According to the American Association of Orthodontists, close to 90% of patients request tooth whitening. However, are harsh chemicals the best method? Chemical abrasives and procedures may cause tooth sensitivity and overuse of whiteners can damage tooth enamel and gums. It is no wonder that individuals are looking into natural remedies to improve the whiteness of their teeth. These top 4 ways have been shown to improve the color of teeth naturally.
Increase These Foods in Your Diet to Whiten Teeth
Eating a rich and varied diet can improve your overall health, allowing you to get your recommended daily amount of vitamins and minerals using Mother Nature’s delivery method. Some foods also have an additional side effect, whitening the enamel of your teeth. Add in the following foods to brighten that smile:
- Strawberries contain malic acid, an enzyme that can potentially whiten teeth. Mash up a few, rub them substance on your teeth, wait for 5 minutes and then rinse, brush and floss and normal.
- Apples, carrots and celery increase saliva production. Saliva is the mouth’s way of cleaning itself. The fiber in the fruit help to scrub the teeth. These choices may even reduce bacteria that reduces bad breath.
- Pineapples and oranges can increase saliva production. In addition, the Vitamin C present in these fruits help to improve gum health.
- Dairy products contain lactic acid and can help ward off tooth decay. A recent study in Dentistry reports that children consuming yogurt 4 times a week had less tooth decay than those that did not consume yogurt. Hard cheese help to also remove food particles so they are considered the best option for teeth whitening.
These foods not only taste good but do double duty as potential teeth whiteners. Add them to your next grocery checkout and see for yourself.
Use Some Good Old Baking Soda
Baking soda has long been used as a tooth-whitening home remedy. A 2008 study demonstrated that toothpastes with baking soda worked better at removing plaque than those without. Individuals can choose to brush teeth with a paste made from baking soda from the box from time to time. You can also choose a commercial paste containing baking soda. A natural powdered and convenient option with baking soda is ECO-DENT®’s TARTARGUARD, a toothpowder with baking soda that cleans without fluoride. A small bottle is long-lasting and offers 200 brushings. Dentists recommend baking soda for its alkalinity. Most foods consumed are acidic and wear away at the enamel to the yellower dentin beneath. Alkaline baking soda serves to neutralize acids and the pH in the mouth. It is not overly abrasive and in combination with a diet rich in vegetables and plenty of water will help regulate the pH in the mouth naturally. How can you use baking soda directly on teeth? Arm & Hammer suggests the following steps:
- Add a small amount of Baking soda on a dish.
- Wet a toothbrush and dip it in the powder.
- Brush as usual and rinse mouth with water.
Versatile baking soda can easily help individuals maintain a whiter, brighter smile without dangerous commercial additives.
Try Some Turmeric
Turmeric is safe for ingestion and may promote overall well-being. Turmeric is a bright orange or yellow powder derived from Curcuma longa. It has been used to treat numerous health conditions in traditional Chinese medicine and Indian Vedic culture. It is commonly used to remove stains and as a healthy natural teeth whitener. Turmeric does not have sustained contact with the enamel to produce any unwanted staining effect.
Therapeutic investigations of the use of Turmeric in dentistry show promising results in a recent contribution in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Sciences.
If looking to use this spice, a mouthwash using the spice seems to reduce bacterial and microbial activity in the mouth. This oral rinse may produce relief from other dental problems. Turmeric powder and paste may decrease inflammation and pain, and offer a natural treatment for gingivitis and periodontitis. This handy pantry staple may come to be the new natural approach for teeth whitening.
Avoid Substances Known to Darken Teeth
Certain foods, drinks and medication have all been known to alter the color of tooth enamel. If you want to keep and maintain a whiter smile, it is important to consider the effects of diet and other habits.
- Drink: Major staining of enamel has been attributed to tea, coffee and red wine. All three possess chromogens that attach themselves to the enamel of teeth, contributing to a more yellow hue.
- Tobacco: Tar and nicotine are chemicals known to impact the color of teeth. Reducing or eliminating a smoking habit can maintain a whiter smile.
- Medications: Specific antihistamines, high blood pressure medications and antipsychotics have the undesirable side effect of darkening teeth. Chemotherapy and radiation can also darken the enamel.
It is important to understand the long-term effects of these factors and how they impact the color of teeth enamel. Eliminating and finding alternatives, such as choosing white wine over red, are some way to naturally whiten teeth. In addition, regular brushing and flossing help to remove substances that might otherwise stain teeth making this is an important habit to include in daily oral health routines.
Remember that as we age, our teeth naturally become darker. It is estimated that with every decade that passes, teeth darken 1 to 2 shades. The dentin underneath the enamel provides the foundation for out tooth color and the dentin pigment is influenced by age and genetics, both outside of our control. Nutrition, oral hygiene practices and environmental factors do play a role but are only part of the equation. With that in mind, it is possible to control for conditions naturally rather than turn to harsh whitening strips and treatments that wear down the enamel of teeth. Explore the natural remedies available to enhance the appearance of your pearly whites. Feel free to share your experiences with natural treatments in the comments below.