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Is there a natural way to whiten my teeth?

Naturopath Gemma Hurditch answers for College of Naturopathic Medicine

Whitening your teeth naturally is unlikely to produce the same dramatic results as a bleaching kit from the dentist, but if you want to avoid the toxins there’s a number of natural things you can do to encourage a brighter smile. There are two basic issues – yellowing from plaque build-up; and staining, such as from foods or tobacco.

Drinking green tea can reduce plaque and whiten teeth, so it’s a great beverage between meals. Oil pulling may also improve teeth whiteness; coconut or sesame oil both work well. Take one tablespoon of oil in your mouth and ‘pull’ and ‘push’ it through your teeth and around your mouth, spitting it out after about 10 minutes. Oil pulling is recommended first thing in the morning, before eating or drinking.

Brush twice a day and floss nightly. Brushing your teeth prior to eating can be better for your teeth. Some foods can weaken tooth enamel which may be worn-down by brushing. Leave brushing for 30 minutes after food. Sprinkling baking soda on the top of your natural toothpaste can help gently remove surface stains. Rinse your mouth with warm water after eating or drinking staining foods such as berries, red wine, coffee and tea.

CNM trains students for careers in natural therapies. Check out the website for details of talks and seminars in your area. Visit www.naturopathy.ie or call 01 6725036.

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