Teeth whitening has become a very popular dental procedure increasing in size each decade. We are all aware that our dentist can provide the tools to make our teeth whiter but can it be done at home naturally? Below you will find some of the popular teeth whitening methods:
Oil pulling, also known as “kavala” or “gundusha,” is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for around 20 minutes. This action supposedly draws out toxins in your body, primarily to improve oral health but also to improve your overall health.
Traditionally, sunflower or sesame oil was used for oil pulling. Coconut oil has become a popular choice because it has a pleasant taste and offers other health benefits. Coconut oil has been shown to reduce inflammation and destroy bacteria due to its high lauric acid content. There have been numerous studies done that have shown that daily oil pulling can effectively reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth. By reducing bacteria levels it can help with gingivitis.
Streptococcus mutans is one of the primary types of bacteria in the oral cavity that cause plaque and gingivitis. One research study found that daily swishing with sesame oil significantly reduced Streptococcus mutans in saliva in as little as just one week. There have been no definitive research studies to prove that oil pulling acts in a teeth whitening capacity. Many people that regularly use oil pulling have claimed their teeth are whiterand brighter after routinely oil pulling. Since it is a safe practice it is worth trying for teeth whitening.
Oil Pulling Directions For Teeth Whitening
Place approximately 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and push and pull the oil around your mouth and through your teeth. Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, so you may need to wait a few seconds for it to melt.
Try to continue the oil pulling for at least 15–20 minutes. For the safety of the pipes in your home, spit the oil into the trash can and not down the drain. As mentioned previously, the coconut oil will return to a solid at room temperatures. Safe for daily use in teeth whitening.
Baking soda has the added property of being alkaline in your mouth which can help prevent bacteria from multiplying. It is important to note using baking soda as a teeth whitener will be a slow process. Results will not happen quickly. Research has not yet proven that brushing with plain baking soda will have any teeth whitening effect, but several studies show that toothpaste coupled with baking soda can have a significant teeth whitening effect.
Toothpastes containing baking soda have been shown to be significantly more effective at removing yellow stains from teeth than standard toothpastes without baking soda. The higher the concentration of baking soda, the greater the effect.
Directions For Baking Soda Use
Mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water. Then brush your teeth as normal with the baking soda paste. Again this is very safe and can be done multiple times per week if you wish.
Hydrogen peroxide has been proven to be a natural bleaching agent that also kills bacteria in your mouth. Many commercial whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide, although at a much higher concentration than you will use. Using hydrogen peroxide in high concentrations or lengthy times can cause damage to your teeth’s enamel layer so it is important to use under supervision.
Directions For Use
Common concentrations of hydrogen peroxide at the drugstore is a 3% solution. You can and should dilute this concentration to 1.5% by mixing equal parts peroxide and water. Another way to use hydrogen peroxide is by mixing it with baking soda to make a toothpaste. Combine 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and gently brush your teeth with the mixture. Limit the use of this homemade paste to a few times per week. Overuse can erode your tooth enamel with extended use.
Apple Cider Vinegar Directions
Dilute the vinegar with water and swish it around in your mouth for several minutes. Make sure to rinse your mouth with plain water afterwards to limit the acid effect on your teeth throughout rest of day.
Recent studies have found that a strawberry and baking soda mixture produced little to no color change in teeth, compared to commercial teeth whitening products. Do not use this teeth whitening method more than a few times a week to be safe.
Teeth whitening comes in many forms but nothing replaces dental hygiene to limit the stain build up as well as plaque build up. Remember to speak to your dentist before undertaking any of these teeth whitening regimens to ensure safety for your teeth and periodontal tissues.