Between all the bulletproof lattes, mid-afternoon tea breaks, and red wine nights, your teeth may begin to lose their pearly white shine. Don’t fret, there’s a natural teeth whitening recipe that use a few pantry staples and nontoxic products (like coconut oil) to naturally brighten up your smile – the healthy way.
Although conventional teeth whitening products and procedures, like bleaching, offer high shine and sparkle, they may not be the best for your teeth or overall health.
According to WebMD, the two side effects that occur most often with teeth whitening are “a temporary increase in tooth sensitivity and mild irritation of the soft tissues of the mouth, especially the gums.”
Even more, these conventional teeth whitening products are often packed with artificial ingredients and preservatives that are easily absorbed into the body.
There’s a safer, less expensive, and more holistic way to achieve natural teeth whitening and it uses ingredients you may already have in your home.
How To Whiten Your Teeth Naturally With 3 Pantry Staples
Coconut Oil. According to Tricia Mool of Colgate’s Oral Care Center, coconut oil is a safe and effective ingredient for the natural teeth whitening processes. “Although research is still inconclusive to the effect of coconut oil on oral health and bacteria, it has been considered for its stain-decreasing properties.”
Even better as Mool notes “coconut oil, with a small amount of mashed peppermint leaves or oil for a minty finish, can help remove some of the surface bacteria that yellows teeth.” And unlike baking soda-based whiteners, it’s safe to use coconut oil daily and any amount of coconut oil can work.
Coconut oil is a rich source of lauric acid, a type of medium chain triglyceride and antibacterial agent that helps to break down bacteria within the mouth. This fatty acid is also effective at ridding the mouth of bacteria that causes tooth decay and bad breath along with plaque buildup and signs of gingivitis.
In fact, lauric acid is known to help get rid of an oral bacteria called Streptococcus mutans, one of the leading bacterial causes of tooth decay.
Hydrogen peroxide. This bathroom and kitchen staple costs at least a tenth of those traditional boxed whitening strips, and proves just as effective.
Thomas P. Connelly D.D.S., a practicing dentist in NYC notes that “hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent, and can absolutely help in whitening teeth. In fact, many over-the-counter tooth whitening products have a good amount of hydrogen peroxide — sometimes as much as 10 percent.”
According to the American Dental Association, it is completely safe to use hydrogen peroxide as a natural teeth whitener. Just make sure to use a fresh brown plastic bottle of the stuff. Open bottles of hydrogen peroxide need to be used within six months of opening, as they quickly lose potency soon after.
Calcium carbonate. This mineral supplement is often given to those who’d like to increase the amount of calcium in their diet. Healthy hack: use calcium carbonate on teeth for a whiter, brighter, and stronger smile.
Calcium carbonate is a mineral, which has significant impact on the strength and hardness of dental enamel. Along with providing hardness, calcium carbonate has also been shown to exhibit whitening powers on teeth too.
Studies have shown that whitening toothpastes containing calcium carbonate significantly removed more tooth stains than normal toothpaste.
Peppermint oil. Although the last ingredient is optional to this recipe, peppermint oil provides a minty fresh taste plus bacteria-fighting benefits. Peppermint oil is filled with anti-fungal, anti-microbial, and anti-viral properties that help to fight off tooth decay and gingivitis.
These simple ingredients are all you need to naturally whiten teeth. Of course, if you have any dental concerns, talk with your dentist or general practitioner first.
Natural Teeth Whitening Recipe
1 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide
1 Tbsp unrefined coconut oil
1 tsp calcium carbonate
1-2 drops peppermint oil, optional
Add all ingredients to a small bowl and mix well to form a paste.
Using a clean toothbrush, apply paste evenly to teeth. Allow whitening mixture to stay on teeth for ten to fifteen minutes. After, rinse well with water.
Repeat this process up to twice a day to get pearly white teeth in no time.