You know what they say, “beauty is pain”. So, I guess its no surprise that tooth and gum sensitivity are cited as side effects to tooth bleaching. Well, I don’t think “they” know what they’re talking about because beautycare should always support your health and be as painless and enjoyable as possible. Hello face massage! Along with added sensitivity, those who over-use whitenening treatments can end up with translucent or grey hued teeth. This example of how short-term solutions can result in worse outcomes long-term are all too common in the beauty industry. Sigh. But this doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to brighten your smile. Here is a list of tips to naturally whiten your teeth that will have you flashing your pearly-whites without worry.
1. Oil Pulling – Gargling daily with oil has been all the rage lately but in fact its an ancient, Ayurvedic practice. Swishing with raw sesame oil is traditional but many people today prefer the lighter, tastier coconut oil. Oil pulling helps to kill mouth bacteria, strengthen gums and loosen up impurities on the teeth. Many of my clients who have been doing this for 15 minutes a day every morning find their teeth are whiter and brighter within three to six months. But this is just a nice side effect of better oral health!
2. Avoid Staining Foods – Coffee, wine, soda and high pigment fruit juices such as grape juice all are on the teeth staining food list. While I don’t recommend avoiding nutritious and colorful fruits and veggies, I do think ditching coffee, alcohol and colas good for your teeth and for your overall health.
3. Brushing with Baking Soda – Baking soda is a natural abrasive that buffs and polishes our teeth gently. Simply do this once a week as a sort of exfoliation treatment for your smile. Baking soda is also a strong alkalizer, which helps combat yellowing caused by high acidity in the mouth.
4. Treat High Acid – Hyperacidity in the mouth and digestive system can lead to tooth damage, which leaves teeth vulnerable to staining. Acid from the stomach that comes up from reflux erodes dentin, so treating the digestive ailments play a part of maintaining white teeth. Another example of holistic vanity!
5. Lemon Juice – Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent used for a variety of things. As a teen, my friends used to use it for their hair and I use it around the house as a natural stain remover. Nature’s little whitener is a nice way to deep clean our teeth once in a while. I have used this ultra-occasionally on its own but lemon is acidic. So, you can also combine it with alkaline baking soda to counteract and balance the pH.
6. Avoid Dry Mouth – I recently learned from my dentist that dry mouth leads to high mouth acidity. I think that this is one reason why oil pulling is so good. But beyond this, there are many other culprits of dry mouth. Once is sleeping with your mouth open. I actually have one client who tapes her mouth at night to fix this! Another is smoking. Smoking worsens dry mouth – and we probably all already know that smokers are more prone to yellowing teeth.