Natural Ways to Whiten Your Teeth
If your teeth look like the keys of that old piano you saw in the junk shop last week, it's to your advantage to whiten those babies ASAP. Recent research from the universities of Central Lancashire and Leeds found that having white teeth makes you more attractive. The researchers liken our teeth to the tail of a peacock, signifying good health and helping us snag a mate.
If you already have a mate, you may be more interested in knowing that healthy, white teeth can also lead to a better chance of getting hired and making more money. A three-part study commissioned by Crest Whitestrips (go figure!) and conducted by Kelton Research at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles found that participants were 58 percent more likely to be hired and 53 percent more likely to receive a bigger salary offer after their teeth were whitened. Those whose teeth were whitened were also perceived to be more professional, outgoing, and confident.
Whitening your teeth can be a little pricey, though. Americans fork out almost $1.5 billion every year for teeth whitening products, and the most popular cosmetic procedure at the dentist's office is whitening. But you don't have to spend a fortune to get your pearly whites whiter. These all-natural whitening solutions are probably sitting in your kitchen cupboards right now, just waiting to be slathered over your teeth to remove stains and shine 'em up so that you can wow the world with your bright, sparkling smile.
Lemon Juice and Baking Soda Whitening Paste
Folks used to brush with baking soda all the time, and many still do. Baking soda is slightly abrasive, which helps loosen and remove stains, while the citric acid in lemon juice works to bleach them. Be really gentle when cleaning your teeth with baking soda. Too much elbow grease, and you may end up stripping away some of the enamel, which won't grow back.
Concoct a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice that's not too runny but not too pasty. It should be a little thinner than traditional toothpaste. Wipe your teeth with a wash cloth or napkin to remove any saliva. Dip your soft-bristled toothbrush in the paste and apply it to your teeth. Leave the paste on for a minute or two (try not to taste it!) and rinse it off. Your teeth probably won't look like they've been bleached, but if you do this routine weekly, it won't be long before your chompers are white as can be.
Salty Strawberry Scrub
Strawberries pack a massive vitamin C punch, and vitamin C helps to break up plaque and stains. They also contain malic acid, an enzyme that also helps to break up and remove stains. The salt serves as an abrasive to scrub the enamel surface for even more whitening power.
Squish up a couple of large strawberries to form a pulp. Mix in a 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Slather the concoction over your teeth and leave it on for a full five minutes, and rinse. Repeat this routine every day after brushing.
Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
Apple cider vinegar solves a lot of household and hygiene problems, including whitening your teeth. It's been found to be highly effective for removing stains on your teeth, but it takes a few weeks of daily use before you'll see much of a difference. Consistent use can lead to teeth that appear to have just been professionally whitened.
Mix two parts water with one part apple cider vinegar. Every day before you brush, swish the solution around in your mouth for a minute. Brush really well afterwards to remove traces of the vinegar to prevent the acid from damaging your enamel.
How to Keep Your Teeth White
- Once your teeth have been restored to their natural shade, you can help them stay that way.
- Eat lots of raw, crunchy fruits and veggies throughout the day to scrub your teeth and remove plaque and surface stains.
- Chew sugarless gum after you eat to remove food particles and stimulate the production of saliva, which has natural properties that kill bacteria and fight stains.
- Brush thoroughly twice a day with a quality whitening toothpaste. Don't forget to floss!
- Quit smoking. Nothing will yellow your teeth and wrinkle your lips faster than smoking, and it contributes to gum disease and oral cancer. You know the rest.
How do you keep your pearly whites…well…white?