our smile will not dazzle in the absence of those pearly white teeth. The clean white sparkling teeth that allure us can be easily attained with the help of appropriate oral hygiene. Unfortunately, teeth are vulnerable to staining. We are embarrassed to flash a smile with discolored teeth. Discolored or stained teeth tend to lower your self-confidence. Though simply brushing the teeth may not help in removing the stain, but regaining the natural color of the teeth is possible. Your dentist can help in whitening your teeth. But if you want to avoid the high cost of professional teeth whitening, there are a number of options for whitening the teeth with natural ingredients in the comfort of your home.
What Are The Causes Of Teeth Discoloration
Teeth discoloration is usually attributed to poor dental hygiene. Your teeth will easily lose its natural white color and shine if you ignore your brushing, flossing and rinsing routine. Even a number of foods that you consume frequently are responsible for staining your teeth. Tea, coffee, wine, carbonated drinks and certain fruits and vegetables are known to discolor the teeth. Unhealthy habits such as smoking and chewing tobacco discolor the teeth. Even the antiseptic mouthwashes used for inhibiting formation of plaques on the teeth are common culprits for staining the teeth. There are certain medications responsible for discoloration of teeth such as – Antihistamines, blood pressure lowering drugs, antipsychotic drugs. People undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy of the head and neck are susceptible to teeth discoloration. Teeth discoloration is also a sign of aging. The enamel that gives the teeth its white color erodes with age, thereby exposing the dentin, which is yellowish in color. Excessive use of fluoride based toothpastes, rinses and oral supplements and using fluoride rich water can discolor your teeth. Trauma can also cause discoloration. In addition, your genetics will determine the actual color of your teeth.
What Are The Home Remedies For Teeth Whitening
The following home remedies are known to make the teeth whiter and shinier.
1. Baking Soda
Sodium bicarbonate, commonly known as baking soda is a versatile kitchen ingredient. It is the most popular choice for whitening the teeth at home. It is a widely used ingredient in toothpastes formulated to whiten the teeth. Because of their small size, the baking soda particles can easily penetrate the tooth enamel, and can easily reach the areas of the teeth that are difficult-to-reach. According to an in-vitro study, brushing with sodium bicarbonate based toothpaste helps in lightening the tooth. The concentration of sodium bicarbonate in the toothpaste determines its tooth whitening effect. Sodium bicarbonate can effectively remove tooth stain and assists in whitening the teeth.  Prepare teeth whitening toothpaste by combining baking soda with equal amount of water. Brush your teeth as you normally do. You can also mix a little baking soda with your regular toothpaste or put some baking soda on your toothbrush and brush your teeth. Brushing with baking soda thrice a week is usually considered sufficient for keeping the teeth clean. 
However, baking soda alone may not be effective in removing stubborn stains and making the teeth sparkling white. For better effect, baking soda is blended with hydrogen peroxide. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide to make a paste. With this paste thoroughly brush your teeth. Allow the paste to sit on your teeth for a minute. Thoroughly rinse to remove all traces of the paste from your teeth. Baking soda should be used occasionally. Excessive use of baking soda tends to erode the tooth enamel and increases tooth sensitivity. Additional ingredients that can be added to the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide teeth whitening paste include coconut oil and peppermint essential oil. Blend 2/3-cup baking soda, two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, and two tablespoons of melted coconut oil and six drops of peppermint essential oil. Add filtered water to the mixture as needed to get the desired consistency of the paste. Brush with this paste for 3 to 4 minutes. For optimal result, use this paste for brushing the teeth 3 to 4 times a week for 4 weeks. 
2. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent. Brushing with lemon juice or rubbing a slice of lemon on the teeth helps in removing stains. However, lemon juice should be used sparingly for whitening the teeth. Its high acid content weakens the tooth enamel and depletes calcium from the teeth, thereby leading to tooth decay.  To get rid of the stain from the tooth, consider using lemon juice with salt. Brush with the lemon juice and salt mixture and leave it on the teeth for a little while. To eliminate the yellow stain, brush with this mixture twice a week.  Rinsing the mouth with a mixture comprising of 25% saltwater and 75% lemon juice is also believed to help in whitening the teeth. 
3. Orange or Lemon Peel
The white inner part of the orange or lemon peel is known to help in cleaning the teeth. Take a wedge of an orange or lemon peel and rub the pith on the teeth for about 15 minutes. Thoroughly rinse the mouth after using the citrus peel. Citric acid present in the citrus fruit is known to damage the tooth enamel if left on the tooth for a long time.  Apart from fresh citrus fruit peels, the dried rind can also help in removing the stains. Grind dried lemon peels and brush with the lemon peel powder.  For better result, mix them with other ingredients such as salt and sodium bicarbonate. Grind together two tablespoons of powdered orange or lemon rind, one tablespoon of salt, ¼-teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate and a small amount of clove powder. Use this mixture for brushing the teeth two or three times a week. This helps whiten the teeth.  You can also mix dried orange peel with bay leaves and use the mixture for whitening the teeth. Grind the dried orange rinds and the bay leaves and brush your teeth with the mixture. If the mixture feels too dry on the teeth, mix it with your regular toothpaste. 
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
The discolored teeth can be whitened quickly with the help of apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is traditionally used for improving the oral health. The acid and enzyme rich apple cider vinegar helps in destroying the germs and assists in maintaining the appropriate pH balance of the mouth. In addition, apple cider vinegar is known to remove stains and helps in making the teeth whiter and brighter. However, before using apple cider vinegar, remember that it contains powerful acids that can erode the tooth enamel if used in the undiluted form. Mix ¼-cup of apple cider vinegar with equal amount of warm water. Take a mouthful of the diluted apple cider.
Dip your toothbrush in the diluted apple cider vinegar and brush your teeth. Follow this by brushing with your regular toothpaste. By following this rinsing and brushing routine, it takes a few days to a few weeks to improve the appearance of the teeth without any harmful side effect.  You can also make a natural teeth whitening toothpaste by combining apple cider vinegar with baking soda. Brushing with this paste helps in removing the stains from the teeth. 
To whiten your teeth, take half of a strawberry and rub the inner portion on the teeth.  Strawberry contains natural teeth whitening ingredients such as vitamin C and malic acid. It helps in removing stains caused by consuming tea, coffee or wine. You can make a natural teeth whitening paste by combining mashed strawberry with baking powder. Puree one to two large strawberries. Add half a teaspoon of baking powder to the mashed strawberries and mix them to make a paste. Use a toothbrush to spread the paste on the teeth. Let the paste sit on the teeth for 5 minutes. After thoroughly rinsing your mouth, flossing is recommended to ensure that no strawberry seed is trapped between the teeth. You can repeat the process once a week.  There is another alternative teeth whitening technique with strawberry. Mash three large strawberries and keep it on a side. Then make a paste by mixing two teaspoons of baking soda with ½-teaspoon of cream of tartar along with some water. Then, salt needs to be added in the remaining water. Use the puree on your teeth and leave it on for five minutes. Now, make sure you brush the paste on your teeth. Rinse off with saline solution prepared by dissolving ¼-teaspoon of salt in a cup of distilled water. This teeth whitening procedure should not be repeated more than once a week. 
6. Oil Pulling
Swishing coconut or sesame oil is believed to help in drawing out bacteria and toxic substances from the mouth, thereby keeping the mouth clean and fresh. This technique for promoting the dental health, known as oil pulling, is believed to whiten the teeth.  Take a tablespoon of edible oil and slowly swish it around the teeth and gums for about 20 minutes and then spit it out. Do this 3 to 5 times a week. 
7. Olive Oil
Rubbing olive oil on the teeth helps in dissolving the stains, and is considered an inexpensive teeth whitening technique. Soak the corner of a washcloth in olive oil and rub it on the teeth. By doing this a few times, you can notice improvement in the appearance of your teeth. However, excessive rubbing the teeth with olive oil tends to erode the tooth enamel. Therefore, this natural teeth whitening technique should not be repeated more than once a week. 
Though turmeric is best known as culinary coloring ingredient, when used for brushing the teeth, it makes them whiter. It is slightly abrasive and is capable of removing even the deep stains. Furthermore, the vitamins and minerals in the spice are good for the health of the teeth. This natural teeth whitener is not only inexpensive, it is safer than the chemical whiteners as well. Take some turmeric paste on your toothbrush and thoroughly brush your teeth. Rinse off the paste properly.  You can also add turmeric to edible oil and use the mixture for oil pulling to whiten the teeth. Turmeric enhances the beneficial effects of oil pulling. Its antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral compounds help in improving the oral health. Turmeric is known to aid calcification of the teeth. It helps in improving the tooth enamel and reduces staining. Mix ¼-teaspoon of turmeric powder with a tablespoon of organic coconut oil. Swish the mixture for 10 to 20 minutes. Repeat this one to three times a day. 
9. Banana Peel
The white inner part of the banana peel contains citric acid, which is known for its bleaching property. Furthermore, salicylic acid present in banana peel works as an astringent and is known to inhibit plaque formation. Rubbing the inside of the banana peel on the teeth helps in fading the stains and assists in whitening the teeth. After brushing, rub the peel for two minutes. 
Sage is known to help in whitening the teeth. Grind one tablespoon of dried sage. Mix the powdered sage with a teaspoon of sea salt and one tablespoon of baking soda. If desired, add one to two drops of peppermint extract to the mixture. Brush your teeth with the mixture. 
What Are The Teeth Whitening Precautions
Though there are a number of natural teeth whitening techniques, precautions need to be taken to eliminate risk of adverse side effects. Excessive use of teeth whitening material is known to damage the tooth enamel. Furthermore, tooth discoloration can be a sign of an undiagnosed illness. Supervision of a dentist makes teeth whitening procedures safe and effective.  Teeth whitening may not be suitable for everyone. Teeth whitening techniques involving application of bleaching solutions is not recommended for individuals suffering from gum diseases and tooth sensitivity. Prolonged exposure to bleaching materials damages the teeth. Teeth whitening with bleaching products should be avoided by pregnant and lactating women. 
While certain natural ingredients help in making the teeth whiter, maintaining the right oral hygiene and brushing or rinsing the mouth after consuming foods that are known to stain the teeth help in keeping the teeth clean and bright.