What Are The Natural Alternatives to Teeth Whitening?

By Toneia - 02:46



Looking on the back of beauty products and cosmetics packaging can be a frightening experience to say the least- all of those ingredients and no clue about what most of them are?! I have challenged myself to look at alternative to everyday products, so in a series of blog posts will be focusing on: organic if possible, vegan alternatives. I am not fully vegan myself, but I am conscious about the impact on animal cruelty with foods and products, so where ever I can aim for vegan options. I will do a series of natural alternatives; including face scrubs/washes, moisturisers, toners, soaps (homemade) and others. This week I have been researching teeth whitener. The internet suggest there are three main ingredients that frequently come up including baking soda, charcoal, coconut oil and controversially turmeric is one of them too. I'm interested to trying out the ingredients, finding out how they work and if they work?! 

Charcoal 
The netdoctor website suggest that this would by using charcoal this blind plague and stains allowing these to be brushed and rinse away. ***HOWEVER the website also warns against using too much charcoal suggesting that it may cause tooth erosion and enamel deterioration. It also states that there is no evidence to suggest this is any good for your teeth. The oral health dental journal (2005) suggested that charcoal can be actually poisonous for the body, if consumed to much of this. However, they state that with this clinical trail that there was a noticeable difference in teeth appearance and whiteness. 

Advantages 
Whiter teeth
Better appearance of teeth

Disadvantages
Risk of poisoning
May cause the opposite effect, causing decay and erosion 

Summary
With the research I have found suggest there are risks to overusing using charcoal. However there are risks with using whitening protect from the dentist too. Charcoal powder can also be too abrasive and scratch the teeth. Personally, I would use an alternative more frequently to avoid this risk.

Turmeric
Now here an ingredient that makes my stomach turn at the thoughts of this. I can almost feel the burn from here! I do like adding turmeric to my food for the taste and health benefits, but to put it directly into your mouth is surely the next best thing to the cinnamon challenge. Skin care website suggests that turmeric works by removing bacteria from the gums and teeth, also loosening stains so they can be washed away. 

Advantages
Whiter teeth
Better appearance of teeth
Remove some bad bacteria
No risk of poisoning- however over use could cause upset tummy
Some studies suggest that this can some cancer preventing properties

Disadvantages
Spicy mouth
Loose stools and a hot bum!

Summary
It's not one for the faint hearted, but research does suggest that it works to some extent so could be worth a try if you're after a chemical free alternative to toothpaste

Coconut Oil and Baking Soda
The idea here is using some coconut oil and baking soda, put on teeth and leave for five minutes. After that, brush lightly and rinse. Coconut oil and baking soda can be used separately, 'oil pulling' with coconut oil is a technique which has been suggested helps to keep teeth clean. It has been used for centuries in different cultures and is now becoming popular in the West. 

Advantages
Baking soda is a gentle abrasive so good for removing stains
Both ingredients inexpensive and accessible

Disadvantages
Oil pulling takes some time so isn't the most convenient

Summary
Of all the methods, this is the one that I'd be most likely to try. The ingredients are safe and not too unpleasant, while I don't think it could replace using toothpaste, the occasional treatment to remove surface stains could be effective. 



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