Driven by a world consumed with and influenced by image and cosmetics, our desire for gleaming white teeth has created a huge industry, with Americans spending over $1 billion on tooth-whitening products. Statistics show that about 18% of us do not smile in photos because of our need or wish to conceal yellow or discolored teeth.

The fact of the matter is that no matter how much brushing some of us do, we will never have “pearly whites” whether because of nature, genetics, too much coffee or smoking. But do you need to spend a fortune to whiten your teeth? While these homemade remedies might not work on everyone, and while we suggest you consider your own health and dental history prior to using any of them (allergies or sensitivities to ingredients), here are some ways that are considered effective in whitening your teeth naturally.  Please note, however, that nothing is better for your teeth than consistent brushing, so these remedies should be used in addition to your daily routine:

  • Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide: Most of us have hydrogen peroxide in our first aid kits because it is an anti-bacterial agent.  If you mix a small amount of it with a little bit of baking soda and use it as a toothpaste, it can be effective in whitening your teeth. Be sure, though, that the paste is more runny than stiff/gritty, as too much baking soda can actually scrub some of the enamel off your teeth.
  • Coconut Oil: Some people swear that putting a spoonful of coconut oil in their mouths and swishing it between their teeth for anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes is helping whiten their teeth. You can also add a few drops of it to your toothbrush and brush it on or even put some on a washcloth and rub it on. The good news is that coconut oil is good for you, is non-acidic and contains antimicrobial agents so it is good for your gums too!
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: Brushing your teeth with Apple Cider Vinegar has been shown to be an effective way to remove some stains such as coffee and nicotine, especially if you use it on a consistent basis. Be sure to brush your teeth with regular toothpaste after you use it though to be sure that all of its residue is removed, since it can also cause enamel loss.
  • Lemon or Orange Peels: Although the acidic nature of these food products is great for your digestion, overusing them to whiten your teeth might wear the enamel away. A good trick is to rinse thoroughly after using them with rinse made of one part hydrogen peroxide and one part water – swish around in your mouth and let linger in there for about a minute.
  • Strawberries: One new fad that some Hollywood folks are using is to mash up strawberries and rub the mixture over their teeth. It can’t hurt to try it, but be sure to rinse well afterwards. We can’t swear if it works, but it sure will taste good!

 Obviously you can’t fight Mother Nature, so some of these remedies may or may not work depending on your genetics. Good health habits are vitally important, too – don’t smoke, watch your coffee and tea intake, eat healthy foods, etc. And, of course, maintain a consistently good oral hygiene routine including regular visits to your dentist, daily brushing, flossing and using your Tung Brush and Gel… and then — SMILE!