This article is shared with permission from our friends at holisticole.com.
Years of drinking coffee, tea and fizzy drinks and smoking are known to darken and discolor our teeth. These habits are primarily what makes teeth whitening the single most requested cosmetic dental procedure. Peroxide-based gels which are found in teeth whitening kits work by bleaching the dark stains out of your teeth.
Tooth whitening is a continuous process; your teeth may appear brighter after several treatments, but to maintain the whiteness, you’ll need to apply continuous applications, which leads you to spend more money so that you can maintain (and these kits aren’t cheap!).
White teeth, great!
But Wait, When Did it Become Okay to Bleach Your Mouth?
The reason these products can be so effective and therefore popular is due to their ability to damage your teeth! Well… They got popular by whitening your teeth, but they do that by damaging them. Many over the counter teeth whitening products contain chlorine dioxide, the same acid that is used to disinfect swimming pools.
While this won’t necessarily be directly listed on the label as chemicals go by many different names and sometimes don’t even have to be listed, it’s a horrible ingredient to be putting inside of your mouth, which is also the beginning of your digestive tract.
Teeth whitening kits get their teeth whitening effects by etching the surface of the tooth. They effectively destroy your protective tooth enamel, making teeth very sensitive (there is no worse feeling that sensitive teeth). The acid can cause chemical burns on your gums, and the whole process can create permanent damage which in time can actually lead to the LOSS of your teeth (which is quite the opposite of what you want).
Why would this be allowed? How can companies sell this? Well if you read the fine print, you will actually see that these kits should only be used 1-2 times a year. Studies done to test safety are based on using the product being used 1-2 times a year.
Typically consumers are not using these kits just twice a year, many are making these strips apart of their daily routine. Ahhh a loophole as to why companies can claim their safety. (Whoever reads the fine print on a product?)
Wait, though, it gets better – the best part of all of this. After the work and money spent to self-whiten your teeth with over the counter products, your teeth will end up even more discolored — since your protective enamel has been damaged, your teeth are left exposed and they become easily stained by both food and drink.
Are your striving for that ‘Hollywood’ smile? Well, let me tell you – these celebrities aren’t actually using these products either. Paid endorsements and media marketing aside. Teeth that white and bright do not naturally exist and instead, celebrities get veneers to cover their teeth.
Yes, Hollywood smiles are full of veneers. The standards are getting more and more impossible to achieve. So what are we chasing?
What’s great is that you can safely remove stains from your teeth without spending infinite bills on a kit, natural teeth whitening does exist and costs only dimes in comparison to these damaging products with the not so ‘white and clean’ secrets that I’ve shared above.
You may have heard of clay and activated charcoal for teeth whitening, both which are also safe to ingest (which they should be, since you are putting them in your mouth!), but there is a new kid on the block – and you might be surprised.
YES, turmeric. The bright yellow-orange spice which will stain your cutting board and a wooden spoon and is well researched for its active component ‘curcumin’ which is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory.
Though turmeric is notorious for staining just about everything else, it actually removes the stains from your teeth and lightens overall tooth color. In the first application, you may notice an immediate improvement, or you may not. But if you practice this consistently for 2-3 days a week as part of your routine you will honestly be astounded by how much of a difference this makes!
So why use turmeric or other natural remedies? Not only will you be getting the nasty stuff out, but you are now getting some amazing stuff in! Build your health up instead of sacrificing it with toxic products.
How to do it? I have a guide below for making your own Turmeric Toothpaste, to add into your routine a few times a week (in addition to your regular & natural toothpaste).
This is very easy to make and you have nothing to lose as you likely will already have these ingredients in your cupboard.
1/4 cup organic extra-virgin coconut oil
2 tablespoons organic turmeric powder
2 drops pure frankincense essential oil (optional)
A dedicated turmeric toothbrush (it stains!)
Lightly melt your coconut oil in a small pot
Then transfer to a small glass bowl.
Whisk in the turmeric and other optional ingredients until well combined.
Pour into a small mason jar and allow to solidify at room temperature.
I find if I melt my coconut oil too much the turmeric gravitates towards the bottom of the jar. While it is solidifying at room temperature, I recommend stirring it again to ensure it is evenly mixed.
Store at room temperature.
How to Use:
Dip your toothbrush in your homemade turmeric toothpaste and brush your teeth as normal, however instead of rinsing when you’re done allow the paste to sit on your teeth for 3-5 minutes so that it can do its magic. You can do this before getting into the shower or you can multitask and clean something for 3-5 minutes while you are waiting.
Spit and rinse thoroughly, then follow with a second brushing using your regular natural toothpaste. Should you notice and yellow in the corners of your mouth or lips, wash your face with a cleanser or with soap and it will rinse away.
When the turmeric is fully rinsed away and then you perform a second brushing you should notice a brighter and whiter smile.
My natural toothpaste of choice is Botanique by Himalaya – Whitening Complete Care Toothpaste, this is a new toothpaste by Himalaya that I just switched to after using their Pomegranate and Neem formula for years.
Out of all of the natural toothpaste that I have tried, Himalaya is by far the best and still has clean ingredients! Yes, it foams, and yes – it tastes good!
This new Whitening Complete Care product has both papaya and pineapple enzymes for daily support on keeping those stains away, naturally breaking down plaque and keeping your breath fresh!
Give this turmeric toothpaste a chance, you may be pleasantly surprised with the positive result! Always buy an organic turmeric powder as conventional products may have been processed to contain additives and food dyes which could stain your teeth!
Note: Clean your sink if needed. Depending on how absorbent your bathroom surface is it may stain if left to clean later.
Try these other great DIY recipes to keep your mouth fresh and clean!