Sunday, April 27, 2008
Whiten Your Teeth the Natural Way
White teeth and strawberries may not sound like they go hand in hand, but it turns out the berries can actually lighten your smile.
The secret to this inexpensive home whitening method is malic acid, which acts as an astringent to remove surface discoloration. Combined with baking powder, strawberries become a natural tooth-cleanser, buffing away stains from coffee, red wine, and dark sodas. While it’s no replacement for a bleaching treatment at your dentist’s office, “this is a fast, cheap way to brighten your smile,” says Adina Carrel, DMD, a dentist in private practice at Manhattan Dental Arts in New York. “Be careful not to use this too often, though, as the acid could damage the enamel on your teeth.”
1 ripe strawberry
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Directions: Crush the strawberry to a pulp, then mix with the baking powder until blended. Use a soft toothbrush to spread the mixture onto your teeth. Leave on for 5 minutes, then brush thoroughly with toothpaste to remove the berry–baking powder mix. Rinse. (A little floss will help get rid of any strawberry seeds.) Carrel says you can apply once a week.
— Karina Timmel is a former Assistant Beauty and Fashion Editor for Health.