Many people lust after a bright, pearly white smile and it’s easy to see why. White teeth are a sign of good health and personal hygiene and can also boost your confidence.
However, over time, teeth can fade to a yellow tone. This can be due to a number of reasons such as genetics, food and drink as well as how often you practise oral hygiene.
An option is to turn to teeth whitening products, but they are not all made the same.
It’s often hard to tell the difference between which are actually effective and they may have some nasty side effects. Laser treatments, whitening strips and bleaching can do serious damage including weakening of the tooth enamel, gum inflammation and even multi-coloured teeth. Yikes!
But don’t worry! There are natural ways to attain those sparkling whites that are easy on chemicals and your wallet. And double bonus, most of these ingredients are already in your pantry.
1. Eat cheese
Cheese is a gradually cleansing food which will protect your teeth and clean them over time. Cheese contains casein, a milk protein, which has been shown to reduce the loss of minerals from tooth enamel.
Try chewing a small cube of cheese as a snack or after having a meal.
Chewing cheese will stimulate saliva flow which helps to neutralise acids that decay or erode the teeth.
2. Eat white foods
Pigmented foods such as beetroot, blueberries and carrots can do a lot of damage to your teeth by binding to the teeth’s enamel and staining them.
Take away food like Chinese and Indian can also be damaging as they often contain turmeric or food colouring.
Instead, try to eat white foods which won’t bind to the enamel such as chicken, rice and fish.
3. Eat strawberries
Strawberries are high in malic acid and vitamin c which are natural cleansers.
You can simply snack on strawberries or for more effective results mash the berries into a pulp, add a pinch of sea salt and apply to your teeth like toothpaste.
4. Use baking soda
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a natural teeth whitener. It acts as an abrasive scrub, which gently brushes away the surface stains to return teeth to its natural shade. Try mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with water or lemon juice to make a paste. It will gradually make your teeth whiter over time.
5. Use coconut oil as a mouth rinse
That’s right, the coconut oil which is usually used for moisturising can also be used as a mouthwash. The lauric acid in the coconut oil will get rid of the bacteria found in plaque that can make them yellow.
The technique, also known as oil-pulling, involves swirling a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth for as long as you can. Before you brush your teeth in the morning swirl the oil for about 15 minutes. The lubrication will stop stains from sticking to your teeth and it also promotes gum health and helps keep your breath fresh!