How good is apple cider vinegar for teeth whitening, pain and gums? How can you use for dental care? Does it really work? What are the possible side effects? Read on to learn more
Does Apple Cider Vinegar Teeth Whitening Work?
A study done by American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry showed that 100 percent of the people involved in the study regard whiteness of teeth as important for a great smile. There was a common belief that; a good smile is a crucial social asset. 
One of the best homemade pastes that can be used at home to whiten your teeth is apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is made from apples and plain water and is commonly referred to as ACV.
According to Dr. Glassman, who is a New York based dentist, apple cider vinegar is an organic way to support whitening of your teeth. The doctor further recommends rinsing of one part of cider with two parts of water for effective results. 
Even with that, different experts have different views on the ability of Apple cider vinegar to whiten teeth. The research ranges from those who think that the acid will erode the teeth enamel to those who believe that when used properly, there is no danger.
Properties of Apple Cider Vinegar
- The pH
Apple cider vinegar has a pH ranging between 2 and 3 which makes it highly acidic. It contains acids such as acetic acid and malic acid. Acetic acid is the major ingredient of this vinegar which makes it suitable for whitening your teeth.
The acidic property explains the bleaching ability of apple cider vinegar. As much as acids are considered very dangerous for your teeth enamel, when used in small amounts, the acids help get rid of stains from your teeth leaving them more whitened. Adding some water to the ACV is also crucial.
- Antibacterial properties
One of the main reasons your teeth are discolored is due to the decay your teeth is experiencing. There is also a possibility of plaque. Apple cider kills any bacteria that is likely to cause infections on your gums as well as any possible staining on your teeth. Consequently, whitening of your teeth is enhanced.
How to use
There are different Apple Cider Vinegar recipes that you could follow to remove stains from your teeth. They include the following;
Mixture of Apple cider and water
This is a mixture that reduces deposits on your teeth and thus whitening the teeth.
- Make a mixture of a glass of water and a tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar in the ratio of 2:1
- Use this mixture as a mouthwash each day
- Each time you gargle with the solution, ensure you brush your teeth thoroughly to avoid adverse effects of leaving any acid that will endanger your enamel.
Eat the Apple
Eating the apple after your meals is one way to keep the white color of your teeth. This is less involving compared to the other methods. It should however be used in the case where your teeth have very few stains as this method would tell too long to get rid of stubborn stains.
Mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar with toothpaste
- Add a small amount of Apple Cider Vinegar to the toothpaste that you intend to use for brushing
- Add a small amount of water
- Brush your teeth thoroughly with the mixture
- Rinse your teeth well with water alone so as to ensure no apple cider vinegar is left on the teeth
- Repeat the procedure every morning for the most effective results
Rub the Apple Cider Vinegar directly on the teeth
There are times when eating the apple or brushing your teeth with a diluted mixture of Apple Cider Vinegar may not work effectively. This is a case where your teeth have persistent and stubborn stains; requiring thorough measures.
In such a situation therefore, you are advised to rub the Apple cider vinegar directly on your teeth and then rinse with water thereafter. However, to prevent breakage of the enamel, you are advised not to do this too often since apple cider vinegar is highly acidic.
Mixture of Apple cider vinegar and baking soda
This is one of the best mixtures you need to try. Apple cider vinegar bleaching properties works together with baking soda which releases free radicals. These free radicals break down molecules that cause stains on the tooth enamel.
- Add a tablespoon of apple cider in a glass of water
- Add a small amount of baking soda, preferably half a tablespoon, to the mixture
- Rinse your mouth with the mixture at most three times in a week. Always remember to rinse your teeth properly with enough water after using
Teeth Pain, Gums & Plaque
Apple cider vinegar for teeth pain
The acidic property of Apple cider vinegar helps to kill the bacteria that causes pain in the tooth.
- Add a tablespoon of the vinegar into a glass
- Add a relatively smaller amount of water
- Soak a ball of cotton wool into the solution and apply it on the tooth that has the pain
ACV for gums
Apple cider vinegar contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties both of which work together in getting rid of gum infections.
- Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a cup of water filled a quarter way
- Allow the two to fully mix then swish it around your mouth for about 20 seconds
- You can spit it out or swallow it for other health benefits that it could offer
- No matter which choice you make, you must brush your teeth immediately after use of this mouthwash so that all the acid is rinsed off
ACV for Plaque
Plaque is a colorless film of bacteria that forms along the gum line and is usually sticky. Dental plaque causes gum disease and tooth decay and it is therefore very important to work out ways of getting rid of it. Apple cider vinegar contains acids that kill the bacteria causing plaque.
- To ¼ full cup of water, add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- Immerse your toothbrush into the mixture then brush your teeth thoroughly preferably in front of your mirror
- Rinse your mouth with a lot of water and ensure no acid is left in the teeth
ACV teeth whitening Safety & Side Effects
Is it safe?
Apple Cider Vinegar is safe as long as you dilute it with water prior to use. This is because it is acidic and leaving the acid on your teeth for long may do more harm than good. Additionally, you are also advised to use small amounts of this vinegar for your teeth. This is as advised by Nicole Granato who is a holistic nutrition coach and Carol Johnstone who studies medicinal uses of vinegar.
What are the possible side effects?
Acetic acid in the Apple Cider Vinegar is likely to damage your enamel. A research done by Mayo Clinic shows that, upon consumption of anything acidic, your enamel is weakened. Thus, using apple cider vinegar for your teeth means getting an acid directly to your teeth and hence increasing chances of weakening the enamel.
Apple cider vinegar has a pH of 3.075 which is a high level of acidity that can erode the tooth enamel.
Even that, if you use the apple cider vinegar cautiously, you will derive the benefits of the vinegar in whitening your teeth. The precautions to be taken include;
- Ensuring you rinse your teeth thoroughly after using apple cider vinegar so that no acid is left on the teeth.
- Use diluted vinegar to lower the acid concentration
- When you eat the apple or rub it directly on the teeth, do not do it too often