Teeth stains and yellowing can happen to anyone, but aging can really bring it on even if your dental hygiene routine s flawless!  It is pretty evident that many folks these days want to show off pearly whites when they smile. Americans spent over $11 billion on teeth whitening and another $1.4 billion on at-home whitening products.  The dollar amounts spent on the products used to get that Chiclets smile is astounding, to say the least.  But here’s a question to ponder, should you worry about the chemicals used to get your teeth their whitest?

If you do have concerns about the bleaching agents used to whiten teeth, why not go the natural route with these tried-and-true methods.  A word of caution, ALWAYS consult with your dental professional BEFORE proceeding with any teeth whitening procedure:

Baking soda naturally whitens teeth and can help scrub away surface stains that are on the enamel.  The agent can also create an alkaline environment in your mouth that can prevent bacteria from making its home in there.  The baking soda’s results will not happen overnight, but you should notice a difference in the appearance of your teeth over time.  Mix one teaspoon of baking soda with two teaspoons of water and brush, try brushing with this paste three to four times a week.

Activated charcoal is an age-old and inexpensive material that has various uses, and one of them is to absorb plaque and other compounds that stain tooth enamel. Try mixing a dab of water with crushed activated charcoal tablets or powder until it forms a paste, smear it onto the teeth and let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes before rinsing away any excess. If using an activated charcoal toothpaste make sure to check for abrasiveness. DO NOT use the activated charcoal every day as it can lead to erosion.  Don’t freak out when your mouth turns black after applying the activated charcoal; it rinses away.

Powdered milk and fluoridated toothpaste help keep your teeth not only white but healthy as well.  Powdered milk improves the health of your teeth because it contains phosphorus and calcium which promotes the remineralization of tooth enamel.  Dip your toothbrush with toothpaste into a bit of powdered milk and brush; do this once or twice a week to brighten teeth.

Lemon juice and baking powder are old teeth whiteners because many folks have been using this combo for years.  Baking powder is a known tooth whitener while lemon juice which contains vitamin C is also known for lightening stained enamel. Lemons will even kill the bacteria that is in your mouth.  On a toothbrush, combine one teaspoon of the baking powder with one teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice and brush.  DO NOT brush for more than two minutes and ONLY use this method once or twice a week!

Sea salt has calcium, magnesium, iron and antibacterial properties that freshen breath and protect enamel.  Mix half a teaspoon of sea salt, and some freshly squeezed lemon juice with a small amount of fluoridated toothpaste in a bowl.  Apply the mixture to your teeth and leave it on for one to two minutes.  Rinse.  Repeat this procedure for one to two times a week.

Lemon juice and water is a combo that is sure to bring out the pearlies!  Just mix one teaspoon of water with one teaspoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice, then brush and rinse.  Brush teeth again with your regular toothpaste. Rinse.  You can also just swish equal parts of lemon juice and water, keep the solution in your mouth for ten minutes then spit it out and rinse; do this twice a week.

Brushing and flossing regularly can help teeth stay white by reducing bacteria and putting the brakes on plaque build-up.  Make sure to also visit your dentist regularly to keep up with those cleanings that will help maintain a healthy and bright smile!