Who doesn’t want a noticeably white smile? In just one year, Americans spend billions of dollars on teeth whitening products. But there are many less expensive natural teeth whitening solutions you can try at home. Natural teeth whitening solutions are also great for anyone trying to avoid the harsh chemicals often used in whitening strips.
Keep reading to find out some effective natural teeth whitening methods, why they work, and a couple of techniques to avoid.
Ways to Whiten Your Teeth Naturally
Consistent good oral hygiene habits like regularly brushing and flossing can help keep your teeth a pearly white, but sometimes you need a quicker fix. Check out these natural remedies for when you need to whiten teeth at home fast:
Oil Pulling to Whiten Teeth
Oil pulling is a teeth whitening technique that involves washing your mouth with a type of oil that removes bacteria, dirt, and debris. Because bacteria can turn into plaque, removing it through oil pulling can keep your teeth from appearing yellow. Although it is not an effective substitute for brushing your teeth, research shows that oiling pulling can help you whiten your teeth and maintain good oral hygiene.
These are the kinds of oils most commonly used for oil pulling:
- Coconut oil: This is the most popular oil pulling choice because it is well-known for its numerous health benefits and slightly sweet taste. Because coconut oil is high in lauric acid, it can also help to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.
- Sesame oil: Sesame oil is another good oil pulling option because studies have found that swishing with sesame oil daily can significantly reduce the number of plaque- and gingivitis-causing bacteria in saliva within one week.
- Sunflower oil: One of the original oils used for pulling, sunflower oil has a reputation for strengthening both the teeth and gums.
Once you’ve decided which type of oil to use, follow these simple steps:
- Put 1 tablespoon of oil in your mouth.
- Swish the oil around in your mouth, pushing and pulling the oil through your teeth.
- Continue oil pulling for about 15-20 minutes.
- Spit the oil into a trash can or the toilet, so it doesn’t clog your pipes.
Unlike most teeth whitening methods, oil pulling is not abrasive and can be done daily.
Whiten Teeth With Baking Soda
Using baking soda to brush your teeth can make them whiter by gently scrubbing away surface-level stains. Despite concerns that baking soda is too abrasive and could grind away enamel, studies have found that using baking soda is a safe way to get rid of stains on teeth. Toothpaste that contains baking soda is completely safe and can be even more effective at removing stains than toothpaste without it.
Along with removing stains, baking soda can help fight bacteria, which means using baking soda on teeth could decrease plaque and prevent tooth decay. Because baking soda makes your mouth more alkaline, it inhibits the growth of bacteria after you brush with it. Research has found that toothpaste with baking soda more effectively removes plaque from teeth than toothpaste containing no baking soda.
To get the teeth-whitening benefits of baking soda, mix one teaspoon of baking soda with about two teaspoons of water and use this paste to brush your teeth. Because baking soda is a naturally abrasive ingredient, use this method only once or twice each week.
Use Hydrogen Peroxide to Whiten Teeth
Using hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash or toothpaste can help to lighten stained teeth. Using a commercial toothpaste with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide twice daily can lead to 62% whiter teeth in just six weeks. As a natural bleaching agent, hydrogen peroxide can also help to clean out the bacteria in your mouth.
It is important to be careful when using hydrogen peroxide because it is a mild bleach that can increase tooth sensitivity. To avoid negative side effects, be certain to use a 1.5% or 3% hydrogen peroxide solution and limit the number of times you use it per week. Although a 3% solution is the most commonly sold concentration of hydrogen peroxide, you can easily dilute it by mixing in more water.
A reliable hydrogen peroxide at-home toothpaste blend for whitening teeth is combining two teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with one teaspoon of baking soda. Use this mixture to gently brush your teeth, being careful not to swallow any.
Eat Fruit to Whiten Your Teeth
Your diet can have a big effect on the color of your teeth. While what you consume can stain your teeth, the food you eat can also help remove stains and improve oral health. In particular, some fruits can be a powerful tool for natural teeth whitening because of their enzymes and high water content.
Check out these stain-fighting fruits:
- Pineapple: Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, which is a strong stain remover when added to commercial toothpaste. According to the International Journal of Dental Hygiene, bromelain is an effective cleaning and anti-inflammatory compound.
- Papaya: Along with pineapples, papaya is one of the only natural sources of bromelain, which may help whiten teeth. Incorporating papaya into your diet may result in modest teeth-whitening effects.
Contrary to these naturally teeth-whitening fruits, some fruits are less beneficial for your oral health. Certain fruits have a reputation for being natural teeth whitening solutions when they are not good for your teeth in concentrated doses. While eating these fruits is fine, you shouldn’t use them as teeth-whitening scrubs or pastes.
Be aware of these fruits and why you should steer clear of using them for teeth whitening.
- Lemon: It’s not a good idea to try to whiten teeth with lemon because it is extremely acidic, which means it may damage your enamel. With a pH of just 2.2, lemon juice has been found to be the most corrosive fruit juice for your teeth. Although lemon juice may effectively lighten your teeth at the surface level, it is not worth the deeper deterioration.
- Strawberries: Despite what you may have heard about the natural whitening advantages of brushing your teeth with fresh strawberries, they are full of ascorbic acid that can harm tooth enamel. While strawberries might be able to help exfoliate your teeth and may them look whiter, they are not likely to penetrate and effectively remove stains from teeth. You can still keep strawberries as part of a well-balanced diet, but excessively applying them directly to your teeth could damage them.
Contact Friedman Dental Group for More Teeth-Whitening Solutions
While natural at-home techniques might help whiten your teeth, a visit to the dentist can give you even more dramatic whitening results. At Friedman Dental Group, you’ll receive world-class service for healthy, white teeth. We create a spa-like environment by providing amenities like hot towels, an espresso bar, and noise-canceling headphones, so you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your smile-enhancing experience.
Find out more about how you can keep your teeth sparkling white by contacting Friedman Dental Group to schedule an appointment.
Last Reviewed By Dr. Eli Friedman on December 18, 2020