Since most people cannot afford to pay for the "rich and famous" smile, many choose the alternative which is over-the-counter products. Where there is a need, there are products. You see them multiplying on the store shelves each week, but if you are not in a position to buy a do-it-yourself product right now to whiten your own teeth there is something else you can try. That something else is trying a variety of natural remedies to whiten your teeth.
There are some people, movie stars included, who say they whiten their teeth the natural way and swear their teeth are just as white or get even whiter than the products that are bought in stores and much less expensive.
Remember the saying, "What goes around, comes around?" Well, many natural remedies for whitening teeth come from the "good ole days" when your grandparents and parents were growing up. The following are a few of those whitening remedies, but with a few modern twists to make them more effective. Try one at a time and determine whether it works for you before going on to the next suggested remedy. Also, pay attention if there are warnings associated with a remedy.
Salt is a good starting point – it's handy and cheap!
The common table salt is sodium chloride and bicarbonate of soda is also called baking soda. Check out the toothpaste section of your local discount store and you will notice many brands now contain baking soda as an ingredient for whitening teeth. Although baking soda is a natural ingredient, it is very abrasive. Sometimes individuals mistakenly believe that anything "natural" is safe and that simply is not true. If used incorrectly, even natural products can harm you, like baking soda. Since baking soda is abrasive and can help whiten teeth, if you brush too hard or too long you can wear away the enamel – not good!
Salt is good but sea salt is better at getting rid of tartar and plaque. Salt also kills the germs that cause bad breath which is an added benefit. The best way to use salt or sea salt is to sprinkle a little on your toothpaste before brushing then brush normally.
Fruits? Yes, but be careful with acidic products.
There are many natural products to choose from when whitening teeth. With these remedies, it is their acidic nature that helps whiten teeth by dissolving the stains that are on the enamel surface. Catherine Zeta-Jones, an actress, while being interviewed on a talk show, described how she uses strawberries that have been mashed to whiten her own teeth. Some claim brushing an orange peel on their teeth had the same effect.
CAUTION 1: If you use any acidic products to whiten your teeth, you must wait at least 20 minutes before you brush your teeth. The acid has the capability of dissolving the tooth enamel so if you brush your teeth too soon, you may be brushing the enamel off your teeth. If you wait the 20 minutes, the saliva in your mouth will neutralize the acidic effect making it safe to brush or floss.
Caution 2: Some people believe brushing your teeth with lemon juice can make them whiter. While this is true, you need to remember that lemon juice is very acidic and can actually dissolve the calcium in your teeth making them seem to look whiter. Now, you have lovely white teeth and a seriously bad problem. When the calcium is dissolved, the tooth structure is also gone. This is very, very, bad! Because the teeth are no longer strong, they are now susceptible to becoming decayed and, it gets worse, because they are not strong now your teeth can easily be broken or chipped.
Many are probably already familiar with the bleaching component of hydrogen peroxide especially when it comes to bleaching hair. Well, it can also be used to bleach teeth. If you check out many of the products on the store shelves, you will see hydrogen peroxide as an ingredient.
You can use hydrogen peroxide as a home remedy for whitening teeth, but you will also need to exercise some caution. When used dilute it with at least one part water to one part hydrogen peroxide.
Hydrogen peroxide is safe when safety measures are used like diluting it as stated above, swish it a few times then spit. Be careful you don't accidentally swallow it because over time, there are very serious health problems that could happen.
However, if the terrible taste doesn't bother you and you are very careful about using hydrogen peroxide safely, many people do claim to get good results from using it to whiten their teeth.