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by Kelly Bejelly

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We do a lot of things each day to help us look and feel our best. In fact, a 2017 survey showed that 51% of U.S. consumers used hair care products each day. But one step everyone does every single day (or hopefully does) is brush their teeth. Brushing your teeth is important for keeping your teeth strong and healthy. Unfortunately, regularly brushing your teeth doesn’t always give you those pearly whites you want. So if you’re looking for an easy way to help your teeth be a little whiter, here are a few ideas to try.

Baking Soda

There’s a reason a lot of kinds of toothpaste contain baking soda — because it has natural whitening abilities. It has properties that can help scrape away any stains that are on your teeth. Furthermore, baking soda can help create an alkaline environment, which can slow down the growth of bacteria and prevent staining in the first place. So while it isn’t a magic fix that will turn your teeth instantly white, brushing with baking soda on a regular basis can whiten your teeth over time. If you don’t want to brush with just baking soda and water, (we get it, it’s kind of gross), then consider switching to a toothpaste that has more baking soda in it.

Coconut Oil

Swishing oil around in your mouth may sound gross, but it’s a practice that’s been around for a long time. It’s actually called oil pulling, and it’s a traditional Indian remedy that aims to remove toxins. Coconut oil can be used to remove bacteria and prevent them from turning into plaque. This oil also can help reduce inflammation in the mouth. To make this as effective as possible, put about one tablespoon of melted coconut oil in your mouth and move it around over all of your teeth for a good 10 to 15 minutes. And even if it doesn’t help whiten your teeth, it’ll definitely help them be healthier.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an extremely versatile liquid — from being used for cleaning to helping with sore throats, apple cider vinegar can do it all. And it can even help whiten your teeth. The main ingredient in apple cider vinegar, acetic acid, can help kill bacteria and give your teeth a good cleaning. However, it’s important to note that because it’s acidic, it can weaken your teeth if it’s used too often. So for this method, dilute some apple cider vinegar with water and use like a mouthwash no more than a few times a week — and be sure to rinse it out with water immediately after.

And of course, you can always talk to your dentist about professional teeth whitening. With dentistry being considered one of the 10 most trusted professions in the U.S., sitting back and letting your dentist do the work doesn’t sound like a bad idea. So talk to your dentist or try one of these DIY hacks and you’ll be well on your way to a whiter smile in no time.

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