In 2015, Americans alone spent over $11 billion on teeth whitening, including over $1.4 billion on at-home whitening products (1).
There are plenty of products to choose from when it comes to whitening your teeth.
However, most whitening products use chemicals to bleach your teeth, which concerns many people.
If you want whiter teeth, but also want to avoid the chemicals, then this article lists many options that are both natural and safe.
What Causes Teeth to Look Yellow?
There are multiple factors that cause teeth to become dull and lose their bright, white sparkle.
Certain foods can stain your enamel, which is the outermost layer of your teeth. Additionally, plaque build-up on your teeth can cause them to look yellow.
This type of discoloration can usually be treated with regular cleaning and whitening remedies.
However, sometimes teeth look yellow because the hard enamel has eroded away, revealing the dentin underneath. Dentin is a naturally yellow, bony tissue that lies underneath the enamel.
Here are 7 simple ways you can naturally whiten your teeth.
1. Try Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is a traditional Indian folk remedy meant to improve oral hygiene and remove toxins from the body.
The practice involves swishing oil around in your mouth to remove bacteria, which can turn into plaque and cause your teeth to look yellow (2).
Traditionally, Indians used sunflower or sesame oil for oil pulling, but any oil will work.
Coconut oil is a popular choice because it has a pleasant taste and offers many additional health benefits.
Coconut oil is also high in lauric acid, which is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria (3, 4, 5, 6).
A few studies have shown that daily oil pulling effectively reduces bacteria in the mouth, along with plaque and gingivitis (3, 7, 8).
Streptococcus mutans is one of the primary types of bacteria in the mouth that cause plaque and gingivitis. One study found that daily swishing with sesame oil significantly reduced Streptococcus mutans in saliva in as little as one week (8).
Unfortunately, there are no scientific studies to prove that oil pulling whitens your teeth. However, it’s a safe practice and definitely worth a try. Many people claim their teeth are whiter and brighter after regular oil pulling.
To oil pull, put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and push and pull the oil through your teeth. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so you may need to wait a few seconds for it to melt. Continue the oil pulling for a full 15–20 minutes.
Be sure to spit the coconut oil into a toilet or trash can, as it could return to solid form once in your drain pipes and cause a clog.
Unlike many other tooth whitening methods, coconut oil pulling does not expose your teeth to acid or other ingredients that erode the enamel. This means it is safe to do daily.
BOTTOM LINE:Coconut oil pulling involves swishing oil in your mouth for 15–20 minutes to remove bacteria. Practicing this daily can reduce plaque and may brighten your teeth.