Answer: In short, yes. But, you likely won’t get the dramatic results you’ve seen from using commercial at-home whitening products or undergoing professional whitening. But, if you are looking for a natural alternative, there is one key ingredient that is proven to whiten teeth successfully — baking soda. “Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) has been utilized by individuals across the world as a cleaning agent for a large number of usages as well as anti-bacterial properties. As a natural solution, baking soda is popular as a tooth bleaching agent to make teeth whiter,” says Dr. Irwin Smigel, President of the American Dental Society and founder of the at-home whitening line Supersmile. “Lots of people who have experienced using baking soda to brush their teeth swear that this non-chemical formulation … performs in terms of whitening teeth stained from darkly colored foods and beverages,” he adds.
Not too revolutionary, I know, but hey, if this natural ingredient works, why try to reinvent the wheel, right?
Smigel does warn that “baking soda by itself will not lighten your teeth … [or] clean out lots of different stains such as yellowish, grayish, or deeply stained teeth like those stained from antibiotics like tetracycline. For such deep discolorations, an expert tooth whitening substance specifically developed to whiten teeth will be far more efficient,” he says.
But, if a little brightening and stain removal is what you’re after, and you’re concerned about using a chemical-based product, brush your teeth with baking soda a couple times a week.
And, don’t forget to munch on foods that keep teeth healthy too — think crunchy items like celery, carrots and apples, says Smigle. And, snack on strawberries, which “contain malic acid, which acts as a natural astringent to remove surface discoloration,” he says.
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