by Vanessa Grassi
You may have noticed your beloved pearly whites transforming into a darker shade over the years. While it’s natural for teeth to become more discolored with time, white smiles are much more ideal. People have spent so much money on teeth whitening products and expensive laser treatments, contributing to a multi-billion dollar industry (according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry). From bleaching trays to whitening kits and bleaching lights, there are a number of other ways to achieve that bright smile. Most of the time, these methods aren’t proven to work, and may even end up causing you more health problems. For bleaching junkies, remember that dental hygiene should be a priority over just pure aesthetic appearances. Here are eight bizarre (and unproven) ways to whiten your teeth.
1. Using Orange Peels: Featured on The Ellen Show as one of the best teeth whitening home remedies, merely rubbing an orange peel on your teeth can solve your teeth discoloration problem. Apparently the soft white inside of an orange has whitening properties. There hasn’t been much research on this, nor can anyone attest to how long lasting this method is, but at least you won’t be using harmful artificial chemicals in the process.
2. Making Strawberry Toothpaste: The logic here is that strawberries contain malic acid, an enzyme found in some whitening toothpastes. Rubbing strawberries or creating a paste from them is supposed to act as a natural cleaning, removing bacteria from your mouth. Be wary of getting the seeds stuck in your teeth, though, if you’re planning on trying this.
3. Biting on Crunchy Fruits & Vegetables: The abrasiveness of crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery act like natural stain removers. Because your mouth needs to produce more saliva (your body’s built-in cleaning agent) in order to chew these crunchy foods, it naturally whitens your teeth in the process. It wouldn’t be bad idea to eat more fruits and vegetables to begin with, as these foods are high in vitamin C, which has great abilities in preventing gum disease and gingivitis.
4. Rubbing Crushed Walnuts: In some cultures, crushing walnuts down to a small enough size to rub them on your teeth actually whitens them. Be careful to remove all of the hard outer shell, as you may damage the enamel of your tooth and irritate your gums. Walnuts are supposed to be natural cleaners for your teeth, preventing yellowing and keeping your mouth bacteria-free.
5. Gargling White Vinegar: White vinegar has many home remedy uses, and teeth whitening is one of them. Unfortunately, it is also an acid, so too much exposure to your teeth may damage the protective enamel layer. In moderation, it may be helpful to dilute the white vinegar with water prior to gargling. As expected, vinegar isn’t the most pleasant kind of mouthwash, so rinse your mouth with water to get rid of the acidic taste.
6. Swishing Coconut Oil in Your Mouth: The many wonderful properties of coconut oil include clearing up your skin, and even possibly whitening your teeth. If you’re a fan of coconut and want to try, simply swish a tablespoonful of coconut oil in your mouth for about 10 minutes. The oil is supposed to absorb heavy metals in your body (and on your teeth), leaving it feeling cleaner and smoother.
7. Using Sage (Salvia) Leaves: Apparently brushing your teeth using the leaves of sage (salvia) is an effective method for teeth whitening. Sage leaves have a strong odor, though, that some people may not enjoy. However, they are popular in the realm of herbal medicine, treating sweating problems and maybe even whitening teeth.
8. Brushing Teeth With Wood Ash: Probably the most bizarre way of achieving a whiter smile, is to brush your teeth with wood ash (i.e. from your fireplace.) The only reason why this would work is because wood ash contains potassium hydroxide. In reality, it’s as dangerous and unpleasant as it sounds, as the harshness of the potassium hydroxide could really damage your teeth.