Today, people are more self-conscious about their smiles than ever. Maybe you are one of the many people today who look in the mirror, see yellow teeth, and wish there was something you could do about it. You know—without spending an arm and a leg at the dentist for in-office bleaching.
Fortunately, there are cost-effective, natural ways of teeth whitening without ever having to leave your bathroom. Wonder what those may be? Keep reading to find out how to whiten your teeth at home, so that you can have that beautiful sparkling smile you’ve always wanted.
The first question that needs to be understood is: What causes your teeth to stain and discolor?
It comes down to compounds known as chromogens, which are pigment-producing substances that can stick to, in, or in-between tooth enamel. This is the first step in knowing how teeth whitening works as well. One study1 on the matter writes, “Chromogens fall into two categories: large organic compounds that have conjugated double bonds in their chemical structure; and metal-containing compounds.”
Chromogens help cause stain or discoloration on the tooth in one of two ways:
- Extrinsic stains – Stains that impact the surface of the enamel—the hardened outermost layer of the teeth. Such stains are typically surface level and can be fairly easily removed or fixed. Per Live Science these are caused by:
“The No. 1 cause of teeth yellowing is lifestyle. Smoking, drinking coffees and teas, and chewing tobacco are the worst offenders. The tar and nicotine in tobacco are chemicals that can cause yellowish stains on the surface of teeth, in people who smoke or chew. As a rule of thumb, any food or drink that can stain clothes can also stain your teeth.”
Quite often, failure to adequately care for the teeth (i.e., brushing, flossing, and regular dental cleanings), results in plaque and tartar build-up, which then leads to stain. The easiest way to prevent this is to invest in a good water flosser.
- Intrinsic stains – These occur within the dentin, which is the inner structure of the tooth. Such stains are far more difficult to address or remove and are typically the result of any of the following:
- The aging process
- Trauma to the tooth
How to Whiten Your Teeth at Home Naturally?
Curious how to naturally get whiter teeth? The good news is there are easy steps you can take to reduce discoloration by a few shades. Such methods are relatively cheap, especially compared to an in-office cleaning. For best results, try one of the following top teeth whitening methods and see what works best for you.
Natural ways of whitening your teeth include:
- Oil pulling – A traditional Indian dental remedy involving swishing oil around in your mouth in order to remove bacteria and plaque. We recommend that you use coconut oil to rinse your mouth, which tastes good and has a high lauric acid concentration, which helps reduce gum irritation and inflammation and kill bacteria.
To do this, simply put 1 tablespoon of room temperature of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around between your gums and teeth for 15-20 minutes. There are no acids or other ingredients that might tarnish the enamel, so you can do this daily to get your teeth whiter.
- Brushing with baking soda – Many whitening products have abrasives and other detergents that are meant to fight stains. Baking soda, which is a major component of toothpaste, contains mild abrasives that can help scrub the surface of the enamel.
It won’t fix your color overnight, but if you make it a habit, studies show positive results.
To create the paste, simply mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 1 quarter teaspoon of water and mix it into a paste.
- Apple cider vinegar – Is known as a popular disinfectant and cold remedy because it’s antibacterial properties. In addition, swishing a diluted mouthful of apple cider vinegar for several minutes a day can have a bleaching effect on your teeth.
- Hydrogen peroxide – This natural bleaching agent is found in nearly every OTC tooth whitening kit or in-office teeth whitening solution. It is known to kill bacteria in the mouth and is the most effective whitening method used by dentists. However, it can only be used in small concentrations.
If you do try and create a baking soda and hydrogen peroxide solution, it’s critical that you use a 1.5% to 3% solution. In such cases, combine 2 teaspoons of Peroxide with 1 tablespoon of baking soda and brush your teeth with the mixture daily. Be sure to thoroughly rinse your mouth when you’re finished to prevent gum irritation.
Our Obsession With White Teeth
In modern society, dental appearance—if you have straight and white teeth—plays an important component in a person’s overall body image. For decades this aesthetic messaging has been pushed through a variety of socio-cultural channels. This, in turn, caused significant demand for treatments such as whiteners and braces. But the focus on having white teeth, and the link between yellow teeth and self-esteem issues has gained even more prominence with the advent of social media.
What should instead be at the forefront is proper dental hygiene.
How to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth | Proper Hygiene
In addition to the natural home remedies for whitening your teeth, it’s crucial that you follow proper dental hygiene recommendations and take preventative measures. Limit foods and beverages that cause yellow teeth, and avoid smoking. On top of that, be sure to practice a daily dental routine that consists of brushing, flossing, water flossing, and swishing mouthwash.
Follow these steps and your teeth will be noticeably whiter over time. For additional support, consider ToothShower’s line of products to help improve flossing and brushing.
- NCBI. Tooth Whitening: What We Now Know. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4058574/
- Live Science. Why do teeth turn yellow? https://www.livescience.com/54420-yellow-teeth.html
- Medical News Today. Six natural ways to whiten teeth. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322421.php