Coffee, tea, red wine, and even age can leave your teeth stained and dull, but there is no reason they need to stay that way. Fortunately, you have several different natural options to whiten and brighten your teeth right in your own home.
Baking soda – Using a paste of baking soda and water in place of tooth paste can really help to brighten your smile. The grittiness of baking soda helps scrub surface stains from your teeth, but be careful. Using baking soda to scrub your teeth too often or too vigorously can actually damage and remove your tooth enamel. Since your enamel cannot grow back, you must use this option with caution. Your enamel protects your teeth, and removing it can actually cause your teeth to absorb more stains that are difficult to remove as well as increase tooth sensitivity.
Hydrogen Peroxide – Mixing hydrogen peroxide with baking soda will amp up it's whitening power. You can also use hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse to help reduce bacteria growth, prevent infections, and freshen your breath.
Lemon – The vitamin C and acidity of lemon juice makes it a great whitener; however, it should be used cautiously. Lemon juice is very powerful and can damage your tooth enamel used too often. You can add lemon juice to baking soda for a whitening scrub, or even rub a lemon peel over your teeth to benefit from its whitening powers.
Strawberries – Not only do strawberries taste wonderful, they are packed with vitamin C and malic acid, both which can erase stains and lighten your teeth. Simply mash up a couple strawberries and rub them over your teeth. Allow the mixture to sit for several minutes before rinsing.
No matter which method you choose, you should always check with your dentist if your teeth are healthy enough for whitening. If your enamel is worn away, teeth whitening may cause damage and painful sensitivity to heat and cold.
Also, keep in mind that these methods are generally considered safe to use at home because they are mild. It will likely take several regular treatments before you notice a difference in the color of your teeth. If you do not notice a change from naturally whitening on your own, you may want to consider asking your dentist for a stronger, faster option. Many dentists are able to provide take-home whitening systems that are stronger than what you can buy in the store on your own. There are also several in-office procedures that your dentist can perform to help you get the bright, white smile you are looking for.