Your smile is the central focal point of your face and one of the most important–and noticeable– parts of your appearance. That’s why it’s so frustrating to feel like your smile doesn’t live up to the wide, bright white smiles of celebrities you see in magazines and on TV. The natural color of human teeth is pale yellow–not white. Despite this fact, white teeth are crowned as essential to a healthy, beautiful smile under modern beauty standards.
Even though white is not their natural color, teeth tend to be responsive to whitening treatments. Most people who want to whiten their teeth resort to tooth bleaching by using whitening strips or bleaching trays. Tooth bleaching is one of the fastest, most effective way to whiten your teeth. However, many people’s teeth are too sensitive for any whitening treatments that include bleach. Others simply can’t pay the steep price of expensive bleaching kits from the dentist. If you want a brighter smile without resorting to bleach, there are many effective natural teeth-whitening methods that are much safer and less harsh than bleaching treatments.
1. Try Activated Charcoal
The teeth-whitening properties of charcoal are not scientifically proven, but thousands of people swear by the results they get from rubbing their teeth with powdered charcoal. Activated charcoal pulls toxins out of your teeth to naturally draw out deep stains and reduce the sticky plaque that causes surface dullness and discoloration.
Lush’s Boom! Toothy Tabs make brushing with activated charcoal easier than ever. These small, mint-shaped activated charcoal tabs are chewable, so you can put one into your mouth and crush it into a powder before brushing it onto your teeth. Plus, they’re naturally cola-flavored to make brushing with charcoal tastier.
2. Make Oil Pulling a Habit
If you’ve ever done any research on natural whitening methods before, you’ve probably heard of oil pulling. Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic dental remedy that involves swishing a spoonful of oil through your teeth for 15-20 minutes every day. Oil has antibacterial properties that reduce bacteria in your mouth and break down plaque on the surface of your teeth. The result of oil pulling is noticeably whiter and brighter teeth in as little as a week.
Oil pulling sounds gross, but it doesn’t have to be. You can pull with virtually any oil, but coconut oil is the most popular–and pleasant–choice for modern oil pulling. If you don’t want to spooning oil into your mouth every morning, try Dr Ginger’s Coconut Moushwash instead. This natural, fresh-tasting coconut oil-based mouthwash delivers the same whitening results as oil pulling in just 1-2 minutes of swishing 2-3 times a day.
3. Make a Berry-Baking Soda Paste
In a pinch, you can even use a strawberry to make your teeth shine a little brighter. Strawberry paste is obviously not the most effective at-home whitening technique, but it’s a worthwhile method for subtle whitening and brightening.
Mash a strawberry with baking soda to create a paste. Brush the paste onto your teeth like toothpaste and let it sit for five minutes before rinsing it away. The baking soda reduces plaque and the malic acid in strawberries lifts stains from the surface of your teeth to reduce any discoloration or dullness.