We all want a beautiful smile with pearly white teeth, but years of drinking tea and coffee, smoking or just plain aging can discolor teeth. Teeth whitening is popular right now, especially since so many celebrities are doing it, yet whitening teeth is not a new discovery. It was practiced in Greece and India for thousands of years. The Greeks actually used urine to whiten their teeth and as a disease cure. While there are many more modern products today, some are safer than others.
Harsh bleaching agents used to whiten teeth can burn the teeth and wear down tooth enamel, erode gum tissue or get absorbed into the body through the lining of the mouth. Hydrogen peroxide is a key ingredient in whitening products, but should not exceed 6 percent, even when prescribed by dentists. Be sure and check the ingredients of teeth whitening products found on online websites – many have been found to burn the lining of the mouth.
One of the most tried and true natural teeth whiteners which has been around for six generations is baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, “the only product in use today that was on the original list of products accepted by the American Dental Association”.
Baking soda is safe and non-irritating to all oral tissues; with its gentle polishing action, it removes stains and plaque. The mild alkalinity of baking soda reacts with and removes substances that stain teeth. Tests have shown that toothpastes with 60 to 65 percent baking soda clean as well as conventional abrasives and show much less abrasion.
Another simple and tasty natural whitening solution is the strawberry. If used daily, strawberries can help rid the teeth of tea, coffee and cigarette stains. Simply take one medium-sized strawberry, remove the green top and stem, mash it into a pulp and brush and rinse normally. (Do not store; just mix as needed.) Eating strawberries when they are in season helps to brighten teeth too.
There is a natural and healthy alternative to everything. Go to greenwithbetsy.com for a baking soda toothpaste recipe - you’ll love your healthy white teeth and clean tasting mouth!
Information compiled from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1304856/Online-alert-toxic-tooth-whitening-kits.html, Baking Soda Bonanza, by Peter A. Ciullo, Organic Body Care Recipes by Stephanie Tourles.
For more green tips, please visit greenwithbetsy.com.
About this column: In this new weekly addition to Winchester Patch, Betsy Wild of Winchester offers tips for ways we can all make convenient and easy changes in our everyday lives that will benefit the planet, our health and our pocketbook, including providing recipes for safe alternatives to lawn chemicals, household cleaners and skin care products using kitchen ingredients.