Five ways to naturally whiten your teeth at home
No matter how much you brush, a conventional toothpaste often can't guarantee sparkling white teeth. And the foods we consume daily make things worse.
Activated charcoal scrubs the topmost discoloured layer to reveal the teeth underneath
While eating turmeric-loaded food can turn white teeth yellow, brushing with turmeric and salt can reverse the process
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate can help you get teeth that are many shades whiter
“A smile is the prettiest jewellery you can wear” might be a popular saying, but it can feel like a jibe to people with yellowing teeth. Despite brushing twice a day and flossing regularly, teeth staining and yellowing is unavoidable.
No matter how much you brush, a conventional toothpaste often can't guarantee sparkling white teeth. And the foods we consume daily — such as turmeric, tea or coffee — make things worse.
Although it is possible to get teeth whitening done at a dental clinic, it helps to have a few teeth-whitening tricks in your bag for that pearly white smile just before a party or, say, a friend's weeklong destination wedding (far away from your trusted dentist).
We’ve listed five tried-and-tested natural remedies here:
1. Activated charcoal
You’ve probably tried charcoal face masks, charcoal shampoos and charcoal cleansing gels by now. Charcoal purifies the skin by pulling out dirt and killing bacteria that hide inside the pores. Happily, charcoal also whitens the teeth.
Yellow stains from foods, beverages and tobacco make the teeth yellowish, too. Activated charcoal scrubs the topmost discoloured layer to reveal the teeth underneath.
You can buy charcoal powder from a local store, mix with a few drops of water and clean your teeth with the help of a toothbrush or your finger. Make sure you do it for two whole minutes.
Caution: The use of activated charcoal for whiter teeth is not recommended for daily use, as its rough texture and abrasive nature could lead to wearing of the enamel (the superficial layer of teeth).
2. Turmeric concoction
While eating turmeric-loaded food can turn white teeth yellow, brushing with turmeric and salt can reverse the process. We know it sounds paradoxical, but it works.
Our ancestors used to clean their teeth with a mixture of turmeric, salt and mustard oil. The curcumin in turmeric has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. When mixed with salt and oil, it makes for a unique concoction to remove any stains from our teeth.
3. Baking soda
Also known as meetha soda colloquially, baking soda or sodium bicarbonate can help you get teeth that are many shades whiter.
How does it work?
When used with slight pressure, baking soda acts as a scrub and removes stains. You can use baking soda in multiple ways:
- Mix baking soda with just enough water to form a thick paste
- Mix baking soda with coconut water
- Mix baking soda in conventional toothpaste
Due to its relatively high abrasive nature, daily use of baking soda is not recommended. Once or twice a week can do the job.
4. Oil pulling
Actress Shilpa Shetty often endorses oil pulling, an ancient Indian healing method, as a great way to achieve good oral as well as gut health.
How to do it? Mix coconut oil, sesame oil, olive oil or sunflower oil in a small cup. Take a swig, swish it about in your mouth for at least five minutes, now spit it out, and voila.
According to one study, the oils have antioxidant properties that destroy the bacterial population in the mouth and help remove some of the plaque and stains from the teeth. According to the study, oil swish-and-spit also reduces the risk of cavities and gum diseases.
5. Hydrogen peroxide
It is a weak acid that is further diluted for use in cosmetic dentistry. Hydrogen peroxide can penetrate deep into the teeth, and therefore poses a risk of tooth sensitivity. It should be used sparingly, and with the greatest caution.
At home, brushing with a soft-bristle toothbrush with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can give a brighter result.
Be very careful while using hydrogen peroxide as it is a bleaching agent and could harm the soft and delicate tissues of the oral cavity.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health. For more information, please read our article on Teeth Whitening At Home.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.
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