Who doesn’t want whiter teeth? Unfortunately, bleaching tends to cause teeth to become more sensitive and that can be painful. It is also possible to damage the roots of your teeth. Although enamel can tolerate bleach, studies have shown that whitening treatments can damage dentin and weaken teeth, dissolving minerals and oxidizing organic components of the teeth. So, if you have any recession, bleaching has to be approached with extreme caution. Personally, I have decided to stay far away and do what I can naturally to improve the appearance of my smile.
You can get your teeth clean with just baking soda and a toothbrush, but I like a nice taste in my mouth, so have sourced some natural toothpastes that do not inhibit the natural repair going in healthy teeth. Look for toothpaste that does not contain glycerin, for example, since this ingredient will coat the teeth and inhibit the remineralization that helps repair any decay before it has a chance to develop into a large cavity. Even most so-called “natural” health food store brands of toothpaste often contain glycerin. In addition to cleaning teeth thoroughly, a good diet (including enough Vitamin D), with sufficient good fats and low in sticky carbs/sugar will help ensure healthy teeth. Of course, you can also make your own toothpaste with coconut oil, baking soda and some other ingredients – just google and you will find a plethora of ideas for that!
When it comes to flossing, people either usually love it or hate it. I love to floss! You can overdo it though, so I think once a day at bedtime is sufficient, unless you get something stuck between your teeth. I know people who rarely floss and have perfect teeth, so it seems to be one of those things that is individual
I like to do something called “oil pulling” in the morning which is said to kill bacteria in the mouth and help increase the whiteness of teeth. For this you simply swish a spoonful of coconut oil (or sesame oil) in your mouth. Sometimes I add some xylitol for sweetness and extra bacteria killing power. You can get fancy and add some vanilla or other flavours too. Ideally, you should do this for 20 minutes, although I usually just get to about 10 minutes before spitting out the oil into the garbage bin. Do not spit in the sink and let this get into your plumbing, as it will cause clogging in time. You can see that the oil becomes kind of cloudy which indicates you are getting rid of some gunk. After spitting out your oil, brush your teeth and enjoy your sparkling smile!
My final step in oral care is to use my oral irrigator. I love this device for getting rid of any food particles that flossing and brushing miss.
If your teeth are not sparkling white, there could be a number of causes, including the natural colour of your teeth, which varies from person to person. Also, our teeth naturally darken a bit as we get older, which is a bummer. If the yellow shade is staining from food and drink, I have an inexpensive, easy and painless solution – charcoal powder! It seems counterintuitive to apply something that will make your teeth black in order to make them whiter but it really works!
Lately, I have been emptying a capsule of activated charcoal powder into a small ceramic dish and keeping it by my sink. I use an Oral-B, small-headed toothbrush which is perfect for dipping into the charcoal. I do put a dab of natural toothpaste first on the brush which makes the experience more pleasant and ensures the charcoal sticks to the brush. I noticed a difference in whiteness pretty quickly doing this. Fair warning – you will need to clean your sink a bit more than you might otherwise as it is a bit messy.