Coconut Oil Pulling
Can it be true? Coconut oil to clean your teeth? Just when you thought you heard it all when it comes to coconut oil, along comes the news that coconut oil pulling can serve as a natural teeth whitener. Some people attest to their teeth becoming whiter and overall healthier by applying coconut oil to their teeth after they brush, and most people praise the results of oil pulling.
Simply put a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it between your teeth for five to 20 minutes, or add a few drops to your toothbrush and brush it on. Another option is to apply coconut oil to a corner of a clean washcloth and rub it on the teeth. A bonus regarding coconut pulling? Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties so it’s great for protecting and cleaning your gums as well.
A study featured in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Hygiene found, “Edible oil-pulling therapy is natural, safe and has no side effects. Hence, it can be considered as a preventive therapy at home to maintain oral hygiene.” (6)
4. Use Apple Cider Vinegar
It makes sense that apple cider vinegar (ACV), which effectively works as a natural antibiotic and teeth/gum cleanser, would also be able to remove stubborn stains on the teeth. ACV is especially helpful for removing stains due to common culprits like coffee and nicotine (smoking). Studies suggest that for many with dark stains it even works just as well as commercial products as a natural teeth whitener. No wonder some report that after using ACV it looks like you just got your teeth professionally cleaned.
What’s the secret of ACV? It contains compounds including acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes, which kill germs (dangerous “bad” bacteria) and at the same time foster the growth of beneficial “good” probiotic bacteria. Since it’s naturally acidic, it helps break down plaque or other substances stuck to the teeth. The pH of apple cider vinegar can remove stains from your teeth, which helps naturally whiten your teeth.
The key to using ACV for teeth whitening is to be consistent, using it for at least a month continuously in order to see the best results. However, be careful, as with all acids, it can remove the enamel on your teeth if you brush too hard or use too much. After brushing with ACV, you need to brush again with regular toothpaste, preferably a non-fluoride paste, or rinse your mouth out well. Take your finger and rub apple cider vinegar on your teeth for about one minute. Then rinse your mouth out with water or a hydrogen peroxide rinse.
5. Lemon or Orange Peels
Similarly to apple cider vinegar, some swear that using citrus fruits — including lemon and/or orange peels, or lemon essential oil, which contain beneficial acids — also does the trick for whitening teeth. These foods overall are very healthy, such as benefiting digestion due to regulating levels of stomach acid, but the high acid content can also eventually wear away the enamel on the teeth if used too aggressively. Like with ACV, if you use lemon or orange peel on your teeth always rinse your mouth afterward to be on the safe side. Use the hydrogen peroxide oral rinse formula described above for best results.
6. Strawberries and Other Healthy Foods
Rumor has it that some celebrities whiten their teeth with healthy foods like strawberries. Who would have thought? Model Tyra Banks even tried this teeth-whitening trick on her show.