Many people have asked me about natural ways to whiten teeth so they could avoid buying bleaching products. Most teeth whitening products are harsh on sensitive teeth and are often quite expensive. Fortunately, teeth whitening at home is surprisingly easy. You could even do it with items you may already have in your house. Here are my top 3 natural ways to whiten your teeth:
Using activated charcoal to whiten teeth seems like a strange idea given its dark black color, but it is one of the best natural ways to whiten your teeth. Activated charcoal has a high degree of microporosity and can be used to absorb toxins and the darker colors that stain teeth. It doesn't change the color of your teeth, but helps remove surface plaque, minerals and stains. It won't remove deeply stained teeth or those that have naturally yellowed. You can find activated charcoal powder at most drug stores.
How to use: Don't brush your teeth with activated charcoal. Its abrasiveness can damage the enamel of your teeth. Instead, you must apply it as a charcoal toothpaste. Activated charcoal is normally sold as tablets in pharmacies or health food stores. It will be necessary to grind up a couple of these tablets to make about a tablespoon of powder. Mix the powder with just enough water to make a thick paste. Apply the charcoal toothpaste to your teeth with your fingers (again, don't rub or scrub it on your teeth.) Leave the paste on for 3 or 4 minutes to give it adequate time to bind with the minerals and stains on your teeth. Then, rinse your mouth several times and finish by brushing your teeth clean.
Because of their acid content, fresh strawberries are another natural way to whiten your teeth. The malic acid can remove the discoloration on the surface, leaving your teeth looking brighter.
How to use: All you need to do is mash up a ripe strawberry, dip your toothbrush in the substance, and brush as you normally would for about 2 minutes. Just make sure to rinse thoroughly after brushing to get rid of the excess acidity in your mouth, which can damage tooth enamel if you’re not careful. Since the acidic nature of the strawberries is what helps remove excess plaque and superficial stains, this isn't a technique you would want to use every day. A couple of times a month should be sufficient to see some positive results.
Do you have hydrogen peroxide in your house? Then you have the ingredient necessary for easy teeth whitening at home; just don’t swallow! Hydrogen peroxide not only whitens teeth, but also helps remove plaque and hidden bacteria between them.
How to use: Simply brush as you normally would, but instead of toothpaste use standard, over-the-counter, 3% hydrogen peroxide. Brush gently, as always, for 2 to 3 minutes. Follow this with a water rinse and then brush normally with toothpaste. I don't suggest using hydrogen peroxide daily. In some individuals, daily use may cause gum irritation. Once a week or a couple of times a month should be fine. It's also great to periodically dip your toothbrush in hydrogen peroxide to help destroy any residual bacteria. This can be especially helpful following a cold, flu or other respiratory infection.
Before trying these unusual (but effective) whitening methods, have your teeth checked by your dentist. A good cleaning could be all that is needed!