Healthy living: Keep your whites pearly

Published: March 17, 2013
To maintain glowing white teeth, it is important to abstain from foods that cause staining to the teeth. PHOTO: FILE

To maintain glowing white teeth, it is important to abstain from foods that cause staining to the teeth. PHOTO: FILE

Phyllis Diller once remarked: “a smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” Then why compromise it with yellow and stained teeth?

Here are a few simple home remedies to get the star shining on your teeth.

Brush with apples

Juicy, crunchy apples can be a potent treatment for dull teeth. Apples function as a natural tooth brush as you chew on them. They work to gently scrub your teeth by removing bacteria and excessive food from the mouth. Just like strawberries, they contain Malic Acid that aids in dissolving stains. This natural compound is used in many whitening teeth products to lighten up the teeth.

Baking soda

Baking soda is the most sought-after natural remedy for sparkling teeth. It is used by many whitening toothpastes as a main ingredient. Baking soda can be added to your regular tooth paste and used when brushing.

You can also mix baking soda with a few drops of lemon juice. This can be used in place of regular toothpaste. Another way is to mix baking soda with vinegar instead of lemon juice. This remedy is very quick and easy to follow, and guarantees fruitful results within a week’s time.

Olive oil

Many dentists recommend the use of olive oil for stronger and whiter teeth. Olive oil contains Vitamin E that kills bad bacteria that may result in bad breath and gingivitis. It also removes tartar from your teeth, which cannot be removed by regular brushing alone.

It is highly advisable to apply extra virgin olive oil to your teeth after brushing. Gently scrub your teeth and repeat this process three times per week to get rid of the tartar completely.

Veggie delight

Eat more vegetables like carrots, radishes, cucumbers, celery and broccoli as they are natural teeth whiteners. These vegetables work like a scrub and smoothly clean up the surface of your teeth.

Neem and basil treatment

Basil leaves and neem (margosa) are the most effective ayurvedic remedies. You can fix your own tooth paste by mixing mustard oil with sun-dried basil leaves. It is a powerful treatment for dental hygiene and teeth whitening.

It also protects your teeth from infections and bleeding gums. This paste can be used by the help of neem twigs that act like a toothbrush. Apply this paste to your teeth and rub vigorously. The twigs release neem oil that acts like astringent and guarantees white teeth.

Banyan roots

Banyan roots can be used as disposable toothbrushes to clean your teeth. These roots carry whitening juices that make your teeth whiter and gums stronger. Wash the banyan roots well before use.

The citrus cure

Citrus fruits are great bleaching agents that make your teeth glowing white. Oranges and lemons contain citric acid that aids in saliva secretion and also helps clean stains present on your teeth. Lemon juice can be used once a week to rinse your teeth as it helps to remove accumulated stains.

Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is anti-septic in nature. A cheap bottle of hydrogen peroxide can easily give you the same result as any expensive whitening kit.  It is a weak acid and has oxidising properties. Rinse your teeth regularly with hydrogen peroxide and follow it by a gentle scrubbing with your fingers. Then brush your teeth to obtain the best results.

Foods to avoid

To maintain glowing white teeth, it is important to abstain from foods that cause staining to the teeth. These foods discolour the teeth and make them lose their whiteness and brightness.

Avoid foods like tea, coffee, chocolates, soda drinks etc. More crunchy and juicy fruits with cleansing and astringent properties should definitely be a part of your diet.

Published in The Express Tribune, Sunday Magazine, March 17th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (2)

  • Mahwash
    Mar 19, 2013 - 4:48AM

    Kiran, it’s not my intention to offend you, but these remedies will cause more harm than good. These remedies will cause your enamel (the outer layer of your teeth) to erode and this layer cannot regenerate. Consequently, one will experience severe tooth sensitivity/pain and the teeth will appear even more yellowish (easier for discoloring agents to penetrate through thin enamel).

    If anyone wants white teeth, I suggest they quit smoking, drinking tea and coffee. Last resort should be tooth bleaching (performed by a licensed dentist). Tooth bleaching doesnt last forever, you have to repeat it atleast once a year, and it too causes your enamel to get thinner. It is also associated with pain. I recomend patients to bleach their teeth after the age of 40 (when teeth really can look yellow). Furthermore, toothpaste that says “teeth whitening” should NOT be used daily, as this will also make your enamel thinner.


  • Vinayak
    Mar 23, 2013 - 5:02PM

    CAUTION — Hydrogen Peroxide is a strong oxidation agent. If used in concentrated form, it will burn the mouth badly. Buy the Hydrogen Peroxide which comes as 3% solution, and dilute it still further if you want to put it in your mouth.


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