I will be the first to admit that I am a grown woman who still dislikes going to the dentist, very much. It’s not that I have ever had a particularly terrible experience at the dentist when I was a child or as an adult. Something about the sound of metal touching my teeth and having to sit there while a stranger holds my mouth open for long lengths of time is less than appealing to me. The anxiety sinks in quickly and I squirm like a young child, eager to get it over with.
(Article by Care2 Healthy Living Guest Blogger)
Knowing this about myself I have made sure that those visits to the dentist are as short as possible by taking the necessary steps outside of the doctor to keep a good smile through natural avenues. Here is a list of natural ways I have discovered to not only keep my teeth healthy, but pearly white.
There are so many health benefits to turmeric. Turmeric has been proven to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antimicrobial, hepatoprotective, immunostimulant, antiseptic and antimutagenic properties that are extremely helpful in dentistry. Simply add a ⅛ teaspoon of turmeric onto your toothbrush, brush and then let sit for 5 minutes. Then rinse thoroughly and brush as usual. The turmeric will stain your toothbrush yellow. Better a yellow toothbrush than yellow teeth! You can also make a paste with ¼ tsp turmeric powder and ⅛ tsp coconut oil.
Coconut Oil Pulling
Coconut oil is used for countless things in my home, from makeup remover to cooking oil, so when I discovered that it could be used for teeth whitening as well, I was pretty excited. It is a great natural way to keep those pearly whites happy. Swish with coconut oil in your mouth for 10 minutes. Because coconut oil is antibacterial it will begin to draw oil stains. This is something you can do every day.
Eat More Strawberries
Yup, you read that correctly. These ruby red delectables not only taste wonderful and are a healthy snack, but they contribute to a whiter smile. Strawberries have a high percentage of folate which naturally exfoliates and cleans your teeth and contains an enzyme called malic acid that is a natural stain remover. You can also make a strawberry paste by taking a strawberry and mashing it up with one teaspoon of baking soda. You let the paste sit on your teeth for 5 minutes before you rinse and brush regularly.
This sounds odd but it works wonders. Pick up some charcoal capsules from your local supplement store and when you brush, empty one of the capsules onto your toothbrush. Brush for about 5 minutes. The charcoal will turn your mouth black, but it will not stain. Thoroughly rinse your mouth and repeat daily. The charcoal works by acting like a stain magnet. It pulls out impurities and imperfections.
This is fairly common. There are even many toothpaste companies that advertise baking soda in the toothpaste. Baking soda can be abrasive and potentially damage your teeth if it is used at each brushing. Dentists recommend using every other day and when your teeth have reached the color you desire, switch to just one time a week. Simply add it to your toothpaste when brushing and be on your way to a brighter smile.
Sounds really weird and isn’t my favorite feeling in the world, but it is a great preventative measure. Just rub a thin layer on your teeth before you head out the door in the morning (after brushing of course) and it will help to keep the food and drinks (your morning coffee) from staining your teeth throughout the day.
Fruit really is wonderful for you in so many ways. After your snack, take the peel of the banana and rub the inside of it on your teeth for about two minutes. Doing this allows the potassium, magnesium and other minerals to absorb into your teeth. This natural route of whitening doesn’t leave your teeth extra sensitive like the chemical whiteners do.
Yet another fruit that is great for more than consumption. Just like with the banana peel, take the inner white side of the orange peel and rub it on your teeth for a few minutes. It is not acidic so it won’t hurt the enamel on your teeth, but it does act as a solvent to help whiten your teeth.
These natural remedies are in no way a replacement for seeing the dentist regularly and practicing good oral hygiene, but they are sure to make those visits much more bearable with the extra attention.
Rose Renner has worked for local media outlets in a wide range of areas, from sustainability and health and wellness to beauty and motherhood in both online and in print media. When she isn’t busy freelancing, writing or editing you can find her in her garden, being a goof with her many pets and family or at a desk somewhere toiling away at her own fiction writing. Follow her on Twitter @rennarrose.