baking soda. Dr. Austin says the malic acid naturally found in the strawberries is a natural whitener.
Unproven Natural Teeth Whitener Methods
Dr. Flax and Dr.Horowtiz both agree that activated charcoal isn’t the natural cure it’s billed as in terms of teeth whitening. Dr. Flax suggests adding fruit peels to that list of unproven methods as well, “Activated charcoal, kaolin clay and fruit peels may help whiten your teeth, but no studies have evaluated the safety or effectiveness of these methods.” While you can still test your luck with those methods, when all else fails, the safest bet is sticking to treatments that have been proven to yield noticeable results.
Cuddle up to a bowl of strawberries or mix a little turmeric paste to lift stains from your dull smile.