Coconut oil

Coconut oil has a thousand and one benefits. It’s one of the few products one can use in the mouth and on skin and hair. One of its many functions is as a mouthwash of sorts.

Swirling about 15ml (a tablespoon) of coconut oil around in your mouth for about 15 minutes will extract most bacteria stuck in the mouth. It also acts as a lubricant for the teeth, preventing stains from sticking, which hinders plaque from forming and causing cavities. This is a traditional Indian method of whitening your teeth.

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An apple a day

It should be quite obvious that staying away from pigmented fruit and vegetables such as beetroot and blueberries (if only for the sake of your teeth), will help keep your teeth white. Apples and strawberries, on the other hand, are great for your teeth. These fruits contain malic acid, which is a natural tooth cleanser. So, while an apple a day might not always keep the doctor away, it will definitely keep yellow teeth at bay.

Calcium, calcium, calcium

Did you know that tooth enamel is the hardest substance in your body – harder than bone. And while calcium is great for your bones, it’s also just as good for your teeth. Calcium, found in milk and cheese, will strenghten tooth structure and enamel.

Cheese takes it a bit further and acts as a sort of polish for your teeth. The surface of cheese has a cleansing structure and the harder the cheese the more effective the polish.

Salt

Sometimes natural is the best way to go. If you’ve never been particularly fond of the sometimes-burning nature of your mouthwash, make your own with warm water and salt. Mix about 5ml (one teaspoon) of salt in a glass of lukewarm water, then gargle and spit.

Salt is a natural antibacterial, attacking bacteria cell walls, and it’s also good for your gums and teeth.

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Charcoal

Charcoal is being used in an increasing number of grooming products, and while this may not be the most conventional of methods to whiten teeth, it’s very effective. You will need activated charcoal powder, which you can buy for R46,35 from Nutrilife-sa.com, and your toothbrush. Wet your toothbrush and dip it into the activated charcoal powder, and then quickly put the toothbrush into your mouth (trying as hard as you can not to make a mess). Brush gently for about two minutes, then spit and rinse as you normally would. It won’t be long before you see a notable difference in the colour of your teeth.

Sources: Fashion Beans, Wellness Mama, Nutrilife SA