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Top Five: Experimental toothbrush techniques

Posted on December 4, 2013 | by Hannah Treasure


After indulging in sugary pies over Thanksgiving, candy over Halloween and coffee since midterms began,  students may be searching for ways to revert their teeth back into the pearly-whites they had a few months ago. Instead of automatically reaching for expensive whitening strips, try one of these suggestions that you can experiment with at home.


Hydrogen peroxide

Make sure to buy hydrogen peroxide of a 3.5 percent solution, as approved by the American Dental Association as safe to use orally. Use about 2 tablespoons of the solution as you would with mouthwash, swishing it around for about a minute before brushing your teeth normally. You will know the hydrogen peroxide is working when it begins to bubble in your mouth and on your teeth.


Activated charcoal

The porous surface of activated charcoal functions similarly to a magnet, taking the stains off your teeth and into its pores. Charcoal  is as an ingredient in some toothpastes, but you can find activated charcoal in capsule form at any local vitamin shop. To use the activated charcoal on your teeth, either sprinkle some of the charcoal powder onto your toothpaste before you brush, or use it as a mouthwash. Create the mouthwash by adding about half of a teaspoon activated charcoal powder with one or two tablespoons of water. Swish the mixture in your mouth for about 30 seconds, and then rinse with water.


Banana peel

We already know bananas are heart-healthy when consuming them, but many DIY advocates suggest using the peel of the banana to whiten your teeth. Supposedly, the potassium, manganese and magnesium nutrients found in the banana can help keep your teeth white. To try, simply rub your teeth with the white inner part of the peel for about two minutes to give for your teeth to aborb the nutrients. Then, brush normally.


Baking soda and lemon juice

Mix a little bit of baking soda with the juice of a fresh lemon. After first brushing your teeth normally, stir the baking soda and lemon until it bubbles slightly, then apply the mixture onto your teeth using a cotton swab. Be sure not to leave the lemon and baking soda combination on for more than a minute because the acidic properties could erode enamel if left sitting for too long. Just as lemon juice is known to lighten hair, its bleaching properties also apply to teeth.

Other tricks

Aside from these home remedies, using a straw directs the staining liquids away from directly touching the visible portions of your teeth. Hard fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots are also effective in cleaning teeth as you eat. In addition, try out a bright lipstick, like a classic red, if you are looking for a quick fix.


A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, Dec. 4 print edition. Hannah Treasure is a staff writer. Email her at


Tatiana Baez

Assistant Managing Editor | A CAS junior, Tatiana is studying journalism, environmental science and politics. She’s a bomb editor, as well as the staff’s main source of entertainment because she sings along to every song after 12 a.m. She also writes about culture, science, technology and sex, and her work has been featured in VICE, Motherboard, Elite Daily, amNewYork and others. She enjoys eating Thai food, reading fiction and binge-watching Netflix.

And in case you were wondering how great she really is — “I just can’t get enough of Tatiana” is a direct quote from her EIC at WSN only moments ago.

Ann Schmidt

News Editor | Ann is a liberal studies sophomore who lived in Florence during her freshman year. She plans on double-majoring in journalism and political science and is always busy. She is constantly making lists and she loves to laugh.


Daniel Yeom

Daniel started at the Features desk of WSN last Spring, writing restaurant reviews whilst indulging on free food and consequently getting fat. Last Fall, he was the dining editor, and he this semester he is senior editor. Daniel is in Gallatin (living the dream) studying Food & Travel Narratives, incorporating aspects of Food Studies, Journalism, and Media, Culture, and Communication. He loves food more than life itself.

Hannah Luu

Deputy Multimedia Editor | Hannah Luu is a ridiculously great Deputy Multimedia Editor. She is a sophomore from Northern California. If you think Northern California means San Francisco you might need to closely examine a map. She is passionate about NPR and being half Asian.

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