Are Natural/Home Whitening Remedies Safe?

 Whether it is the cost or the concern for the safety of teeth bleaching agents used at the dental office, people are looking to DIY for teeth bleaching. Let’s go ahead and look at some of the natural teeth whiteners that are commonly used.



  • Strawberries

There is a belief that mashing up strawberries and rub it on the teeth will cause them to whiten. The astringent found in strawberries can help remove surface stains only, not whiten your teeth from within. Malic acid found in strawberries can damage your enamel by causing erosion

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

It makes sense that apple cider vinegar would eventually remove stubborn stains on the teeth, as it is an acid. Which means it can remove the enamel on your teeth as well. Remember, enamel does not grow back!

  • Coconut Oil Pulling

Can it be true? Some people are attesting to their teeth becoming whiter by applying coconut oil to their teeth after they brush.  But for most people, they are praising the results of oil pulling (placing coconut oil in your mouth and swishing it between your teeth for 5 to 20 minutes). 

It is believed that the physical act of oil pulling removes plaque, which makes teeth look whiter.

  • Baking Soda

Baking soda is a gritty substance like sandpaper so it can remove surface stains and as you can guess, the enamel right off your teeth as well!  The paste should not be gritty at all, and in fact it should be a runnier paste than a stiff paste.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide will whiten teeth, but it takes a long (think months to years) time. This is because hydrogen peroxide is a weak acid and has oxidizing properties like bleaching agents. In addition to being an acid, hydrogen peroxide is a powerful oxidant.   Why risk putting an oxidant on the soft delicate tissues of your mouth?

Yes, dental whitening products do contain hydrogen peroxide but it is packaged in such a way to contact teeth only, quickly and effectively. 

Here are some suggestions to keep your teeth white

without using any whitening agents.


 Brush After Drinking or Eating

The best way, but not always the easiest is to simply brush your teeth after eating or drinking something. This takes a lot of persistence and can even be kind of difficult depending on where you are at the time. Most food does not stain teeth, but if you are a coffee drinker or if you smoke, you can pretty much count on having discolored teeth from staining. If this is the case then having your teeth cleaned every three months may be in order.

Floss Your Teeth

Just flossing can easily remove the staining between your teeth, helping them to look whiter.

Use a Straw

Coffee, tea, soda, and wine can all cause serious damage to the enamel of your teeth. Whenever possible, use a straw to reduce direct exposure to teeth. If drinking your coffee or wine out of a straw is more embarrassing than discolored teeth, just make sure to brush after drinking these beverages – except after drinking white wine.

Avoid Food and Beverages That Stain

Bottom line is, constant application of teeth whitening products, whether “natural” or not, can damage the teeth by removing the enamel. Whitening should be used in moderation and used under the guidance of your dentist.


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