The 4 Best Teeth Whitening Home Remedies You Should be Using for a Glowing Smile
If your smile is looking less than pearly white, you’re most definitely not alone.
Tooth discoloration is incredibly common—and so is the desire for whiter teeth. But you don’t need us to tell you that. Just take a stroll down the toothpaste aisle of any grocery store, and you’ll see a slew of products promising a whiter smile.
While it might be tempting to grab the nearest tooth bleaching kit, the unfortunate truth is that many conventional teeth whitening products can do more harm than good. Luckily, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to live with a dimming smile.
Instead, there are plenty of plant-based teeth whitening strategies that can enhance your teeth’s appearance without damaging your chompers. Here’s how your teeth lose their glow and the natural ways to whiten up your smile.
Before we dive into how to whiten teeth naturally, we first need to understand why teeth become discolored. Teeth can lose their white sheen for a number of reasons, which usually fall into one of two broad categories:
- Extrinsic stains only affect the tooth’s enamel (the surface layer of the teeth). These types of stains typically appear brown or yellowish in color and may show up in lines or patches. Depending on the cause of the extrinsic stain, the discoloration may or may not be easy to remove. Common causes of extrinsic stains include poor oral health care habits, genetics, aging, certain foods and drinks (such as coffee, soda, and blackberries), tobacco use, excessive fluoride exposure, dental trauma (such as chips, cracks, and other damage), certain illnesses and medications, and dental work involving materials that don’t quite match the natural color of teeth.
- Intrinsic stains arise within the tooth—meaning they go deeper than the surface of enamel. These types of stains typically take on a grayish hue and are much harder (if not impossible) to remove.
Teeth may also appear discolored even if they aren’t stained. This occurs when the enamel wears down to reveal the dentin, or the layer underneath the enamel. Dentin is naturally more yellow-colored, so when this layer is exposed it can cause the teeth to look stained.
No matter the cause of tooth discoloration, many people feel self-conscious about a less-than-pearly smile and seek out different products or strategies for whitening their teeth. According to the American Dental Association, “whitening” refers to anything that helps teeth look whiter—whether by changing teeth’s natural color (via bleaching) or by removing only the surface stains.
While there are plenty of bleaching products on the market, you may be better off sticking to natural remedies.
That’s because many conventional teeth whitening products have been shown to be highly abrasive and may damage tooth enamel and/or dentin. Not only is this bad for your oral health, but it can actually contribute to the very problem these products are meant to help: When enamel wears down, it reveals the yellower dentin layer.
It also makes it more likely that your teeth will be susceptible to stains from extrinsic sources. In contrast, home remedies are generally much gentler and safer for your smile over the long term.
Home remedies for brightening up your smile can take several forms. They might consist of lifestyle changes (such as quitting smoking, improving your oral hygiene, and/or changing up your diet to avoid foods and drinks that are likely to cause stains). Or they might involve the use of natural products to encourage whiter teeth.
Here are four ingredients for doing just that.
Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening
Activated charcoal offers many benefits to people looking to enhance the brightness of their smile:
- It changes the pH level in the mouth to help prevent cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
- It absorbs plaque, bacteria, and other micro particles that might otherwise stick around on the teeth, thereby helping to remove stains.
- It gently polishes the teeth helping buff out extrinsic stains.
Coconut Oil Teeth Whitening
Coconut oil is renowned for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, which helps explain why it’s become a popular tool in the natural teeth whitening arsenal.
One of the simplest ways to use coconut oil for teeth whitening is through oil pulling, a staple of Ayurvedic medicine that dates back thousands of years. While more research is needed, there’s some evidence oil pulling can help remove plaque and stains from the teeth. It may also improve the appearance of the gums (thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects), which can make the teeth look better by association.
This method has become very popular recently and many people see great results despite the lack of official research.
Baking Soda Teeth Whitening
Studies suggest baking soda may assist people with whitening their teeth in several ways:
- Baking soda is a mild abrasive that helps remove plaque from the teeth and reduce plaque levels when used over time, thereby eliminating one of the most common sources of discoloration.
- Toothpastes containing baking soda can help remove extrinsic stains and plaque from the teeth, creating a whitening effect.
- It’s possible baking soda may help reduce bacteria in the mouth when used over time, thereby preventing another source of tooth discoloration.
Hydrogen Peroxide Teeth Whitening
Dentists have used hydrogen peroxide to facilitate teeth whitening for more than a century. More recently, diluting hydrogen peroxide to about six percent has been shown to substantially improve the whiteness of teeth.
Just be aware that some people do experience side effects (including tooth sensitivity and/or gum irritation) when using hydrogen peroxide. These side effects are more likely to occur when people use concentrations of 10 percent or more.
If you want to give any of the home remedies for whiter teeth a try, you can dip your toes into the world of at-home teeth whitening with these DIY approaches.
Brush with Activated Charcoal
Using activated charcoal at home is simple. Either dip a wet toothbrush directly into activated charcoal powder and use it to brush your teeth up to three times per week, or invest in activated charcoal toothpaste from a trusted vendor.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide in a Paste or Mouth Wash
There are two ways to utilize (diluted) hydrogen peroxide as an at-home teeth whitener:
- You could mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide with water and swish the solution around in your mouth for about 30 seconds before spitting.
- You could mix a small amount of hydrogen peroxide with a few teaspoons of baking soda to create a paste, use the paste much like you would a toothpaste, leave the paste on the teeth for a few minutes after brushing, and then rinse and spit the paste from your mouth.
Try Oil Pulling
Pulling with coconut oil is quite straightforward: Simply place one tablespoon (or less) of coconut oil in your mouth, allow it to melt a bit, and then swish the oil around and through your teeth for 15 to 20 minutes. (Pro tip: Spit the oil into the trash can so it doesn’t clog up your pipes when it re-solidifies.)
Because there’s no evidence that coconut oil abrades tooth enamel, it’s safe to oil pull every day.
Make a paste with baking soda
There are several ways to whiten teeth with baking soda:
- You might mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water and then brush your teeth with the paste a few times per week.
- You could mix baking soda with a small amount of lemon juice or sea salt and use it in the same way.
While these recipes are generally considered safe, it’s always a good idea to consult your dentist about what might work best for you.
There are tons of teeth whitening products on the market—and we’re confident our Coconut and Bamboo Activated Charcoal Powder can give them all a run for their money. What’s more, it’ll do so without bleach or highly abrasive ingredients.
Instead, our recipe utilizes two forms of activated charcoal (coconut and bamboo), which helps brighten your smile by absorbing plaque and other discoloring materials from the teeth. It also improves the overall health of your mouth by helping to prevent cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
In addition to this powerful tooth whitener and oral-health-improver, we’ve also included several other natural, proven ingredients to further enhance the health of your mouth and promote pearlier whites. These include:
- Baking soda, which, as we’ve seen above, is a proven stain and plaque remover
- Bentonite Clay, which has been shown to remove stain-causing bacteria from the mouth and freshen bad breath
- French Green Clay, which has been shown to absorb toxic substances and introduce essential minerals into the mouth
- Kaolin Clay, which helps remove stains, absorb impurities, and provide essential minerals
Not only does our activated charcoal powder effectively whiten teeth and improve the overall health of your mouth, but it also tastes good thanks to the addition of peppermint.
Click here to learn more about it:
By embracing the power of food-grade ingredients such as activated charcoal and baking soda, you can enjoy naturally whiter teeth without the use of bleach or other harsh chemicals.
Our Coconut and Bamboo Activated Charcoal Powder takes care of all the ratios for you. It also tastes good and employs several other good-for-you ingredients in the form of bentonite clay, French green clay, and kaolin clay.
Or, if you’d prefer to go the DIY route, there are plenty of recipes to choose from. Whiter teeth naturally? Now that’s something to smile about!