7 natural ways to whiten your teeth at home (that don't require a trip to the dentist)

Yellow teeth are not something anybody wants, and yet many people suffer from discoloration caused by a number of reasons. According to WebMD, the most typical causes for yellow teeth include food and drinks, tobacco use, poor hygiene, natural aging, genetics and medical conditions. 
While some things such as genetics or medical conditions can make it difficult for you to prevent discoloration, there are some natural remedies that can whiten your teeth at home. Forget a costly trip to the dentist for whitening treatments. Try these home remedies. 
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1. Charcoal
You probably didn't expect to see this on the list! According to an article from Prevention, activated charcoal is a great solution for removing stains from you teeth. Simply brush your teeth with crushed activated charcoal and allow its adhesive qualities to remove coffee, soda and other stains from your teeth. Be aware that this method can only remove staining and not whiten naturally darker teeth. Also, activated charcoal has not been evaluated by the American Dental Association for safety, and there are concerns that it might wear away tooth enamel.
2. Use a Straw
Constantly exposing your teeth to certain foods and beverages can break down the enamel and make them more susceptible to staining. Natural Society suggests using a straw can help protect your teeth from overexposure to stain-causing drinks such as red wine, coffee, tea and soda. 
3. Banana Peel
An article from SheKnows indicates that rubbing a banana peel on your teeth can help with discoloration. The natural minerals such as potassium and magnesium that are found in the fruit's peel purportedly work to strengthen and protect teeth. 
4. Coconut Oil
Everyday Roots indicates that the natural lauric acid found in coconut oil helps fight bacteria that causes plaque to build up on teeth and discolor them. Rinsing your mouth with coconut oil for 10 to 15 minutes -- known as oil pulling -- can also help promote gum health. 
5. Strawberries
Not only are strawberries a healthy snack, but they also can help protect teeth and promote whitening. Everyday Roots indicates that the vitamin C helps break down plaque and prevent discoloration. Strawberries also have malic acid, which fights against surface stains. 
6. Flossing
Regular flossing can help remove bacteria and plaque that can cause discoloration. It is recommended to floss after each meal. 
7. Baking Soda and Lemon
The combination of baking soda and lemon creates a chemical reaction that leads to a great teeth whitening effect. According to Natural Society, you should only brush with this solution once per week, as the acid from the lemon can wear away tooth enamel. 
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Get the smile you've always wanted by trying these teeth-whitening remedies. Share with friends to help them out, too! 
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