Published on March 28th, 2008 | by Stephanie Evans3
Natural Polish for Your Pearly Whites
You can acquire a whiter smile without resorting to the abrasive methods of conventional tooth-whitening practices. Many natural tooth-whiteners and whitening toothpastes on the market are gentle and effective, though they may take longer to achieve desired results because they do not employ the use of harsh chemicals and bleaching agents such as hydrogen peroxide.
It’s also simple and inexpensive to mix up your own natural toothpaste and mouthwash at home. Best of all, you’ll know exactly what went into them. You can keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy without wasting money on conventional products that are full of harsh chemicals and artificial flavors and colors.
Natural Teeth Whiteners
Natural whitening products, such as those made by Eco-Dent, use baking soda as a main whitening agent rather than silica, chalk, and other calcium minerals used in conventional whitening products. Baking soda is effective at whitening and polishing teeth over time and is less abrasive than silica and chalk whiteners, which can brush away tooth enamel and weaken teeth, leaving them more susceptible to decay.
Natural toothpastes also brighten your smile without the use of whitening agents. Xylitol is a naturally occurring sweetener that is also effective at fighting the bacteria that creates plaque on teeth and dulls their appearance.
Xylitol prevents bacteria from growing on teeth because it is a five-carbon sugar, and bacteria can only break down six-carbon sugars. The bacteria is then more easily washed away by saliva, giving plaque less of an opportunity to accumulate and dull the appearance of your teeth.
Make Your Own Natural Toothpaste and Mouthwash
The four basic elements that each toothpaste should have are:
- a base, in which the ingredients are conveyed
- a whitener
- an abrasive
- a breath freshener
For a very simple and effective toothpaste, combine:
- 5 tsps (teaspoons) baking soda (whitener)
- 1/4 tsp salt (abrasive)
- 5 tsps vegetable glycerin (base)
- 10 drops pure peppermint or spearmint oil (breath freshener)
Mix these ingredients thoroughly and add more glycerin as needed until you get a creamy toothpaste consistency. Store your toothpaste in a wide, shallow container.
To make your own mouthwash, combine the following ingredients in an airtight bottle:
- 1 cup purified water
- 1/4 cup soda water
- 4 tsps vegetable glycerin
- 1 tsp aloe vera gel
- a few drops peppermint, spearmint, or tea tree oil
Shake well. Gently shake or swirl before using, as some of the more dense constituents may settle to the bottom.
Article Contributors: Julie Reid