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How to Whiten Teeth Naturally

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    Drink After You Eat

    Three more cheers for H20! One of the easiest ways to keep teeth bright involves drinking more water, says Banker. "Taking just one sip after eating darkly pigmented foods can significantly reduce stain buildup," he says. Prevention at its finest, folks.

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    Create a Fruit Mash

    Get a jump on summer with strawberries and pineapples. Banker says strawberries contain malic acid, which helps to remove surface stains, and pineapples have an enzyme called bromelain, which helps dissolve stubborn spots. Simply mash up your fruit of choice, place it over the front of your teeth for one minute and rinse.

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    Snack on Veggies

    Here's another reason to meet your daily veggie quota: Chomping on coarse, fibrous vegetables like celery and carrots will scrub those hard-to-reach crevices between the teeth, says Banker. Not to mention they help prevent bad breath and remove stains because their abrasive surfaces help reduce bacterial plaque. In other words, meet your new afternoon snack.

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    Swap Your Mouthwash

    Once a week, skip your standard fluoride and grab a bottle of hydrogen peroxide instead. "It's an excellent antiseptic and safe for oral use," says Banker. If the rinse feels too strong, dilute it by adding up to 50 percent water. No matter what, though, don't go overboard. "Doing this too frequently can alter the bacteria in the mouth and potentially cause an oral yeast infection," says Banker. Yikes.

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    Make a Homemade Paste

    Grab that peroxide and get out the box of baking soda to make a homemade toothpaste. Simply mix 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with 2 tablespoons of baking soda. Using a toothbrush, brush with the paste as you normally would, then rinse thoroughly. Do this once or twice a week. "Hydrogen peroxide whitens teeth by penetrating tiny rods in the enamel of teeth and changing their color by oxidizing deep stains," Banker says.

    Missing the peroxide? You can still make a paste by swapping it for 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. Using a cloth, apply the paste to your teeth, let it sit for one minute and rinse thoroughly. Banker says the acid in the lemon juice helps to whiten teeth, while the abrasiveness of baking soda makes it a great surface-stain remover. Just don't use it more than once a week: "If used too frequently, it will erode tooth enamel," he warns.

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    Pick Up Charcoal

    Visit your local nutrition store and pick up a bottle of activated charcoal. It's adsorptive, meaning astringents found in tooth-stainers bind to its surface—and leave your mouth. "The charcoal is not changing the color of tooth enamel, but removing stains and allowing the actual tooth color to show," says Banker. "This technique is also great for those with very sensitive teeth." Once you have the charcoal, mix it with water according to the directions. Gently apply the mixture to your teeth using a toothbrush, but be careful not to scrub as the abrasive surface can damage the teeth and gums. Let it sit for 2 minutes, then rinse thoroughly.