A bright smile is a sign of health and, increasingly, is being seen as a symbol of wealth and success. 75% of people in the UK are now asking their dentists for teeth whitening treatments to make their teeth two shades whiter.
However, the problem with some of the more mainstream teeth-whitening methods is that they rely on chemicals, bleach and acidic methods to strip your teeth, sometimes causing long-term damage to your tooth enamel. And these methods don’t appeal to everyone.
If you want to protect your teeth and get a whiter smile the natural way, here are our top tips:
Healthy habits to protect your teeth from stains
The first step to whiter teeth is to protect them from stains in the first place:
A healthy diet will help your body produce strong tooth enamel, so introduce more leafy greens (kale, spinach), cheese, almonds and sugar-free yogurts to your diet.
Crunchy fruits and vegetables help your body keep teeth cleaner, by promoting saliva production, which also helps to kill bacteria in your mouth. Try apples, carrots, and celery sticks as a healthy snack your teeth will love. Their fibrous texture can help to “scrub” stains from your teeth as you chew. Strawberries contain malic acid, an enzyme which can help to keep your teeth whiter.
A good tooth brushing routine at the correct time can make a big difference. If you brush too soon before or after eating or drinking, you risk more staining to your tooth enamel. Drink some water and leave at least 30 minutes between brushing your teeth and eating or drinking.
Switch to sugar-free gum if you’re a fan of chewing gum or minty sweets. Some chewing gum and mints contain a lot of sugar, which will damage your teeth (especially if you have them every day). Instead, look for chewing gum or freshening mints sweetened with Xylitol, a very low calorie sweetener which helps neutralise plaque acidity to look after your tooth enamel.
Natural ways to whiten your teeth
Ditch the harsh chemicals and bleaches, and choose a natural whitening toothpaste that uses gentle plant ingredients to lighten your teeth. Aloe Dent natural toothpaste has a whitening paste made with aloe vera and essential oils to whiten your teeth without stripping the enamel.
Did you know that you can use activated charcoal to naturally whiten your teeth? It seems counter-intuitive to use a black powder to promote whiter teeth, but this all-natural remedy really works. Activated charcoal is a highly absorbent substance which pulls out impurities like tannins that can stain your teeth. Natural toothpaste Ecodenta contains activated charcoal along with other natural whitening ingredients for naturally brighter teeth.
Handpicked content: Want whiter teeth? Use charcoal toothpaste
Oil pulling is an ancient natural remedy for whiter teeth and a healthier mouth. Oil pulling has its roots in Ayurvedic medicine. It simply uses natural oil to clean and protect your teeth and gums. You can use any oil, but most oil pulling experts suggest coconut oil for the added anti-bacterial properties. Oil pulling involves swishing oil around your mouth for up to 20 minutes every day. The habit might take some getting used to, so build up from a few minutes until you have incorporated it into your morning or night-time routine. If you can’t get used to oil pulling, try an oil pulling mouthwash that has activated charcoal.