November 05, 2018 at 08:36AM
Pearly whites are a beauty aspiration, for sure. (Cue the dental commercial featuring a woman smiling with brilliant whites directly into the camera.) But to achieve a glistening grin fit for TV and everyday life, you don’t necessarily need to book a heavy-duty fluoride treatment. One dentist says that there are three au naturel methods for diminishing years of almond milk latte stains.
First thing’s first: Remember that (as usual) H2O will be your number one ally. “If you are enjoying foods that stain such as coffee, red wine, or pomegranates make sure to have a glass of water nearby,” says Alex Rubinov, DDS, PhD of New York City’s Real Smile Dental. “In addition to hydrating your body, rinsing with a glass of water immediately after consumption will help minimize stains.” The water helps to lift off stains that would otherwise set into teeth, so start with good ole H2O and then get your DIY on with these three teeth-whitening treatments.
1. Spend 5 to 20 minutes each day oil pulling (while you watch Netflix, ofc)
“The holistic approach of oil pulling from Ayurvedic medicine is growing in popularity in the western world,” says Dr. Rubinov. The idea is to swish with coconut oil for 5 to 20 minutes each day to pull toxins and bacteria off of your teeth. If you’re are able to commit to improving your oral and overall health, you will reap the rewards!” Oil pulling can feel a bit tedious at times, so try incorporating the ritual when you’re doing something else, like watching a holiday movie or taking a soak.
2. Add whitening foods to your plate
According to Dr. Rubinov, what you eat also contributes to brightening your smile. (Nature’s toothbrush is no joke.) “Go raw and crunchy. Eat foods that can resemble a brush and cause a natural abrasion on the surface of the tooth. Fruits and vegetables such as celery, apples and radishes remove bacteria and scrub away surface stains,” he explains. Bring on the crudité!
3. Brush with turmeric
Yes, adding a teaspoon of turmeric to your morning smoothie is a surefire way to leave golden yellow stains on your NutriBullet. Surprisingly though, it has the opposite effect on your teeth, and has long been tapped as an Ayurvedic answer to whiter teeth. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial ingredient can actually whiten your teeth while simultaneously reducing plaque and scientific studies have shown it effective to fight gingivitis. To make applying the spice a little bit easier to use, try mixing it with coconut oil to achieve more of a paste-like texture.
Should you brush or floss first? Here’s one dentist’s opinion. Plus, what happened when one writer got a “mouth facial.”