So if you are anything like me you are a sucker for old movies! The only time I will actually sit down to watch TV is when there is a Betty Davis or Joan Crawford movie marathon! One thing you notice in all of my favorite old movies is that the main characters have a cigarette in one hand and a cocktail in the other. In those days all of the leading ladies had what i would call a nice set of “beige” teeth, nothing like the bright white smiles we see on todays stars.

So yes, I get it. Everything today is brighter, whiter, bigger and faster. Our clothes are brighter our teeth are whiter, our cars are faster and our fruit is bigger. But is there a cost to our health for all of these so called advancements?

What is the scoop with teens and our younger kids bleaching their teeth? Is it necessary for an 11-12 year old to have glow in the dark teeth? It’s not like they are combating years and years of coffee and tobacco use! Right!

Let’s investigate the main component of all commercial teeth whiteners ….BLEACH. The same product we use to clean our toilets. I open the windows and hold my breath when I am using bleach and now “they” want me to put it in my mouth? Something just doesn’t seem right about that!

I know our teenagers want beautiful white teeth, I am not saying they can’t have them- but there are natural remedies for keeping teeth white- how about we have our children try some of these!

1. Crunchy fruits and vegetables-raw apples and pears are naturally abrasive. That means they polish teeth and remove stains from teeth without damaging or eroding the outermost layer of the tooth enamel. To date,it seems
the main complaints from people who use at home whitening kits are tooth erosion, tooth and gum sensitivity and tooth pain. (That seems like enough evidence for me to stay away from bleach kits), but I am also leery about other potential health risks related to holding bleach in our mouths for 30-60 minutes .. what are the long term effects? I don’t know, but I will stick to fruits and veggies until I have more information.

2. Baking soda and Lemon Juice- Lemon juice is NATURES bleach- how many of you put lemon juice in your hair growing up to naturally highlight your hair for the summer- I did! Well the same bleaching effect for your hair works for brighter, whiter smiles. Baking soda is then the perfect partner to polish your teeth. You can make a simple paste at home- 1/2 part lemon juice (fresh squeezed lemons) 1/2 part baking soda. Brush your teeth per usual and rinse well! You can also add strawberries and salt to this recipe! Try it- It Works!

3. Organic Coconut Oil- A staple in my house, I use it for everything! I brush my teeth and gargle with it! Because I don’t use any commercial mouth washes, coconut oil for “oil pulling” does a fantastic job of removing bacteria and plaque build up. It also promotes gum health and freshens breath!

4. Banana Peels-rubbing the inside of a banana peel across your teeth can help achieve a whiter smile. The minerals and nutrients found in banana peels, including potassium and magnesium, are easily adsorbed by the outer layer of the tooth enamel, helping to protect your teeth and brighten your smile. The same can be said for orange peels. So the next time you make a banana -orange smoothie save the peel!

5. Turmeric- This golden orange indian spice is probably the last thing you would ever consider brushing your teeth with- but it really works- not over night but gradually. It does stain your tooth brush, so be aware of that. The first time I used it I thought I had stained my entire mouth and teeth permanently orange, but after I rinsed and brushed with water my teeth and mouth felt cleaner. I call Turmeric the miracle spice, it is a natural anti-inflammatory (I use it instead of the typical over the counter pain relievers). It saved my life when I hurt my back. Investigate the many advantages to including Turmeric to your grocery staple (organic of course 🙂 whitening teeth is just one of it’s many amazing properties!