Many people try to conceal their teeth in photos because they are worried about how discolored or yellow their teeth might look. Whiter teeth not only make you feel more confident but are the first impression of oral hygiene. Professional teeth whitening treatments, however, are very expensive.

The sad truth is, no matter how many times you brush your teeth, drinks with high acidity, such as soda, juices and sports drinks can cause staining. Colored candies, popsicles and even some healthy foods such as blueberries, cranberries, raspberries etc, can leave your teeth looking yellow and stained. However, some mild abrasive approaches can help you get rid of the surface stains easily. But before we jump into it, let’s get down with the basics.

Basics for oral health
  1.  Brush your teeth regularly, twice everyday.
  2. Eat a balanced diet and limit snacks between meals.
  3. Floss.
  4. Mouthwash.
Let’s get started!

10. Activated Charcoal for whiter teeth


Activated charcoal is nothing but charcoal processed with oxygen and either zinc chloride or calcium chloride. It is easily available online. Since activated charcoal has high adsorption properties, which basically means that it attracts substances to its surface, it can be used to attract substances away from your teeth.

How to use it-

  • You can buy charcoal capsules online or offline, they’re not that difficult to find. Or, you can buy powered charcoal as well.
  • Take one capsule, open it and empty its contents on to a plate or dish. One capsule has almost 1/8th tbsp of charcoal powder.
  • Take your toothbrush, rub it in the charcoal powder and gently brush your teeth.
  • After brushing, leave it inside for 2-3 minutes and rinse it thoroughly.
  • Brush your teeth with your regular toothpaste afterwards.

You can use this trick once or twice a month. And it works wonders!

9. Banana Peel


Next time before tossing the banana peel into the dustbin, try this natural hack. Some people believe that the minerals in the peel are absorbed by the teeth making them whiter. The only way to find out though, is to try it for yourself. I have tried it a couple of times and it works for me. All you need to do is eat a banana, rub the banana peel onto your teeth for about 2-5 minutes and rinse it.

8. Baking Soda


Baking soda is a mild abrasive, which means it can remove surface stains from your teeth to make them whiter. I am sure you have heard your mom or grandma talking about this. Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is also found in toothpastes and many teeth whitening products which can help in removing light stains. All you need is-

  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice

At the time of application, mix the lime juice in baking soda. You will see bubbles popping and hear a frizzy sound. Wipe your teeth clean, with a paper towel and apply this paste to your teeth; don’t rub the paste vigorously to avoid enamel damage. Keep it on for 2-5 minutes and rinse. Do not use this more than once a week.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar


Among all the other things that apple cider can do for you, here’s one more! Apple cider vinegar has a mild action over your teeth but it is a great cleaning agent. The use of ACV won’t show you results instantly but, in the long run, it can help you keep your mouth clean and healthy. ACV is known to kill bacteria in the mouth that cause gum problems. With it’s low pH- on the acidic side, it helps as a natural bleaching agent for your teeth. Here are two ways in which you can use ACV for whiter teeth-

  1.  Take a 1/2 tbsp of baking soda, less is more. Take a tbsp of ACV. Mix them together and apply this paste to your teeth. Keep it for 2-5 minutes and rinse. Follow this for about a month, twice every week, to see results.
  2. Take 1 tbsp ACV and mix it with half a cup of water. Gargle with it before brushing every morning.

Apple cider vinegar works its magic if you use it regularly, but remember to not use excess of it, to avoid weakening of enamel.

6. Peppermint leaf and coconut oil

coconut oil

Like apple cider vinegar, coconut oil is no hard and fast solution to getting whiter teeth but it does work eventually. It might sound weird to use oil to clean your teeth but coconut oil has lauric acid that helps breaking down bacteria and hence it can be used to remove stains from your teeth. All you have to do is take a small amount of coconut oil and add some crushed peppermint leaves for minty feel. Rub this on your teeth for a few minutes and brush as you do. It is safe to use this daily and different measurements can work.

5. Strawberries for a sweeter smile


Like everything else on the list, strawberries are also acidic in nature and can act in whitening teeth. All you have to do is eat those yummy strawberries! Well, it is just a tiny bit more of a work than that, but it’s easy. Take strawberry pulp, about 2 tbsp and add a little bit of baking soda (1/2 tbsp). Mix well and using a brush, apply on your teeth. Rinse it off and smile all day!

4. Lemon


Lemon again, has natural bleaching properties which can help remove the yellow discoloration. There are quite a few ways in which you can use lemon to brighten your smile-

  • Use lemon juice directly- Dilute the lemon juice with equal amounts of water and use this to brush your teeth for about a minute. Rinse and brush with your regular toothpaste.
  • Use lemon peel- You can directly rub lemon peel on your teeth for instantly whiter teeth.
  • Use lemon and salt- Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 1-2 teaspoon of lemon juice. Brush using this paste for 2-5 minutes, or use your fingers to massage it onto your teeth and gums.

3. Mustard oil with salt


Mustard oil is extensively used in cooking because of its health benefits, although it can also be used to fight gum diseases. Mustard oil has anti-oxidant property and is rich in Vitamins. Salt is also helpful in relieving gum swelling and relieving pain. Together they can be used to keep your teeth healthy and white. All you need to do is-

  • Take a tablespoon of mustard oil.
  • Mix 1/4th tablespoon of salt.

Use this mixture to massage your teeth and gums for a few minutes. Rinse it off. You can practise this everyday to keep your gums healthy.

2. Neem for oral health and whiter teeth


Since years, people have been using neem twigs for oral health. Neem is not called ‘The Magic Tree of India’ for nothing. Neem can be used in several ways for oral hygiene. Some of them are-

  • Boil a handful of neem leaves in half a litre of water. You can use this water to gargle every morning, to keep your mouth healthy.
  • Use neem twigs directly to brush your teeth. This has been practised for years now, and is almost better than most of the toothpastes available in the market. 

1.  Turmeric- the irony


Turmeric is well known to stain everything yellow that comes in contact with it, but surprisingly, it can be used to whiten your teeth. Simply take some turmeric onto a plate, half a spoon would be more than enough. Wet your toothbrush and dip it in turmeric. Brush your teeth with this and let it sit for 2-5 minutes. Spit and rinse thoroughly. Brush your teeth with your regular toothpaste. Voila! The only thing left yellow after this will be your toothbrush.

All the natural ways mentioned above work, if you let them. Be patient and persistent with whatever you choose to do. Let nature work its magic. Proper brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups help keep teeth healthy for a lifetime. Develop these habits early and you’re less likely to have dental problems down the line. Pick one thing and practise it regularly but remember to not overdo anything, because excessive abrasion can cause enamel erosion, which is something you would never want, would you? Other than that, keep smiling!