"You're never fully dressed without a smile," goes that famous Annie song. True, but a yellow grin isn't exactly a fashion girl's most prized accessory! Gain the confidence to show off those pearlies without dropping a pretty penny—below, five ways you can whiten your teeth right in the comforts of your own kitchen.
1. BAKING SODA + STRAWBERRY
What: 1 strawberry, 1 teaspoon baking soda
How: Mash the strawberry and mix with baking soda. Use a toothbrush or your finger to apply the mixture on your teeth. Leave it on for a few minutes, then rinse off to do another round of brushing with your regular toothpaste.
When: Once a week.
Why: Malic acid and ascorbic acid, both potent and present in strawberries, lighten stains! With a few uses, you'll note that your teeth have become whiter and brighter.
2. HYDROGEN PEROXIDE + WATER
What: 1 cup 2-3.5% hydrogen peroxide, 1 cup distilled water
How: Dilute the hydrogen peroxide with water. Gargle the solution for 30-40 seconds, then spit out. Rinse your mouth with plain water.
When: Repeat twice a week.
Why: A bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide is excellent at whitening teeth (dentists actually use higher concentrations of this in commercial treatments). A word of caution, though: do not ingest the solution, and do not use it on a daily basis.
3. GUAVA LEAF PASTE
What: 1-2 guava leaves
How: Crush the guava leaves until they form a coarse paste. Rub this on your teeth and leave it on for a minute or two. Rinse your mouth then brush your teeth as usual.
When: Repeat this every alternate day for two weeks.
Why: Guava leaves can be used to treat a variety of dental issues—plaque, infections, and gum swelling included. Its flavonoids and phenols remove the oxidative stress caused by different microorganisms (a key culprit behind pesky tooth stains).
4. SALT + LEMON
What: 1 teaspoon sea salt, 2 teaspoons lemon juice
How: Mix the lemon juice and salt. Use this mixture as a toothpaste. Brush as usual.
When: Do this twice a week.
Why: The natural bleaching quality of lemon juice removes yellow stains, while the salt acts as a gentle exfoliant, scrubbing away buildup on teeth.
5. ORANGE PEEL SCRUB
What: Orange peel
How: Rub the inside of the orange peel on your teeth for a minute or two. Brush your teeth as usual with your regular toothpaste.
When: Repeat every alternate day for 1-2 weeks.
Why: The acidic content of orange peels whitens teeth and acts as an antimicrobial agent, too.