Everyone wants more for their dollar these days, and that includes having access to products that are vegan, cruelty-free and good for the environment. Fortunately, there are many oral care products that fit the bill, with natural vegan-friendly and cruelty-free ingredients. There are also easy, homemade options for taking care of your teeth.
Today we’re going to talk about some of the various natural options to brighten and care for your teeth.
Exactly what does Vegan and Natural Teeth Whitening Mean?
Defining Natural Oral Care
The term “natural” in relation to teeth whitening and oral hygiene can be a little confusing. You might be surprised to learn that the government hasn’t actually defined it or made rules on how manufacturers can use it to describe their products. For our purposes, however, we are using the term “natural” to mean something that does not have synthetic or artificial ingredients. This is a commonly accepted definition, so when we refer to teeth whitening as natural, we mean it doesn’t have manufactured chemicals, such as hydrogen peroxide.
Defining Vegan Oral Care Products
Vegan products do not have any animal products, including animal byproducts. This means that something labeled vegan cannot include any ingredients that come from animals in any way. It’s important to note that this means it cannot have honey, silk or other insect-related products like colorings or bone, because each of these come from an animal or insect source.
Defining Cruelty-Free Oral Care Products
Cruelty-free products refer to items that have not been tested on animals. Sometimes people think that being cruelty-free means the product is also vegan, but this is not the case. The term only refers to testing methods and not ingredients.
Natural Teeth Whitening Tips
The best way to keep your teeth naturally white is to stay away from things that can stain them. Knowing what types of things stain, however, is sometimes tricky. Tobacco from smoking is known to be one of the worst products in terms of staining teeth, but even potatoes and apples can take the shine off your smile! Typically, if a food or drink would stain a tablecloth it is likely to also stain your teeth.
Baking soda for whiter teeth
It’s hard to get more common and natural than baking soda! Also called sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is actually a type of salt. Just about every kitchen already has baking soda tucked away in a cabinet somewhere. You can also find baking soda in baked goods because it helps them rise. It is also commonly used in natural beauty products, including whitening toothpaste.
It’s so common and effective that it’s possible your parents made you some baking soda paste to clean your teeth when your household ran out! This used to be fairly common, and while it doesn’t taste good it does leave your teeth feeling fresh and clean.
How does it work? Baking soda creates gentle abrasive action that helps to safely remove stains on teeth. It is so effective that the Journal of the American Dental Association says toothpastes with baking soda are more effective at removing stains on teeth when compared to versions with none.
Making your own, all-natural teeth whitening toothpaste from baking soda is simple. Simply mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2-3 teaspoons of water, just enough to create a paste. Stir well and use it just like you would your regular toothpaste. Remember to rinse and spit it, trying not to swallow.
Of course, baking soda doesn’t have the same dramatic and quick results that you might get with a dentist or commercial products. It does, however, safely reduce surface stains at a fraction of the cost. This means with regular use you can get your teeth at least one shade lighter.
How to make natural whitening toothpaste
It is easy to make your own whitening toothpaste at home using all natural ingredients. There are many different recipes for whipping up some natural toothpaste, but we found a great one on SimpleGreenSmoothies.com. To make it you mix 1 part coconut oil with 1 part baking soda and add drops of your favorite essential oil, like peppermint. You can even add a little stevia if you want to naturally sweeten your homemade toothpaste.
While natural, homemade toothpaste is effective, it isn’t as powerful as commercial teeth whiteners. Still, it does the job without the chemicals, you just need to be consistent and patient to see the results.
Natural whitening brands
Natural products are becoming more popular and more readily available. So, if you don’t want to make your own, but still want natural teeth whitening, you have options. And luckily, it’s become so mainstream that you don’t have to shop online or at specialty stores to get cruelty-free, natural and sustainable products for oral care.
For example, vVARDIS oral care brand has products for people that want to improve their smile in a more natural and sustainable way. Created by Swiss dentists, who happen to be sisters, vVARDIS makes high-quality, natural and environmentally friendly products for oral health. Their entire product line, which includes toothpaste, mouth rinse and whiteners, are vegan and cruelty free.
Commercial teeth whitening products tend to be quite effective and have the ability to lighten your teeth several shades. As always, refer to the product’s packaging for directions and details.
Natural mouthwash options
There is not a lot of science behind using natural products for mouthwashes, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have options. The following methods are commonly agreed upon to be safe, natural and effective ways to reduce stains and prevent buildup on teeth. Do remember that it’s important to talk with a dentist before starting any new teeth-whitening plan, and to use caution with any home remedy. This is especially important because teeth whiteners, even completely natural versions, can irritate gum disease, mouth sores, teeth pain and may affect some dental work.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV): You can use this common pantry ingredient to make a natural mouthwash. It’s quite strong though and may be a bit unpleasant until you get used to the sting. Be careful though, all vinegar can weaken your enamel so only use it a couple times a week and rinse your mouth with water afterwards.
Oil pulling as a mouthwash: This ancient practice hails from India, but it’s enjoying a comeback in recent times. To try it you simply take a spoonful of any oil and swish it around your mouth, making sure to work it through and around your teeth. Be sure to not swallow. While any oil works, coconut oil is popular because it tastes better than other options. Although there is no scientific evidence that oil pulling whitens teeth, it can be good for removing stains.
Raw veggies and fruits: Checking on raw vegetables and fruits can help reduce and remove plaque while you chew. Although this will not whiten your teeth, it does reduce build up and help your overall oral health.