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13 Foods That Can Whiten Your Teeth Naturally

13 Foods That Can Whiten Your Teeth Naturally

Products and services that promise to instantly brighten your smile can easily be found on grocery shelves or at the dentist’s office. But before reaching for that home whitening kit or enduring another hour sitting on your dentist’s chair, consider these 13 natural, sometimes unconventional (but often delicious!), tooth-whitening alternatives:

1. Oil (sesame oil or virgin coconut oil)

Oil, or more specifically, oil pulling, is when oil is used for gargling, not cooking. Sesame oil or virgin coconut oil is swished around inside the mouth and then spat out after fifteen minutes. As the substance is vigorously “pulled” back and forth between your teeth, the mucous membranes inside your mouth absorb nutrients from it.

Sesame oil has omega-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, and vitamins A, B and E; while virgin coconut oil has antibacterial properties that promote healthier gums and cavity-free teeth. Just make sure not to swallow any of the spittle that will form as you gargle.

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2. Strawberries

Malic acid is a natural astringent that acts as a bleaching agent, and it is present in most commercially available tooth-whitening products. Strawberries are filled with this key ingredient, which will whiten your teeth naturally, so make sure to add them to your basket on your next trip to the farmer’s market. The vitamin C in strawberries also aids in removing plaque.

3. Apples

Apples also contain high levels of malic acid. The act of biting and chewing on this crunchy fruit gently scrubs away debris, stains, and bacteria from your mouth.

4. Celery

Say goodbye to tooth stains as you snack on that piece of celery during your break! The fibrous cellulose act as a natural toothbrush, while the high water content stimulates saliva production, your natural mouth cleanser.

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5. Carrots

Chewing on these rabbit favorites raw will increase the amount of saliva in your mouth, cleaning it further. The vitamin A in carrots is good, not just for your eyesight, but helps strengthen tooth enamel as well.

6. Broccoli

When eaten raw, this vegetable gently abrades tooth surfaces, which removes unsightly stains. The iron found in broccoli protects tooth enamel by coating it with an invisible barrier that keeps cavity-causing acids away.

7. Cheese

Being devoid of color, most cheeses will not stain teeth. They also contain calcium and phosphorus, which help strengthen teeth and gums through re-mineralization. Those properties also help in insulating teeth from harmful acids in the mouth.

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8. Water

Drinking water helps you stay hydrated and prevents stains from forming on your teeth. Swish it in your mouth after eating or drinking pigment-rich foods and beverages to keep your smile white and bright. Water also reduces your mouth’s overall acidity, lessening the likelihood of damaging your tooth enamel. Just make sure you stick to flat water, as the sparkling variety increases the chances of eroding tooth surfaces.

9. Pineapple

Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain, which is a natural stain remover that also helps separate plaque from the surface of your teeth. This prevents tooth erosion and discourages cavities from forming, resulting in healthier and whiter teeth.

10. Shiitake Mushrooms

This fungi is filled with lentinan, a type of sugar that does not promote tooth decay, but instead curbs its formation by preventing plaque-building bacteria from proliferating in your mouth.

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11. Salmon

The vitamin D found in salmon helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorus, nutrients that strengthen your teeth and contribute to a beautiful smile.

12. Basil

As a natural antibiotic, this herb has bacteria-inhibiting properties that prevent the formation of cavities.

13. Onions and Garlic

The key is in eating these raw. Doing so releases bacteria-reducing compounds called thiosulfinates and thiosulfonates, promoting healthier teeth by reducing the production of plaque. Being colorless, these foods will also not stain teeth.

Do you have other ideas on how to help whiten teeth naturally? Share them in the comments below!

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Last Updated on January 11, 2021

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

11 Hidden Benefits of Using Oil Diffusers

Affordable, relaxing, and healthy, oil diffusers are gaining popularity with people everywhere due to their extensive benefits. Oil diffusers work through the simple process of oil diffusion, which uses heat to turn oil into a vapor that is then spread around a living space. Diffused oil can have several relaxation and health-related benefits, including safe scent-dispersion, mosquito and mold defense, stress relief, and more!

Read on for 11 hidden benefits of using oil diffusers.

1. Safe Scents That Make Sense

Unlike candles or air fresheners, oil diffusers release cleansing molecules into your air that work to purify it, not overload it with unhealthy chemicals. Electronic diffusers also do not pose the fire risk that candles do. Plus, they contain the added feature of interchangeability, which means you change oil types for different scents and health benefits.

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2. Stress Relief

Several lab studies have confirmed that diffusing essential oils like lavender have been shown to reduce stress and help relieve anxiety in medical patients. Preliminary studies have also shown that oil diffusers can help alleviate symptoms of depression.

3. Improved Sleep

Diffused oil has relaxing properties that can help people of all ages fall asleep quicker and sleep more soundly. Electronic diffusers not only have the option to mix and match different oil blends (Try a lavender, Bulgarian rose, and Roman chamomile blend to help with insomnia), they also run at a gentle hum that helps relax an agitated mind. Many also come with an auto shut-off feature to help conserve oils once you have fallen asleep.

4. Appetite Control

Much like gum, oil diffusers can help stimulate the senses in a way that works to curb appetite. New research has shown that diffused peppermint oil can help curb appetite by inducing a satiety response within the body. Diffused peppermint oil has also been shown to increase energy.

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5. Bacteria and Mold Killing

When essential oils are diffused in the air, they break down free radicals that contribute to the growth of harmful bacteria. Eucalyptus, thyme, and tea tree oils are especially good for this purpose. Diffused oil is also highly effective when it comes to combating fungal yeast threats, as the oil help makes the air inhospitable for yeasts such as mold. Pine and red thyme essential oils are best for combating mold.

6. Decongestion and Mucus Control

Ever tried Vick’s Vapo-Rub? Its decongesting powers come from active ingredients made from the eucalyptus tree. In principle, oil diffusers work the same way as Vapo-Rub, except they diffuse their decongesting vapor all around the room, not just on your chest or neck. Oil diffusers have been known to cure pneumonia in lab mice.

7. Mosquito Repellant

Nobody likes mosquitoes — but when the trade-off means using repellants full of DEET, a toxic chemical that can be especially harmful to children, mosquito control can often seem like a lose-lose. However, scientists have shown that oil diffusers can be used as a safe and highly effective mosquito repellant. Studies have shown that a diffused oil mixture containing clove essential oil and lemongrass essential oil repelled one type of Zika-carrying mosquito, the Aedes aegypti mosquito, at a rate of 100%.

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8. Pain Relief

While applying oils directly to areas of your body may be the most effective way to alleviate pain, diffusing essential oils can also be an effective means of pain relief. When we inhale healthy essential oils, they enter our blood stream and can help internally relieve persistent pain from headaches, overworked muscles, and sore joints.

9. The New Anti-Viral

Research into the anti-viral effects of oil diffusion is now just gaining steam. A recent study showed that star anise essential oil was proven in medical experiments to destroy the herpes simplex virus in contained areas at a rate of 99%. Another study showed the popular DoTerra oil blend OnGuard to have highly-effective influenza-combating powers.

10. Improved Cognitive Function

Diffusing essential oils has also been shown to improve cognitive function. Many essential oils have adaptogenic qualities, which can work twofold in soothing us when we’re stressed, and giving our bodies a pick-me-up when we’re feeling down or sluggish. By working to level out an imbalanced mood, diffused oils also help us to focus. There are also several essential oils which have been shown to help balance the body’s hormones. With prolonged use, these oils can work to repair the underlying causes responsible for hindering cognitive function.

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11. Money Saving

With ten clear benefits of oil diffusers already outlined, there is one more that should now be obvious: using an oil diffuser will help you to save money. As an anti-viral, bug repelling, and stress-relief solution rolled into one safe product, an oil diffuser used with the proper oils will save you money on products you might otherwise be buying to help cure those pesky headaches or get your kids to fall asleep on time. If you’re wondering just how affordable oil diffusers can be, check the buyer’s guide to the best oil diffusers — you’ll be sure to find one that fits your budget!

Featured photo credit: Jopeel Quimpo via unsplash.com

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