Brushing and flossing are enough to keep teeth white for some people, but others may need a little extra help. While there are any number of whitening programs available on the market today, many of these contain harsh and synthetic chemicals that many people feel uncomfortable putting into their bodies. If you’re looking for a safer alternative to get your teeth sparkling, try one of our natural tips instead.
- Brush with baking soda and peroxide.
You could spend a fortune on fancy teeth whitening strips, but baking soda and peroxide work just as well—considering that peroxide is the main ingredient for most strips. Simply mix a small amount of both until you have a paste that’s slightly runny. Be very careful about this—if your mix is too gritty, you run the risk of stripping the enamel from your teeth. Brush like you normally would with toothpaste, and rinse your mouth thoroughly afterwards. It’s not the best-tasting concoction, but it will get the job done!
- Avoid beverages that stain your teeth.
Certain drinks like coffee and soda are notorious for causing teeth stains. Instead of whitening them after the fact, take the preventative route and limit your intake of beverages like these. While a cup of coffee here and there probably won’t have a huge impact on your teeth, if you’re a heavy drinker cutting back can really make a difference.
- Try oil pulling.
Oil pulling is an old folk cure for everything from diabetes to hangovers. While its ability to treat such a wide range of conditions is dubious at best, there is some research to indicate that it can work as a natural teeth whitener. Any vegetable-based oil will work for pulling, but most people recommend coconut oil, as it has antibacterial properties that can keep your mouth free of any plaque-causing microbes as well. To perform it, simply swish a tablespoon of oil around your mouth for ten to twenty minutes each day. Be sure to dispose of the oil somewhere besides a drain, since it has the potential to cause clogs.
- Gargle with apple cider vinegar.
This is by far the worst-tasting tip you’ll encounter, but some people swear by its whitening properties. Simply swish it around like you would with traditional mouthwash and rinse thoroughly afterwards. Keep in mind that vinegar is acidic, which means that there’s a chance it could strip the enamel from your teeth. Don’t try it more than once a day.
- Chow down on crunchy fruits and vegetables.
Naturally crunchy foods like carrots, apples, and celery are not just good for you—they’re great for whitening teeth too. Their abrasive nature helps scrub away stains without the risk of stripping away any enamel, which means that you can chomp away to your heart’s content.