Your smile can be your worst or your best feature. Usually it’s the first thing someone notices about you and will often be the one thing that they don’t forget, be it for all the right or the wrong reasons.

Your teeth can be perfectly well aligned and straight, but if the color is more of a dirty yellow than a pearly white the chances are, the impression you are giving is not a good one. Stained teeth can lead to a loss of self-confidence, which in turn, can result in you avoiding social situations or covering your mouth when you speak.

If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. Nearly half of the UK population (48%) are unhappy with their teeth, with 64% stating the reason for their unhappiness is the discoloration.

This is a startling statistic when actually stained and discolored teeth are one of the most cost effective, not to mention most easily remedied of all cosmetic dentistry needs and there are a multitude of natural teeth whiting solutions available.

Here are a few that people swear by:

Oil Pulling

It may sound a bit odd and not in the slight bit appealing but oil pulling is an age old strategy that is thought to clean and detoxify teeth and gums. It is a simple process of placing 1-2 teaspoons of oil in the mouth and swooshing it wound for 20 mins. The theory is that the oil will break down any plaque or bacteria and then you will spit it out. This is a great way to reach areas that your brush may not.

Use the banana peel

Bananas are considered as a great teeth whitening. If you start rubbing the peel of a banana on your teeth for a couple of minutes every day, it is believed that you will start to see positive results. Apparently the minerals contained in a banana such as potassium, magnesium and manganese are absorbed into your teeth, making them whiter.

Strawberries to the rescue!

A nice cheap solution, strawberries and baking soda. This remedy has received mixed reviews, with some people loving it and others loathing it. We’ll let you decide. Containing Malic Acid, which acts as an astringent the strawberries can aid in the removal of surface stains and plaque buildup. The Bicarbonate of soda adds a fizz to the solution and also assists in the removal of surface stains.

It is not advisable to use this solution more than once or twice a month or with too much force as it can be quite abrasive on the teeth and could actually have a detrimental effect on tooth enamel.

There are so many DIY solutions out there that claim to whiten teeth better than the professionals, but if this were the case, the dentists would probably be utilizing these methods.

The best way to ensure your teeth stay bright and white is adopting a good dental hygiene routine that incorporates brushing at least twice a day, flossing, rinsing after high staining foods such as red wine and coffee and ditching the cigarettes.

If you want to try a whitening treatment, it may be worth your while to research FDA approved products and looking at real life company and product reviews, rather than going with the latest trends on Pinterest or Instagram.