As a multi-billion dollar industry, the tooth whitening business is big news, and everyone seems to want a whiter, brighter, more perfect smile. It’s not hard to understand why: A set of pearly whites instantly boosts confidence levels and is also seen as an external sign of a healthy lifestyle.
The problem with professional teeth whitening methods (you know, the procedures that go down in dental clinics) is that treatments are loaded with harsh chemicals, which can cause sensitivities that linger far longer than the effect they create. They also cost big bucks.
Luckily, there are natural ingredients and recipes out there that you can use to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your own home, and the best part of it is that they won’t put a dent in your pocket!
Here, 3 DIY ways to naturally whiten your pearly whites:
1. Activated Charcoal
Coming in as our favorite teeth whitening remedy, activated charcoal might also seem like the most controversial way of whitening your teeth, but you’ll be amazed at the results when used as part of your dental routine.
Take your toothbrush and wet it a little before dipping it into some activated charcoal powder. Proceed to brush your teeth with the black powder for roughly 2 minutes. After you’re done, rinse, repeat the process with regular toothpaste, and rinse again. You can use this on a daily basis until you get the results you’re looking for. Once you’re happy with the whiteness of your teeth, use the charcoal method once a week to maintain a white smile.
Be warned: You’ll probably be grossed out by what the treatment looks like while you’re doing it, and you might even think that we’ve given you a surefire way to permanently stain your teeth… But as soon as you rinse, brush, and rinse again, we promise there won’t be any signs of havoc. Instead, you’ll be left with teeth that are white again. It typically takes about 2 weeks of application to see visible improvements.
Why does it work?
Activated charcoal has the ability to bind to tannins, which is the substance that causes teeth to become discolored. Activated charcoal also changes the pH of your mouth, which means that it can be used to help prevent cavities and tooth decay.
2. Baking Soda and Lemon Juice
Sure, baking soda is a great home-cleaner, especially when it comes to bathroom dirt and grime. But it’s also extremely effective at getting rid of stains on your teeth!
Mix a few teaspoons of baking soda with enough fresh lemon juice to form a thick paste. Put the paste on your toothbrush and then apply it to your teeth using the toothbrush. Leave the paste on your teeth for up to 1 minute and then rinse well.
Don’t leave the paste on for longer than one minute because the lemon juice can remove the enamel from your teeth (which is very, very not good). You can also opt to leave the lemon juice out of the equation, which makes it safe to leave on for up to 3 minutes.
Why does it work?
Since it’s mildly abrasive, sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) can gently and effectively scrub away surface stains on the teeth. Lemon juice, on the other hand, is very acidic (which is balanced out by the alkalinity of the baking soda), and it’s also a natural bleach of sorts.
Technically, this method requires the use of 3 natural ingredients: fresh strawberries, baking soda, and salt. When used as part of your daily bedtime routine, your teeth will be whiter and shinier in about a week’s time!
Mash up three large strawberries and then add a pinch of sea salt to the mush. You can also add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda at this point if you prefer. Wipe your teeth down with a paper towel to get rid of any saliva before applying a generous amount of the paste to your teeth by using a toothbrush or your finger. Allow the mixture to work for 1-2 minutes, then rinse.
Keep in mind:
Strawberries are also highly acidic which can damage enamel. Make sure you don’t leave the paste on for extended periods of time.
Why does it work?
Naturally high in vitamin C, strawberries can help break down plaque, which is one of the root causes of teeth that appear yellow in color. The other amazing thing about strawberries is their malic acid content, which acts to remove surface stains. Salt comes in as the abrasive ingredient here, scrubbing away the nastiness that causes stains in the first place. Finally, baking soda adds just a little more whitening power, but it’s totally optional, and you don’t have to include it in the paste.
Which method(s) will you be trying?
Have a better DIY teeth whitening recipe? Let us know in the comments below.
-Megan is a DIY health & beauty addict. You can find her work at Gold Mountain Beauty where she is responsible for the blog, Instagram, and Pinterest.