Natural Teeth Whiteners
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Light Bright1 of 10
Who doesn't want a brighter, whiter smile? We love these alternative solutions. —Glo
By Woman's Day
If applying peroxides and other chemicals seems a bit harsh, don’t worry. There are plenty of natural ways to score a gleaming grin. Check out these 10 ideas to help make your smile appear brighter, au naturel.
Mix It Up2 of 10
Combine 1/2 tsp baking soda with 1/2 tsp table salt to make a teeth cleanser, says Dorie Byers, author of Natural Beauty Basics. Add one drop of breath-freshening peppermint essential oil to the mixture. Wet your toothbrush, then dip it into the mixture and brush. The particles in the baking soda polish the surface of your teeth, while a chemical reaction with the water lightens stains. To avoid damaging your enamel, don’t use this method more than once a week.
Snack Away3 of 10
“Snack on saliva-producing foods like apples, pears, strawberries, celery and carrots,” says Thomas Connelly, DDS, a New York City cosmetic dentist. The additional saliva they produce helps remove bacteria from your mouth and whiten your teeth.
In The Clay Mold4 of 10
According to Byers, kaolin clay delivers a gentle abrasive action to teeth and can be used as a natural whitening agent. For breath freshening, a drop of peppermint or clove essential oil can be added. Dampen your toothbrush and dip it into the mixture, then brush. To avoid damaging your enamel, don’t use this method more than once a week.
Drink Up5 of 10
“Swish water in your mouth for 30 seconds right after eating,” says Dr. Connelly. “It will help prevent the food you just ate from staining your teeth.”
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Get Milk6 of 10
Dr. Connelly also recommends adding a splash of cream or milk to black coffee or tea — it changes the chemistry of the beverage, which makes it much more difficult for stains to adhere to the tooth’s surface.
In the Tube7 of 10
Try a toothpaste that uses all-natural ingredients. Dental hygienist and manager of Tom’s of Maine’s Oral Care Division Susanne Kuehl recommends Tom’s of Maine Simply White Toothpaste, which removes stains with sodium fluoride. Another smart pick — and a favorite of Dr. Connelly’s — is Miessence Organic Mint Toothpaste. It uses spearmint and cinnamon to freshen breath.
Go Green8 of 10
Load up on spinach and other dark green veggies, like broccoli and kale. These leafy greens contain a mineral compound, which produces a film that covers teeth and protects against stains.
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Just Say No9 of 10
Avoid soda, which contains acids — like phosphoric, citric, malic and tartaric acids — that can strip your teeth’s enamel. If you have to indulge once in a while, use a straw. It’ll help keep your teeth stain-free.
Smoke & Mirrors10 of 10
Kuehl recommends this quick trick to fake whiter teeth: Wear a blue-tinted lipstick; the cool undertones will make teeth gleam in comparison. We like CoverGirl Wetslicks Amazemint glosses: They were designed for this very purpose, plus they contain breath-freshening peppermint oil.