I just found an old almanac that said Rose of Sharon (also known as hibiscus or althea) will whiten your teeth "like a miracle". But it didn't say what part of the plant to use or how to use it. Has anyone ever heard of this? Does anyone know how it works? The whitening products you buy from the store don't work very well. I've got a yard full of these shrubs, I'd certainly like to try it.
Joan from Chesapeake, VA
Well, being a dental hygienist, let me offer some tips to get your smile up to the blinding level. Whitening techniques tend to fall into two groups: one, the abrasive camp, the baking soda/ pumice/ charcoal/ oystershell/and so on. You can rub some baking soda or 'whitening' toothpaste into your teeth with a little bit on a damp washcloth, so that you can get some pressure, and use it like a pencil eraser on visible stains. Come to think of it, some have tried a pencil eraser or the old typewriter eraser (too harsh). Most of what's in the stores is abrasive mode. The second group is the peroxide group, 'bleaching' with oxygen microbubbles (there's no Chlorox in it, that would be toxic and not helpful). The brush-on products are weak and not in contact with your teeth long enough to work at all. The strips are great, can be used daily, will remove deeper stains into the surface, contain effective concentrations of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide (the carbamide gel lasts longer).
The methods at the dentist office can get things much whiter faster, some even using a blue light to give the total tune-up in only an hour. Very effective but costs more, get the quote, see if your doc ever does a sale or would do a special for charity. A vanity thing like smile whiteness is perfect for a charity effort. There are some stains that will only come off by the blades your hygienist uses, and no whitening is any substitute for your regular care with the office, what good is a pretty smile when you know it hides a bunch of disease? it would only be a nervous smile, not a confident flash. There is general yellowing that is aging related, which responds well to the peroxides. Many people get sensitive teeth to the strips, so it can make sense to ask about what you plan to do at your next visit there. I did, and I waited a week, restarted, stopped, waited a week, cycles like that, and now they are never sensitive. I like working in this day and age where things people used to be sort of stuck with are now fixable, and anyone who has to deal with the public or even live with the mirror can get some smile flaw corrected and move on. I'm sure I'm forgetting something but can't think what. Don't the beauty contestants do lip stretching exercises to get their smiles WIDER? Good luck and let us know how things turned out!
Old Almanacs are like "old wives' tales" sometimes, half tongue-in-cheek, half fact/guessing. They used to advertise "Snake Oil", remember. If you search hard enough, you will find if the information has merit or truth. Be careful in trying it yourself. It could be poisonous, as so many plants are. One side of
my famiy ancestors are American Indian, and I have
studied plants/herbs/ herbal medicines/gardening
for about 40 years, but have never heard nor read
anything as you describe from the old book. I'll keep my eyes open in case I find anything along the way. Good luck and God bless. : )
Haven't ever heard of this plant as a whitener. The best teeth whitener I know of is a brush of baking soda followed by a rinse of peroxide. Check the ingredients on the high priced teeth whiteners...you will find one or both of these included. I have been using this practice for many years and my teeth and gums are white and healthy!
How fortunate you are to have a yard full of hibiscus. You must be a talented gardener. I checked my old book on natural remedies and found no info.
How interesting. I love Rose of Sharon..partly b/c my Mom's name is Sharron. There are a lot of good ideas above, here is another: I read that some celebrities like Jessica Simpson rinse their mouth w/ red food coloring mixed in water. Makes your gums more red which makes your teeth seem whiter.
In the 70's, my teeth stained with dark brown, I believe from drinking tea. I would erase the broad surfaces with a pencil eraser - and by the edges, I discovered by accident that a little piece of ivory - a 'horn' shaped trinket I wore on a necklace that I found at an East India shop - the pointed tip would nudge the brown off in flakes - and with no pressure - no scratching - no anything except brown stain removals. In those days I didn't have an extra dime, rearing 2 sons - and the little ivory piece saved my day. I'd keep the tip sharp with a nail file.
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