A bright, white smile is a sign of good health. The problem with many mainstream teeth-whitening products is that they rely on chemicals, bleach and acidic methods to strip your teeth, sometimes causing long-term damage to tooth enamel.
While there are many chemical-laden whitening methods on the market, there are also many natural alternatives that provide all you need to achieve a healthy mouth and pearly whites. If the synthetics don’t appeal to you, read on for some of our fave natural ways to whiten teeth.
Oil pulling is an ancient natural remedy for whiter teeth and a healthier mouth, and in recent times it has been regaining popularity. Many people have found their teeth becoming whiter and healthier by adding coconut oil to their oral hygiene routine.
To oil pull, take 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil (available on tap at all GoodFor stores) and swish it between your teeth and around your mouth for 5-20 minutes – ideally until the oil has turned a milky white, indicating that the bacteria has been “pulled” off. Another option is to apply coconut oil to your bamboo toothbrush and brush it straight onto your teeth. Not only will the coconut oil help to whiten your teeth, but as it has antimicrobial properties it is also great for protecting and cleaning your gums.
A Baking Soda Water Mix
Baking soda does have natural whitening properties and it can help remove yellow stains from teeth. It also creates an alkaline environment in your mouth, which prevents bacteria from growing. This method isn’t going to whiten your teeth overnight, but you should notice a difference in the appearance of your teeth over time.
Try mixing 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water and brush your teeth with the paste. Ideally, only do this a few times per week.
Make Your Own Toothpaste
A fantastic, zero-waste way to brush your teeth is to make your own toothpaste, plus it’s surprisingly easy. Simply combine 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 15 or so drops of an essential oil such as peppermint and mix together into a glass jar or container. This mix is a great, cost effective and zero waste way to brush your teeth!
*Tip – Because the consistency of coconut oil can fluctuate due to temperature, sometimes the mix can be a little hard or to liquid. If this happens, simply run the container under warm water for a few seconds or pop in the freezer for a few minutes to harden back up.
Use a bamboo toothbrush daily to give your teeth that fresh and clean feeling, without welcoming pesky plastics into the bathroom. Biodegradable and recyclable, the Go Bamboo Toothbrush has a natural bamboo handle and edible wax, with soft to medium bristles for effective teeth cleaning. The Eco Brush is also a great choice, made with softer bristles to keep your gums and your dentist happy. Pop it in an antibacterial Travel Case to keep your toothbrush clean on those long road trips or plane rides.
Floss helps to remove plaque and debris stuck to your teeth and gums, helping to polish tooth surfaces and control bad breath. Flossing daily will help increase the chance of keeping your teeth for a lifetime and decrease the chance of contracting gum disease. Eco Floss is a natural, mint-flavoured, compostable dental floss that is perfect for cleaning between those chompers. Made from PLA, a compostable plastic, it comes in a reusable glass dispenser, which makes it convenient to take when out and about or travelling.
Drink Through a Straw
Cigarettes, coffee and fizzy drinks are the most common consumable culprits of staining and damaging your teeth. Ideally, long term you should aim to minimise or eliminate these sorts of items from your diet completely but if you do enjoy a regular coffee, try drinking it through a stainless steel straw to minimise its direct contact with your teeth.