Natural white teeth whitening

Table of Contents

19 Amazing Home Remedies for Removing Plaque Naturally

If you have any questions or concerns whatsoever about the health of your teeth, you need to take them to the one person who is perfectly poised to provide an answer or a solution. Your dentist is there to give you as much advice as you need, whether it is about treatments, pain relief, dealing with cavities, or pressing ahead with things like braces and dentures.

Whatever you do, don’t waste your dentist. They represent a very special resource and it should not be squandered. They are not there to give you a lecture or yell about how badly you have treated your teeth (though a disapproving look or two can work wonders for lazy patients). They are only there to offer you the finest in dental care and treatment available.

Take advantage of this by being a model patient. Brush and floss regularly. Eat a healthy diet, filled with plenty of fruit and vegetables. And keep up with regular check-ups and appointments, because your visits to the dentist are what determine whether you need a quick clean or a more extensive treatment. To make the former more likely, give your teeth the tender love and care that they deserve.

Tips to Help Control Tartar

Your best bet is not to let tartar form on your teeth. Here’s how:

  • Brush regularly, twice a day for 2 minutes a time. A 30-second scrub twice a day won’t remove plaque or prevent tartar. Use a brush with soft bristles that is small enough to fit into your mouth. Be sure to include the hard-to-reach surfaces behind your teeth and on your rear molars.
  • Studies have found that electronic, or powered, toothbrushes may get rid of plaque better than manual models. No matter which type you use, be sure it has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval. These have undergone rigorous quality control and safety tests.
  • Choose tartar-control toothpaste with fluoride. Fluoride will help repair enamel damage. Some products have a substance called triclosan that fights the bacteria in plaque.
  • Floss, floss, floss. No matter how good you are with a toothbrush, dental floss is the only way to remove plaque between your teeth and keep tartar out of these hard-to-reach areas.
  • Rinse daily. Use an antiseptic mouthwash daily to help kill bacteria that cause plaque.
  • Watch your diet. The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugary and starchy foods. When they’re exposed to those foods, they release harmful acids. Try to eat a healthy diet and limit the amount of sugary foods you eat. That goes for snacks, too. Every time you eat, you also feed the bacteria in your mouth. You don’t have to give up sweets or between-meals munches. Just be mindful about how often you indulge. Brush and drink plenty of water during and after meals.
  • Don’t smoke. Studies show that people who smoke cigarettes or use other tobacco products are more likely to have tartar.

Once tartar has formed, only a dental professional will be able to remove it from your teeth. So, visit your dentist every 6 months to remove any plaque and tartar that might have formed and to prevent further problems.

No Toothbrush? No Toothpaste? No Problem

Our patients leave smiling

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    Awesome experience from beginning to end! I came in for receding gums, and the doctors set up a a treatment plan that was quick and easy. I had me teeth cleaned today, and the staff was gentle and amazing. No hurting teeth!! I recommend them for any procedure you need involving your teeth and gums! From office staff to hygentisits to doctors: all were kind and helpful.

    Michelle S.

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    Dr Joe is the the best . Did a very difficult crown removal and replacement for me. His experience was to the benefit of me. Trust him with all my dental work.

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    Miriam was excellent! Dr. Jo is always the best.

    Cheryl H.

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    Staff makes you feel right at home. All very competent.

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    I’ve been a patient for close to 17 years, I have a terrible fear of dentist but would recommend Dr. Joe to anyone with the same problem he has a soft easy manner that sets you at ease.

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    Young professionals and very knowledgeable of patients care and concerns. I was very satisfied with Dr. B!! I highly recommend her..

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    My children and I have been patients there for almost 10 years. The staff are wonderful and always take great care of us.

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    Everyone is very professional, love that. Dr. Perez made me feel very comfortable, feel better about going to the dentist now.

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    Friendly atmosphere and appointment times are with no long waiting.

    Robert F.

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    I called for an immediate appt. due to extreme pain the night before. They accommodated perfectly. I was treated like a preferred client even though I had never been there before. Everyone from the front desk to the Dr. who saw me was friendly, professional, listened intently and advised in detail what I needed to do. I will definitely be returning.

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    All staff were professional, efficient, and customer friendly.

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    I was treated like a human being, with care, respect and dignity! I am completely satisfied with the service from making my appointment by phone, to checking out. My hygienist was gentle and thorough and Dr. Jo was a gem! Thank you for your professionalism!

    Danielle D.

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    Very friendly staff. They made the dental process easy for my family and I.

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    I’ve been coming here since middle school, (maybe 15-16 years ago), I’ve always had a good experience (well the best you can have at a dentists office lol). The staff is great and the dentists are awesome!

    Ali A.

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    I have always been afraid of dentist.. Hence the reason I always put stuff off until the pain hit. However, o came across Dental ONE and from the receptionist, like Phyllis, to the doctors, they were all very nice. Ty, the dental assistant, always put me at ease and helped me to work through my fears. The doctors also put me at ease. And as far as the billing went, they always helped me to decide…

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    All staff were professional, efficient, and customer friendly.

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    My appointment was at 6 p.m. on a bad weather night, but they knew they needed to seem my issue and didn’t hesitate to make the earliest appointment possible. I really appreciate how they always accommodate me. Once, I had an appointment at 7 a.m.! It was very helpful because of my new employment at that time. I have seen the oral surgeon before, also who was amazing. He was so good at what…

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    The staff is always very professional. My son actually enjoys going to the dentist for his routine check ups.

    Janet F.

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    The office has a lively environment. The staff I encountered were nice, hospitable, and made me feel comfortable. I also appreciated that I was kept aware of what the assistant, hygienist, and dentist were doing and why they were doing it.

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    Professionalism of staff and patient care.

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    Great experience

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    Please with the services received and the friendly staff.

    Tekeshia K.

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    I have always hated going to the dentist officee, but my experience at Dental One changed all of that. Everyone is so nice. And I need to give a special shoutout to Tyrone—not only did he make me feel comfortable, he actually had me laughing the entire time. I would recommend this office to anyone.

    Sheila L.

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    Outstanding service and professionalism. Addressed all my issues and setup a great treatment plan.

    FAYETTE F.

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    Excellent customer service.

    Sala B.

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    Great service and wonderful people that take great care of there patients ! Absolutely Awesome Dentists

    Jeff W.

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    The dental hygienist Beatrice is excellent. She was very gentle and professional in the cleaning of my teeth.

    Arthur C.

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    It was simply the best service I’ve ever gotten at a dental office. If this service remains consistent, then this must be one of the best dental offices of all time.

    Michael R.

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    Very good experience. I trust the staff and wish them all the best!

    Michael R.

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    This a very professional and pleasant location. They were running a little behind and I had 25 minute wait to be seen, I was willing to reschedule and come back, they are that good. Of course, they refused and apologized for my wait. So far, I have had nothing but a positive experience at this location, great friendly staff.

    B T.

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    Dental One is well Organized; Professional; Friendly; Gentle; and Caring.

    Michael S.

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    I love my dentist!!!!

    Janet R.

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    Awesome experience from beginning to end! I came in for receding gums, and the doctors set up a a treatment plan that was quick and easy. I had me teeth cleaned today, and the staff was gentle and amazing. No hurting teeth!! I recommend them for any procedure you need involving your teeth and gums! From office staff to hygienists to doctors: all were kind and helpful.

    Michelle S.

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    Friendly, caring staff and doctors. Dr. Shatz does amazing work.

    Sheryl S.

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    everything went great..it was a very good appointment

    Carrie G.

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    Friendly staff. Hygienist & Dentist listen to concerns.

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    Great staff

    Donovan W.

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    Got appointment for next day service. Great Dental Office, excellent service, superb Dentist: Dr. Jose Perez

    Ricky S.

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    Very friendly and helpful to me & excellent service ! Great dental care !

    Jeff W.

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    Good service friendly environment took care of a emergency. With short notice good location.

    Cathy W.

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    Dr. Joe has always been helpful with any problems.

    Lucille S.

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    Me and my daughter had a very very great experience today at Dental One. The staff was very professional, friendly and interactive with us.

    KOLE W.

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    Dr perez is great!! He is very professional and knows what hes talking about when it comes to teeth. Thanks for all your help dental one!!

    Missy T.

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    Quick and professional service

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    Great staff

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    Employees are very knowledgeable and friendly

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    Loved every part except the numbing of course. Lol Everyone is always warm and friendly.

    Annette H.

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    I love Dental One Associates…the dentist are very knowledgeable, kind, and friendly.

    Janet R.

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    The team at Dental One is great they really care and always seek to make my visit a pleasant one. I’ve come here for many years and never had a bad experience!

    Nicole L.

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    The doctor and her assistant was awesome!

    Debra G.

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    The employees are awesome.

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    I love the care I get when I’m there.

    Janet R.

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    Excellent work

    Steve H.

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    Quality services, great and friendly staff! Loved it, check them out!

    Candace W.

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    Gentle and caring exam and treatment with very little pain or discomfort.

    Ofrona R.

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    Clean office and very friendly staff!!

    Ashley M.

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    The professionalism is noteworthy from the reception desk to the money people.

    David D.

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    Very friendly staff and overall a great place to go

    Logan W.

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    I absolutely loved loved loved the service and the workers were excellent, extremely polite and patient ! Thank you Dental One !!!!!

    Imani D.

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    The staff was friendly, and the doctor was great. Definitely worth the visit.

    Shawn H.

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    I have been coming to this practice for years the staff members are very nice and friendly.

    Deondria O.

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    Great service

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    The staff was very professional and helpful. They truly cared about their patients and the wellness of their teeth and smile. The office was clean and well organized. And the dentist were upbeat and friendly. Loved my visit with Dr. Jo.

    Gwen H.

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    Excellent Customer Service and attention to my dental care

    Iristine G.

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    Very good care

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    A life time of excellent service and care from Dental One¡

    Annette W.

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    Great Atmosphere and Staff was Pleasurable

    Cierra B.

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    Good care, reasonable price

    Edward R.

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    Professional treatment and concern on part of the staff.

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    Very friendly staff wait time short. Very concerned about patient comfort.

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    Everyone was very kind and professional and on time great service

    Versha M.

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    30 plus years of Dental services for myself and my entire family!! Very Very Pleased!

    Annette W.

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    Best bridge fitting I’ve ever had, very efficient.

    Steve H.

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    My hygienist was very comforting, patient, and helpful!

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    great service

    Chris M.

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    friendly, personable, on time, family atmosphere and yet very professional

    Anita M.

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    The Kindness and Professionalism of Dental One Employees. My Dental assistant, Linda, and My Den Hygienist were both caring and thorough. The Dentist who came in after my Teeth were cleaned, was vert thorough, and I would not hesitate to make an appointment with her if needed. I believe her name was Dr. Blesset (?).

    Sarah P.

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    Service was great

    Inether S.

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    On time with seeing patients, great cleaning service, very attentive to my needs, explained everything in detail, answered all of my questions and overall great service!

    Quincella G.

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    Service was good

    Sharlene E.

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    This place is just AWESOME! The energy is always positive. Ms. Toni does my cleaning and she is the sweetest! Always quick, thorough and painless! Dr. Jo follows up and he has the warmest eyes and demeanor. I was checked out by Ms. Phyllis is so adorable and sweet. She scheduled my next appt. I was in and out in an hour! If you want a clean environment and professional courteous service make your…

    J L.

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    The administrative and medical staff have been exceptional to deal with.

    Bryan M.

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    easy and fast service with no problem. very professional.

    Carlos M.

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    Everyone was very courteous and I had to wait only a few minutes before being called. Toni my hygienist was awesome as usual and Dr. Jo spent the time that was I needed to explain my procedure that was started at another office.

    Virtue H.

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    great job by staff and administration. The service I received on 10/12/2017 was second to none. I will recommend This firm to anyone in the greater Atlanta area and vicinity.

    Eddie P.

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    great service

    Mervin E.

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    This is a wonderful office. The staff is very nice the office is very clean!! Daisy is a great hygienist, she is very gentle and did an amazing job cleaning my teeth. Great overall first time experience!!

    MrGcmspider18

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    I had a good visit.

    Lois L.

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    No long wait to service area, professional and attentive service during dental care

    Koren G.

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    Great service from front desk, hygienist, dentist, assistant to the check out. I was aware of services today and in the future as well as cost

    Angel W.

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  • 

    Dental One Associates of Fayetteville has excellent service. Toni, who is my Dental Hygenist is AMAZING!!!! She is extremely thorough, efficient, and knowledgeable. She takes her time and explains what the process and procedures are to your time with her~ if you book an appointment, book with Toni. The office staff is wonderful as well.

    Yolanda B.

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    Honest people are hard to find. You guys are.

    Linda T.

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    The staff at Dental One made me feel very comfortable.

    Shandria H.

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    Doctor Jo my dentist. They also checked my tooth out in an emergency. The nurses and office staff are friendly and helpful.

    Pam R.

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    Courteous and efficient

    Richard F.

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    I had my crown re-cemented this afternoon, and I was in complete awe when the procedure was done less than 30mins and that I dont feel any single thing! Not only that but the standards of hygiene and sterelization was extremely on high. The whole staff we’re very friendly from the Receptionist, Dentist and Hygienist. The place is very cozy, clean and nicely organized. Tyrone the one who consult…

    Shenna

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  • 

    My office visit was great. The office is close to my home. The staff is great very nice.

    Martha B.

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  • 

    The staff was friendly and attentive to my particular needs even after coming in as an emergency new patient. I would highly recommend this practice.

    Lisa F.

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  • 

    I had my crown re-cemented this afternoon, and I was in complete awe when the procedure was done less than 20mins and that I dont feel any single thing! Not only that but the standards of hygiene and sterelization was extremely on high. The whole staff we’re very nice and friendly from the office staff,Dentist and Hygienist. The place is very cozy, clean and nicely organized. Tyrone the one who…

    Shenna

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  • 

    Awesome staff and family oriented.

    Sharita N.

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  • 

    30 plus years of Dental one service!!!

    Annette W.

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  • 

    Awesome experience from beginning to end! I came in for receding gums, and the doctors set up a a treatment plan that was quick and easy. I had me teeth cleaned today, and the staff was gentle and amazing. No hurting teeth!! I recommend them for any procedure you need involving your teeth and gums! From office staff to hygentisits to doctors: all were kind and helpful.

    Michelle S.

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  • 

    clean environment with professional staff and clinicians.

    Marvin A.

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  • 

    The people who work in this office are very friendly, and loving. I just love my hygienist, very gentle, and very knowledge.

    Edith B.

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  • 

    Appointments are typically honored with no wait time; staff is courteous, professional, and they keep your anxieties at a minimum.

    Dianne C.

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  • 

    The skill, demeanor, manner, and empathy utilized in providing my care.

    James W.

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  • 

    Miriam was the hygienist and she did a superb job. My first time seeing her but husband bragged on her so much I wanted to see why. She did more detail than I’ve ever had since going to Dental One for many years now. I thought it was a new procedure, since I’ve never had that much done to clean my teeth., but it wasn’t. I highly recommend her. She takes great care and concern for…

    Patricia G.

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  • 

    Toni is the best

    Donald N.

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  • 

    Excellent service. Pleasant staff

    Sharita N.

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  • 

    Great overall service from beginning to end

    Audrey P.

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  • 

    Dr. Bissset and Tyrone thoroughly explained options for my dental treatment in order for me to make an informed decision. The extractions were painless and I really appreciated that. Dr. Bissett is great.

    Claritha N.

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    prompness and accuracy of my given appointment. The explaining of the procedure beforehand the professionalism shown during the experience. And the postopt explanation of what to expect after surgery

    Michael S.

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    Friendly staff that know their jobs

    Brenda F.

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  • 

    Good care, friendly, efficient.

    Candace H.

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  • 

    On time,, friendly staff

    Kimberly H.

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  • 

    Everyone is so professional and nice

    Donna M.

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  • 

    Personal comfort of service provided.

    Tias W.

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  • 

    Mildred is an excellent hygenist and I love Dr Jo.

    Sheryl G.

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  • 

    I was pleased with the service I received

    Rodney L.

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  • 

    Friendly courteous staff.

    Mack W.

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  • 

    Efficient service with a smile

    Jon P.

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  • 

    Competent, courteous, short waiting time.

    Gloria D.

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  • 

    Always a great experience. This location has excellent customer service and shows empathy to your dental needs.

    Winisha B.

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  • 

    Beautiful facility. Friendly and attentive staff

    Rhonda A.

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7 Simple Ways to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth at Home

In 2015, Americans spent over $11 billion on teeth whitening, including over $1.4 billion on at-home whitening products (1).

There are plenty of products to choose from when it comes to whitening your teeth.

However, most whitening products use chemicals to bleach your teeth, which concerns many people.

If you want whiter teeth but also want to avoid the chemicals, this article lists many options that are both natural and safe.

What causes teeth to look yellow?

Multiple factors cause teeth to become dull and lose their bright, white sparkle.

Certain foods can stain your enamel, which is the outermost layer of your teeth. Additionally, plaque buildup on your teeth can cause them to look yellow.

This type of discoloration can usually be treated with regular cleaning and whitening remedies.

However, sometimes teeth look yellow because the hard enamel has eroded, revealing the dentin underneath. Dentin is a naturally yellow, bony tissue that lies underneath the enamel.

Here are 7 simple ways you can naturally whiten your teeth.

1. Practice oil pulling

Oil pulling is a traditional Indian folk remedy meant to improve oral hygiene and remove toxins from the body.

The practice involves swishing oil around in your mouth to remove bacteria, which can turn into plaque and cause your teeth to look yellow (2).

Traditionally, Indians used sunflower or sesame oil for oil pulling, but any oil will work.

Coconut oil is a popular choice because it has a pleasant taste and offers many health benefits.

Coconut oil is also high in lauric acid, which is known for its ability to reduce inflammation and kill bacteria (3, 4, 5, 6).

A few studies have shown that daily oil pulling reduces bacteria in the mouth, along with plaque and gingivitis (3, 7, 8).

Streptococcus mutans is one of the primary types of bacteria in the mouth that cause plaque and gingivitis. One study found that daily swishing with sesame oil significantly reduced Streptococcus mutans in saliva in as little as 1 week (8).

Unfortunately, no scientific studies have proven that oil pulling whitens your teeth. However, it’s a safe practice and worth a try. Many people claim their teeth are whiter and brighter after regular oil pulling.

To oil pull, put 1 tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and push and pull the oil through your teeth. Coconut oil is solid at room temperature, so you may need to wait a few seconds for it to melt. Continue the oil pulling for 15–20 minutes.

Be sure to spit the coconut oil into a toilet or trash can, as it could return to solid form once in your drain pipes and cause a clog.

Unlike many other tooth whitening methods, coconut oil pulling does not expose your teeth to acid or other ingredients that erode the enamel. This means it’s safe to do daily.

You can purchase coconut oil online.

Summary Coconut oil pulling involves swishing oil in your mouth for 15–20 minutes to remove bacteria. Practicing this daily can reduce plaque and may brighten your teeth.

2. Brush with baking soda

Baking soda has natural whitening properties, which is why it’s a popular ingredient in commercial toothpaste.

It’s a mild abrasive that can help scrub away surface stains on teeth.

Additionally, baking soda creates an alkaline environment in your mouth, which prevents bacteria from growing (9).

This is not a remedy that will whiten your teeth overnight, but you should notice a difference in the appearance of your teeth over time.

Science has not yet proven that brushing with plain baking soda will whiten your teeth, but several studies show that toothpaste containing baking soda has a significant whitening effect.

One study found that toothpastes containing baking soda were significantly more effective at removing yellow stains from teeth than standard toothpastes without baking soda. The higher the concentration of baking soda, the greater the effect (10).

Furthermore, a review of five studies found that toothpastes containing baking soda removed plaque from teeth more effectively than non-baking soda toothpastes (11).

To use this remedy, mix 1 teaspoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water and brush your teeth with the paste. You can do this a few times per week.

You can buy baking soda at a grocery store or find it online.

Summary Brushing with a paste made with baking soda and water can reduce bacteria in your mouth and buff away surface stains.

3. Use hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent that also kills bacteria in your mouth (12).

In fact, people have been using hydrogen peroxide for years to disinfect wounds because of its ability to kill bacteria.

Many commercial whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide, although at a much higher concentration than you will use.

Unfortunately, no studies have investigated the effects of rinsing or brushing with hydrogen peroxide alone, but several studies have analyzed commercial toothpastes containing peroxide.

One study found that a toothpaste containing baking soda and 1% hydrogen peroxide led to significantly whiter teeth (13).

Another study found that brushing with a commercial toothpaste containing baking soda and peroxide twice per day led to 62% whiter teeth in 6 weeks (14).

However, there are some questions regarding the safety of hydrogen peroxide.

While heavily diluted concentrations appear safe, strong concentrations or overuse can cause gum irritation and tooth sensitivity. There’s also concern that high doses may cause cancer, but this has not been proven (15, 16, 17, 18, 19).

One way to use hydrogen peroxide is as a mouthwash before you brush your teeth. Make sure you are using a 1.5% or 3% solution to avoid side effects.

The most common concentration of hydrogen peroxide at the drugstore is a 3% solution. You can easily dilute this concentration to 1.5% by mixing equal parts peroxide and water.

Another way to use hydrogen peroxide is by mixing it with baking soda to make a toothpaste. Combine 2 teaspoons of hydrogen peroxide with 1 teaspoon of baking soda and gently brush your teeth with the mixture.

Limit the use of this homemade paste to a few times per week, as overuse can erode your tooth enamel.

You can buy hydrogen peroxide online.

Summary Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent and can kill bacteria in your mouth. You can use it as a mouthwash or mix it with baking soda to form a whitening toothpaste.

4. Use apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries as a disinfectant and natural cleaning product.

Acetic acid, which is the main active ingredient in apple cider vinegar, kills bacteria. The antibacterial property of vinegar is what makes it useful for cleaning your mouth and whitening your teeth (20, 21, 22, 23).

One study on cow teeth found that apple cider vinegar exhibits a bleaching effect. However, it also found that vinegar may soften teeth (24).

The acetic acid in vinegar has the potential to erode the enamel on your teeth. For this reason, you should not use apple cider vinegar every day. You should also limit the amount of time that apple cider vinegar is in contact with your teeth (25).

To use it as a mouthwash, dilute it with water and swish it around in your mouth for several minutes. Make sure to rinse your mouth with plain water afterward.

You can find apple cider vinegar online.

Summary Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties that may help whiten your teeth. However, the overuse of vinegar can also erode your tooth enamel, so limit its use to a few times per week.

5. Eat fruits and vegetables

A diet high in fruits and vegetables may be good for both your body and your teeth.

While they’re no substitute for brushing them, crunchy, raw fruits and vegetables can help rub plaque away as you chew.

Strawberries and pineapple are two fruits that have been claimed to help whiten your teeth.

Strawberries

Whitening your teeth with a strawberry and baking soda mixture is a natural remedy that has been made popular by celebrities.

Proponents of this method claim that the malic acid found in strawberries will remove discoloration on your teeth, while the baking soda will buff away stains.

However, this remedy has not been completely backed up by science.

While strawberries may help exfoliate your teeth and make them appear whiter, they are unlikely to penetrate the stains on your teeth.

A recent study found that a strawberry and baking soda mixture produced very little color change in teeth, compared with commercial whitening products (26).

If you decide to give this method a try, limit its use to a few times per week.

Despite studies showing that a strawberry and baking soda paste had a minimal effect on tooth enamel, excessive use could cause damage (27, 28).

To use this remedy, smash a fresh strawberry, combine it with baking soda, and brush the mixture onto your teeth.

Pineapple

Some claim that pineapple can whiten teeth.

A study found that a toothpaste containing bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, was significantly more effective at removing tooth stains than a standard toothpaste (29).

However, there is no evidence that eating pineapples produces the same effect.

Summary Certain fruits may have properties that help whiten teeth. Regularly consume raw fruits and vegetables to help rub off plaque and keep your teeth looking bright.

6. Prevent tooth stains before they happen

While your teeth naturally yellow as you age, some things can help prevent stains on your teeth.

Limit staining foods and beverages

Coffee, red wine, soda, and dark berries are infamous for staining teeth.

That doesn’t mean you have to completely avoid them, but you should limit the amount of time these substances are in contact with your teeth.

If possible, drink beverages known to stain teeth out of a straw to prevent direct contact with your teeth.

Moreover, brush your teeth soon after consuming one of these foods or beverages to limit their effects on the color of your teeth.

Additionally, avoid smoking and chewing tobacco, as both can cause tooth discoloration.

Limit your sugar intake

If you want whiter teeth, cut back on your sugar intake.

A diet high in sugar supports the growth of Streptococcus mutans, the primary type of bacteria that causes plaque and gingivitis (30, 31).

When you consume a sugary food, be sure to brush your teeth soon after.

Get plenty of calcium in your diet

Some tooth discoloration is caused by enamel eroding and exposing the dentin underneath, which is yellow. Therefore, anything you do to strengthen the enamel of your teeth will help keep your teeth pearly white.

Calcium-rich foods, such as milk, cheese, and broccoli, may help protect your teeth from enamel erosion (32).

Summary A healthy diet with enough calcium can help prevent your teeth from becoming yellow. Brushing your teeth soon after you eat can also help prevent stains.

7. Don’t underestimate the value of brushing and flossing

While some tooth discoloration naturally comes with age, it’s largely a result of plaque buildup.

Regularly brushing and flossing can help your teeth stay white by reducing bacteria in your mouth and preventing plaque buildup.

Toothpaste gently rubs out stains on your teeth, and flossing removes bacteria that lead to plaque.

Regular dental cleanings can also help your teeth stay clean and white.

Summary Daily brushing and flossing, along with regular cleanings at the dentist’s office, prevent the buildup of yellowing plaque on your teeth.

Other methods that are not proven

There are a few other natural teeth whitening methods, but there is no scientific evidence to prove that they are safe or effective.

Some of the unproven methods include:

  • Activated charcoal. Brushing with powdered charcoal supposedly pulls toxins from the mouth and removes stains from teeth.
  • Kaolin clay. Proponents of this method claim that brushing with clay helps remove stains from teeth.
  • Fruit peels. Rubbing orange, lemon, or banana peels on your teeth is claimed to make them whiter.

Advocates of these methods claim they make teeth significantly whiter, but no studies have evaluated their effectiveness. This also means that they have not been tested for side effects when used on teeth.

Summary Activated charcoal, kaolin clay, and fruit peels may help whiten your teeth, but no studies have evaluated the safety or effectiveness of these methods.

The bottom line

There are several natural methods to help whiten your teeth. Most of these remedies work by gently removing surface stains on your teeth.

However, most dentists offer whitening treatments that are much stronger than these natural remedies. They involve bleaching the teeth, which may be more effective for severe tooth discoloration. Overuse of any whitening product can damage your teeth.

Always check with your dentist about your options and which would work best for you.

This piece was originally published on November 9, 2016. Its current publication date reflects an update, which includes a medical review by Christine Frank-Melnyk, DDS.

The 7 Best Natural Teeth Whiteners For A Brighter Smile Without The Chemicals

Combine first kisses, a mouth full of metal, and your average middle schooler’s insecurities, and you’ve got a recipe ripe for dental health obsession. At least, that’s when mine started. I became super interested in finding the best natural teeth whitenerswhen braces made my mouth both extremely sensitive and insanely difficult to clean.

It only took about five short and painless years for the braces to come off (maximum level of sarcasm reached), but I still won’t use any toothpaste, mouthwash, or whitener that isn’t entirely natural. Now, though, I’ve got other reasons.

If you’re concerned about what you put in your body, then what you put in your mouth should matter, too, whether you’re swallowing it or not. Natural teeth whiteners include ingredients like charcoal or baking soda which help to remove stubborn stains from the surface of your teeth. But of course, natural or not, make sure not to overdo it — since using whiteners too often or scrubbing at your teeth can weaken your enamel.

Thankfully “natural” is no longer synonymous with being inferior. These teeth whitening alternatives are super up front with their ingredients. And, not only are they natural and pronounceable, but some of them work even better than the traditional options when it comes to achieving a brighter smile.

1. This Bizarre Black Powder Formula That Actually Works

Amazon

Tuxedo Charcoal Teeth Whitening Formula, $21, Amazon

This Tuxedo Charcoal Teeth Whitening Formula is a personal favorite of mine. It’s made with a combination of activated charcoal and bentonite clay, both of which are extremely absorbent and capable of lifting stains from the surface of your teeth. However, it’s extremely gentle on sensitive mouths. It’s also got zero taste, lasts for months at a time, absorbs odors, and has over a thousand rave reviews.

2. This Toothpowder That Whitens With Baking Soda & Sea Salt

Amazon

Eco-Dent Extra Brite Tooth Whitener, $9, Amazon

This Eco-Dent Extra Brite tooth whitener combines the power of baking soda, sea salt toothpowder, and peroxide for a clean smile in powder form. It contains no dyes or sweeteners, and reviewers say that along with their coffee and wine stains, some dental issues are disappearing, too.

3. Chew On These Arak Tree Sticks For Cleaner Teeth

Amazon

Miswak Club Natural Teeth Whitening Kit, $20, Amazon

People are absolutely loving this Miswak Club Kit. It’s essentially just two sticks that come from the Arak tree, and they’re organically grown without chemicals or pesticides. They’ve got all natural whitening agents that remove stains and discoloration while you chew and brush. “Miswak sticks are new to me, but I quickly am becoming addicted,” says one fan. “I use mine on the commute to and from work and my teeth are cleaner and whiter (coffee stains beware!)”

4. This Peroxide-Free Gel Pen Made With Gentle Ingredients

Amazon

Just Pure Hut Dentist Teeth Whitening Pen, $14, Amazon

The Just Pure Hut Dentist Teeth Whitening Pen uses a gel that’s apparently all natural and free from peroxide. The pen itself uses a sleek design and pointed tip that makes it easy to apply all over your teeth or to individual stains, and reviewers say, “I saw a difference the first day,” and “There was absolutely no gum or tooth irritation.”

5. This Paleo-Approved Alternative For Fresh Breath & Polished Teeth

Amazon

The Dirt All Natural Tooth Powder, $20, Amazon

All paleo and free from gluten, soy, and corn, The Dirt All Natural Tooth Powder is for the ultimate label-reader. It lifts stains away from your teeth using extra fine bentonite clay and baking soda, and it has a clean and refreshing taste from cinnamon, nutmeg, and orange essential oils. “My breath smells good after using it and my teeth feel super clean!… A little goes a LONG way,” says one reviewer.

6. This Whitening Kit That’s Like Magic Erasers For Your Teeth

Amazon

Dr. Whitening Natural Teeth Whitener System Tool Kit, $18, Amazon

The Dr. Whitening Natural Teeth Whitener System is designed for those with extremely sensitive teeth. It contains no peroxide or LED lights, and instead uses patented power swabs to remove stains, discoloration, and plaque. Simply add water and scrub away, and each brush can be used multiple times.

7. Activated Charcoal In A Paste Form For A Fresh, Bright Mouth

Amazon

Dental Expert Activated Charcoal Teeth Whitening Toothpaste, $16, Amazon

The Dental Expert Toothpaste uses charcoal and other natural ingredients to brighten your smile. And the fact that it’s in a paste form makes it way more convenient to use than most powders. “The toothpaste is amazing!” says one reviewer. “It makes your teeth feel so clean. You can see the change in the color of your teeth after the first use. It has a nice flavor as well.”

Bustle may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was created independently from Bustle’s editorial and sales departments.

Teeth stains and yellowing happen to everyone. Whether it’s due to genetics, damage, or surface stains from foods and beverages, the reality is that over time, staining occurs. Meanwhile, aging can cause yellowing, even if your dental hygiene routine has been perfect.

And while it is possible to whiten teeth and eliminate some of this discoloration, it’s important to remember that many teeth whitening methods can cause damage to the teeth and the rest of the mouth.

As we become more aware of the foods we eat and the supplements we take, it’s important that we also take an all-natural approach to oral and dental health, including teeth whitening.

Certainly, some all-natural methods are better than conventional whitening treatments that are filled with chemicals that can disrupt the oral microbiome and potentially damage the gums. But even natural teeth whitening methods can cause damage to the teeth, eroding the enamel and potentially causing more damage—and staining—in the future.

Before we discuss which teeth whitening methods are both effective and safe, let’s examine how teeth become discolored in the first place.

Disclosure:

Ask the Dentist is supported by readers. If you use one of the links below and buy something, Ask the Dentist makes a little bit of money at no additional cost to you. I rigorously research, test, and use thousands of products every year, but recommend only a small fraction of these. I only promote products that I truly feel will be valuable to you in improving your oral health.

What Really Causes Dental Stains and Yellow Teeth?

The first thing to understand is that there are two basic parts to a tooth—the non-living tooth (enamel) and the inner, living part of the tooth (dentin). Here are several factors that can impact either the enamel or the dentin of the tooth, causing varying degrees of staining of yellowing.

Age: Dentin naturally yellows as it ages, and because there aren’t currently any ways to whiten the inner part of the tooth, teeth appear more yellow as they get older. This is because the outer, enamel of the tooth acts like a clear window that reflects the color of the inner dentin.

Grinding: Grinding can prematurely age the teeth, leading to early yellowing, among other issues. When you grind your teeth, the force causes premature aging and shrinking of the dentin—which, again, shows up as yellowing.

Dental trauma: Like grinding, trauma from falls or accidents can cause damage to the tooth that results in accelerated aging and yellowing.

Poor diet: Not having adequate nutrition can also be a cause of premature tooth aging, as all parts of the body—including the teeth—suffer from a lack of the vitamins and nutrients that can support optimal health and prevent aging. And, of course, aging teeth appear more yellow.

Foods and drinks: Unlike dentin, that becomes discolored from age and trauma, enamel is often stained from the foods and drinks we consume. Naturally, highly pigmented substances like wine, tea, coffee, and tobacco, causing the most damage. For these types of stains, teeth whitening products—and even a solid cleaning at the dentist’s office—can reverse some of these stains and lighten up the enamel of teeth.

The Problem with Most Teeth Whitening Methods

Now, when you notice that your teeth are a little yellower than you’d prefer, or you see that your favorite red wine is leaving an undesirable stain, you may want to try a conventional teeth whitener. Unfortunately, popular teeth whitening procedures, like laser or halogen whitening, are not good for your teeth. And even teeth whitening strips can have consequences if not used properly.

The problem with over-the-counter teeth whitening kits is that whitening strips struggle to reach every part of the tooth, which can lead to uneven whitening. Additionally, it’s difficult to keep the whitening solution from touching the gums, which can cause tissue irritation. And since the FDA doesn’t regulate teeth whiteners, it can be difficult to understand which types are safe to use.

Conversely, you may be interested in natural teeth whitening, and you may have heard about using apple cider vinegar, strawberries, or baking soda to whiten teeth. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of these methods is a result of the acids in the products eating away the top layer of enamel. While that process will reveal whiter enamel underneath, it will also speed up the aging process of your teeth, leading to further yellowing and damage down the road.

So the question is: Are there natural teeth whitening options that are both safe and effective?

The answer is YES.

Here are some the safest ways to whiten your teeth naturally—and the only methods I actually recommend.

Safe, Effective, and All-Natural Ways to Whiten Teeth

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal has a long history as a substance used to treat poisoning, with the first patient being treated nearly two centuries ago. That’s because the charcoal adsorbs—or binds with—much of what it touches.

Even though there are now other, more preferred methods for treating poisonings, the binding capabilities of activated charcoal have made it a popular addition in a number of beauty products, including toothpastes and teeth whiteners.

Unlike whitening kits you might find in a store, which use hydrogen peroxide to whiten the dentin beneath the tooth’s enamel, activated charcoal removes surface stains only. This makes it a good option for naturally reversing stains caused by foods, beverages, or tobacco.

To give this product a try, I recommend smearing an activated charcoal paste onto the teeth and letting it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing and gently brushing away any excess.

My DIY recipe for charcoal toothpaste is safe to use as a regular toothpaste, but it shouldn’t be used on a daily basis. You should also keep in mind that other products on the market may be too rough for the teeth, as charcoal can be abrasive.

To stay on the safe side, I recommend checking the Relative Dentin Abrasivity of any toothpaste before purchasing.

Turmeric

Turmeric is a bright yellow herb that comes from the ginger plant family. You might know it as the spice that gives curry powder it’s yellow color, but it’s also been known as a healing herb in traditional Ayurvedic medicine for more than 5,000 years.

There aren’t currently any studies that have evaluated turmeric’s effectiveness as a teeth whitener, though there is a lot of anecdotal support suggesting that it effectively removes extrinsic stains.

However, a 2012 study suggested that the curcumin might help fight against gingivitis, and it was a strong contender against mouthwashes when it came to removing plaque, bacteria, and inflammation. All of that is to say, even if turmeric doesn’t whiten your teeth, it may benefit your overall oral health in the meantime.

Typically, turmeric is mixed with coconut oil and applied to teeth to aid in whitening. In this case, it may be that the coconut oil helps to strip away the cavity- and stain-causing biofilm, while turmeric acts an abrasive, furthering the stain removal process. But again, there aren’t currently any studies to verify.

Like turmeric, coconut oil has many oral health benefits, and I’m not concerned about the abrasiveness of the herb, so I think this is a whitening method worth trying.

Whitening toothpaste

You’ve likely seen toothpastes claiming their whitening powers, from major brands to natural options at your local health food store. But there’s something important to note here: Whether it’s a natural or conventional toothpaste, there’s really no such thing as a whitening toothpaste.

Toothpastes can’t whiten your teeth—they can only help to clean them.

I recommend making your own toothpaste, since traditional toothpastes include all kinds of questionable ingredients like triclosan, sulfates, and artificial colorings.

Stain-removing toothbrush

A good toothbrush can be an effective natural teeth whitening method because it can help to remove extrinsic stains from teeth.

For whitening, my favorite toothbrush is the Goby toothbrush, an oscillating model with a soft brush head. The motion of oscillation is most effective for removing surface stains. If you’d rather try a more common consumer model, Oral-B models with 3-D White replacement heads are a great alternative.

Best for Stain Removal

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Most importantly, however, make sure you’re brushing the right way, because toothbrush bristles can damage your enamel if not used appropriately.

To brush properly, place the brush head over a tooth and wiggle it slightly, allowing the bristles to surround the tooth and work their way in between your teeth. Once you’ve finished, move onto the next tooth. To further ensure that you’re not over-brushing, try brushing with your non-dominant hand.

The Best Ways to Prevent Teeth Stains

The truth is the best natural teeth whitener is preventing teeth from becoming stained or prematurely yellowing in the first place. There are a few ways you can help keep the enamel of the tooth from getting stained in the first place:

  1. Drink lots of water. Drinking water helps to reduce the amount of contact staining agents get with your teeth even as you’re consuming them. So, for example, drink a glass of water while you’re drinking coffee, and the coffee will have less time to stain the teeth.
  2. Swish with water after meals. As often as possible, swish your mouth out with water after you eat. Much like drinking a glass of water, this can help wash away some of the staining agents that naturally occur in certain healthy foods like berries.
  3. Avoid staining foods and beverages. Wine, tea, coffee, and foods that contain food dye all contribute to dental staining. If your goal is to maintain a whiter smile, avoiding these can be helpful. Or, again, be sure to swish the water after consuming.
  4. Get treatment for bruxism. As mentioned, grinding can lead to premature aging of your teeth, so speak with your dentist about treating this issue to prevent yellowing in the future.
  5. Wear a mouthguard during sports. Like grinding, damage to teeth can also lead to premature aging of the teeth and yellowing. When you’re involved in contact sports, be sure to protect your teeth with a mouthguard.

Conclusion

No matter which whitening method you choose, the most important thing to remember is that you shouldn’t exchange oral health for cosmetic benefit.

There is no medical reason to whiten teeth. It’s a personal preference, and that’s fine! Just make sure you’re choosing a method that will keep your mouth healthy, and that you keep your expectations to a realistic level.

Aside from the natural solutions mentioned here, preventing staining and premature yellowing is the best way to protect the natural color of your teeth.

However, if you do want professional results, the safest and most effective way to whiten teeth, in my opinion, is through custom-built teeth whitening trays from your dentist. While not an all-natural choice, they provide the best results and are unlikely to cause any harm to your teeth.

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Disclaimer: The oral health information published on this web page is solely intended for educational purposes. Hawaii Family Dental strongly recommends to always consult licensed dentists or other qualified health care professionals for any questions concerning your oral health.

Does baking soda whiten teeth?

Yes, it’s true — baking soda can in fact help whiten your teeth!

Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is a chemical compound that is white, crystalline, and often appears as a fine powder. It is made up of sodium and bicarbonate ions.

Baking soda has a salty, alkaline taste. Its alkalinity helps eliminate tooth discoloration due to food and drink consumption, smoking, and the like.

Due to the mild abrasiveness, it removes plaque on the tooth’s surface.

Many, if not everyone, want whiter teeth.

The desire to achieve a pearly smile has brought in 11 billion US dollars revenue for the teeth whitening industry with the annual spending on teeth whitening products recording at approximately 1.4 billion US dollars.

But not all can get an in-office dental tooth whitening procedure because it’s expensive.

It costs 600 US dollars on average. This means that a minimum wage worker who makes 7.25 US dollars an hour needs to work more than 82 hours just to afford the procedure.

That said, it is no longer surprising a lot of individuals are going for do-it-yourself home methods in tooth whitening. One of the most known ways to whiten teeth at a lesser price is to use baking soda.

People often question when it comes to their teeth whether the whole baking soda method of whitening teeth works, and if so, how exactly?

Fortunately, there is some scientific research done on this matter, and you’ll soon know if using baking soda to achieve pearly white smile is indeed possible.

6 Ways to Whiten Your Teeth With Baking Soda

Below are 6 ways to use baking soda for teeth whitening.

#1 Baking soda and Water

The most basic method is mixing baking soda and water. Using a small cup or bowl, mix a few drops of water with a half a teaspoon of baking soda to craft a paste. Once you have a paste, apply it to your teeth using a toothbrush or your fingers. Leave on for approximately two minutes and rinse with water.

#2 Baking soda and Toothpaste

You can also try adding a little amount of baking soda to your toothpaste. Or, you may purchase a ready-made toothpaste that contains baking soda as an ingredient.

#3 Baking soda and Hydrogen Peroxide

You can partner baking soda with another household product — hydrogen peroxide — to effectively whiten your teeth. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda and a half teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide until the mixture turns into a toothpaste-like consistency.

Use the mixture to brush your teeth. Let it sit for a minute or two before rinsing it off with water. Make sure to rinse well and use a three-percent solution hydrogen peroxide for safety.

#4 Baking soda and Lime or Lemon Juice

Lime and lemon contain citric acid which is an effective bleaching agent. To use, mix half teaspoon of baking soda to half teaspoon of lime or lemon. Use your toothbrush to brush your teeth with the mixture. Let the mixture sit for a minute before washing it off.

However, limit the use of this mixture as citric acid can be detrimental to the teeth due to the acid found in limes and lemons.

#5 Baking soda and Apple Cider Vinegar

Rinsing with three parts water and one part apple cider vinegar makes for a great teeth-whitening rinse. Mix it with toothpaste, and brush as you normally would.

#6 Coconut Oil and Baking Soda Toothpaste

Another way to save up on expensive whitening treatments and avoid harmful chemicals is to utilize a coconut oil paste on your teeth.

Coconut oil is a good source of lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid which helps with weight loss and in lowering cholesterol levels. Coconut oil also aids in addressing inflammation, healing wounds, and keeping the prostate healthy.

When mixed with baking soda and peppermint essential oil, you can have a paste that will whiten your teeth and prevent tooth decay.

Coconut oil is excellent for whitening the teeth thanks to its fatty acids. Swishing coconut oil paste for 20 minutes will do the trick. Just heat one cup of coconut oil until liquid-like, add 5-10 drops of spearmint essential oil, and add two teaspoons of baking soda.

How Long and How Often Should You Clean Your Teeth With Baking Soda?

Brush your teeth with the baking soda paste for not longer than two minutes at a time. Prolonged exposure to baking soda (a mild abrasive) can erode your enamel. When you are brushing, make sure to apply the right tactics when you are brushing, especially with baking soda.

Afterward, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash. Do not forget to wash your toothbrush thoroughly.

You can repeat the baking-soda-method every other day for one or two weeks to give your teeth and enamel room to breathe and prevent enamel erosion.

How Fast Does Baking Soda Whiten Teeth?

Results can be noticed after just a few days, but noticeable whiteness can be seen after a couple of weeks. Others may notice slight results after the first time they use baking soda on their teeth.

What Are Other Benefits of Using Baking Soda on Teeth?

Aside from teeth whitening, baking soda can also help in maintaining good oral health. It can be a cheaper temporary remedy for dental issues including bad breath, mouth sores and ulcers, and gum disease.

Baking Soda for Bad Breath

Baking soda can re-balance the acid levels inside your mouth, preventing and treating bad breath. Simply dissolve a half teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Use this mixture as an oral rinse.

Baking Soda for Mouth Sores and Ulcers

For mouth sores and ulcers, dissolve one to two teaspoons of baking soda in a glass of water. This will serve as an oral rinse to soothe and help in the healing process.

Baking Soda for Gum Disease

Baking soda can help block the accumulation of plaque and aid in the aversion of gum disease. Add a small amount of baking soda in your toothpaste then brush.

Is it Safe to Brush Your Teeth With Baking Soda?

Everything in excess can be harmful.

Excessive use of baking soda could be harmful to the enamel due to its abrasiveness. Also, baking soda is not a replacement for toothpaste as it does not contain cavity-fighting fluoride.

For a healthy use of baking soda as a teeth whitener, all you should need is about a pea-sized drop of the product, just enough to cover the bristles of a wet toothbrush head. Gently brush the teeth with the baking soda for about a minute or two, ensuring it’s being applied at all angles, corners, crevices, and surfaces of the teeth. Then, rinse.

Leaving it on too long or using it too often could lead to the erosion of the tooth enamel. Brush your teeth as usual with toothpaste after rinsing out the baking soda.

However, do not use baking soda if you have braces or another non-removable dental correcting device.

If you notice tooth sensitivity or other notable symptoms from using baking soda as a tooth whitener, make an appointment with a dentist. Be candid with your dentist regarding your experiences with baking soda, so they can best assist you.

How Do You Whiten Teeth Without Baking Soda?

If none of the latter methods work for you, consult your dentist for a professional whitening treatment. At Hawaii Family Dental, we whiten your teeth in as quick as an hour through our doctor-prescribed teeth whitening method, saving you from prolonged exposure to chemicals.

Moreover, although baking soda can serve as a temporary remedy to oral-related issues, we recommended visiting the dentist at least twice a year to get your teeth checked for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Hawaii Family Dental has been providing dental services to the state of Hawaii since 1986.

Areas we serve:

  • Aiea
  • Downtown Honolulu
  • Ewa Beach
  • Hilo
  • Honolulu
  • Kahului (Lono Center)
  • Kahului (Queen Kaahumanu Center)
  • Kailua Kona
  • Kaneohe
  • Kihei
  • Lihue
  • Mililani

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Our culture is becoming increasingly fascinated with white teeth. With ‘news’ stories in front of us everyday showing us celebrities with their shiny, very white teeth, it seems that so many of us these days want to have an ultra white smile too.

We are told that conventional teeth whitening (bleaching) is safe from experts. Yet others warn of the risks of conventional teeth whitening. Much of the confusion stems from the fact that the ‘facts’ around teeth whitening have been blurred intentionally. Then we hear how Julia Roberts only uses baking soda to keep her smile bright. But is baking soda even a safe option?

In today’s article on how to naturally whiten your teeth without destroying your enamel, we will detail several strategies that we have researched and deem to be safe for long-term use. We will also provide some ‘supercharged’ strategies to provide extra whitening support without the potential risks associated with conventional whitening (bleaching) treatments.

How can I naturally whiten my teeth safely?

As we are all a part of our society, I’m sure you are well aware of the ‘I want it now’ mentality. I mean, each of us has this impatient 3 or 4-year-old child within us that wants today’s desires fulfilled YESTERDAY. 🙂

If we allow our impatient inner child to steer us when it comes to whitening our teeth, we’re heading toward trouble.

The analogy of a sprint vs a marathon

If we want massive whitening fast, we’re going to pay for that in the long run. We have to be willing to think about ‘the long game’ rather than short term benefits.

The good news is there are plenty of protocols you can apply that will help to naturally whiten your teeth without destroying your enamel, but it’s not going to happen overnight.

The long term game plan to a healthy white smile

1. Take dated photos of your smile so you can track your progress. You know we love feedback mechanisms as they give us an objective way to see our progress. Without feedback mechanisms like a photo, it’s really tough to see the positive changes you’re making.

2. Set a course. Read through this list below and decide what strategy you plan to use. Then give yourself 2-3 months and mark on your calendar the day to take your second ‘before/after’ photo. Be sure to take the photos in the same location at the same time of day, for lighting purposes.

3. Whatever strategy you choose, be sure to know how to stop causing your teeth to dull so you can get a jump start on your natural whitening plan. After all, letting red wine or a green smoothie sit on your teeth while wanting to naturally whiten your teeth is taking two steps forward and one step back.

Our favorite safe whitening strategies

1. Oil pulling

Hands down, our favorite whitening strategy is oil pulling. Just in case you aren’t familiar with oil pulling, here’s an article we wrote several years ago detailing this ‘old school’ detox protocol.

The reason oil pulling is our favorite solution for naturally whitening our teeth is because unlike so many whitening strategies that have risks of damaging enamel and gum tissue, oil pulling actually helps reduce tooth decay and gingivitis.

The downside to oil pulling is it does take some time as the protocol does traditionally suggest 20 minutes of actively swishing oil around your mouth.

The reason oil pulling works to help whiten teeth is similar to what oil is doing in your car’s engine. Think about it. When the oil in your car is changed, the clean oil going in is, well, clean. And the used oil that leaves your car is all gunky. That gunk is any waste from the engine running being gathered up and removed from the engine by the oil.

The same goes for oil pulling. It’s been scientifically proven that oil pulling helps to stop gum disease. And if you use coconut oil, you’ll lower your risk of tooth decay too. A component of coconut oil, called monolaurin, has shown to be a very effective antimicrobial on the main bug implicated with tooth decay, strep mutans.

(By the way, if you’d like to learn other reasons why oil pulling is good for us, here’s a video about a similar, related technique.)

2. Baking soda

While some on the internet may argue that baking soda is too abrasive for regular use in the mouth, the science says that baking soda is actually pretty soft. In a recent article titled ‘What’s the Safest and Most Effective Abrasive for Naturally Whiter Teeth’, we discussed a term called Relative Dentin Abrasivity or RDA for short.

On this scale, dental researchers have ranked lots of oral hygiene products to determine how abrasive they are. The scale goes from 0 being no abrasivity to 269 that would do well to polish your grandfather’s antique car bumper.

Baking soda is a 7 on the RDA scale, so really low abrasivity.

The game with using baking soda to whiten is to gently focus on the front teeth while the baking soda shifts from powder to solution mixed with saliva. Once baking soda is basically liquid in your mouth (mixed with saliva), it will still have some gentle ability to remove stains, but if you want to focus on whitening, focus on front teeth first.

Remember, gentle. It’s a marathon. Just because baking soda has a low RDA score doesn’t mean that you can’t scrub too hard with it.

3. Clay

Clays have a unique ability to be very soft (low abrasive) yet able to polish more effectively. In fact, one specific type of clay, white kaolin clay, has the high score from the research on its ‘Cleaning Efficiency’. This cleaning efficiency is a combination of a low abrasivity score and a high ability to remove stains.

While any clay is decent, white kaolin clay is the best by quite a bit.

Same game as with baking soda. Focus on front teeth while the clay is incorporated into saliva.

4. Activated charcoal

Activated charcoal is another very popular at home alternative teeth whitening strategy.

Some say it does wonders. Others argue that it doesn’t work.(1) We think much of the disparity of opinions could be that those who say activated charcoal doesn’t work expect charcoal to work like their commercial whitening strips (aka overnight) (2).

Remember the marathon…

Similar to oil pulling, it makes sense how activated charcoal would draw stains out of the teeth.

After all, activated charcoal is used internally when one suspects a recent case of food poisoning. In fact, we always carry a bottle of activated charcoal capsules when traveling in case of the risk of food poisoning from eating out while on the road.

Potential risks of daily use of activated charcoal?

However, we do have some concerns about potential problems that may exist from regular use of activated charcoal as a whitening tooth powder.

You see, the reason activated charcoal works on food poisoning is because it binds up whatever it comes into contact with. Warnings exist regarding the internal use of activated charcoal as activated charcoal can interfere with absorption of medications as well as vitamins and minerals.

One of the reasons we brush our teeth is to increase the saliva in our mouths to provide our teeth the necessary remineralization that occurs from contact with lots of saliva. However, if we brush with activated charcoal on a daily basis, our concern is the charcoal’s binding ability will tie up the minerals necessary and inhibit this important remineralizing action of saliva.

So, we consider brushing with activated charcoal safe so long as you use it sparingly or perhaps for 1-2 weeks to whiten your teeth. We don’t encourage using activated charcoal in the mouth on a daily basis until further research shows that doing so doesn’t inhibit remineralization.

5. Dilute hydrogen peroxide

We know that some of you may be saying right now, “Wait a second! Isn’t it hydrogen peroxide that causes all the problems in conventional teeth whitening treatments?” And you’re right.

However, like with many situations, the details make the difference.

In this case, we have to consider the concentration of hydrogen peroxide used in the mouth.

Many studies show that hydrogen peroxide is dangerous at higher concentrations like those used in conventional whitening treatments. Some studies even show potential risks at concentrations as low as 3%.

Back to the marathon…

If you choose to use hydrogen peroxide to support teeth whitening, keep it really low concentration. We don’t suggest using anything higher than 1% (max 1.5%) concentration.

Our bodies produce hydrogen peroxide

Given all the mixed press on hydrogen peroxide, it may be helpful to know that the human body produces hydrogen peroxide primarily in the lungs, gut and thyroid gland. A fascinating study done in 2009 at Harvard University suggests that the presence of hydrogen peroxide actually ‘calls’ the immune system to an injury. (3) This makes sense when you consider that hydrogen peroxide is such a biologically fundamental ‘defense’ strategy at a cellular level.

For this reason, we stand behind the idea of using dilute hydrogen peroxide when someone is effectively addressing significant gum disease.

But given the mixed studies in the literature regarding the relative safety of hydrogen peroxide, since we’re talking about the cosmetic issue of whiter teeth, maybe give other solutions above a try first and save hydrogen peroxide for more serious matters like infections.

That said if you choose to use dilute hydrogen peroxide in the mouth, keep the concentration really low and swish for several minutes to increase the ‘time on the teeth’.

6. Turmeric

Honorable mention goes to using powdered turmeric as a natural tooth whitener.

We haven’t tried using turmeric in this way so can’t speak to its effectiveness. However, here’s a word of warning… Turmeric will stain anything it touches including your clothes, your toothbrush, and your bathroom sink. However, folks who claim turmeric helps whiten teeth are happy to show you their smiles that aren’t stained. 🙂

How to Maximize Your Natural Whitening Effect

The ‘time on the teeth’ factor…

Other than abrasive strategies which simply scrub stains off teeth, all whitening techniques, whether we are talking about the conventional bleaching techniques or natural whitening, rely on time to help remove stains from teeth. Incidentally, this is why commercial ‘whitening toothpastes’ that contain some form of peroxide really don’t help.

They don’t have the ‘time on the teeth’ to do their bleaching/whitening job.

So, to give whatever strategy you choose even more positive impact, let it hang around on your teeth for a few minutes before you rinse. Even better, try some of these ‘hybrid’ techniques to provide even more potent whitening effect.

Combine strategies

It makes a lot of sense to us to combine two or more of these strategies to maximize the efficiency of the time you spend to whiten your teeth.

1. Oil pulling and activated charcoal

Perhaps try mixing a capsule of activated charcoal with your oil you plan to use for oil pulling today. This way, you’ll benefit from the stain removing ability of oil pulling AND help to draw out stains with activated charcoal AND will have the ‘time on the teeth’ factor taken care of by the amount of time you commit to oil pulling.

As far as a bang for the buck efficiency for naturally whitening your teeth, this combo is our first pick.

Just remember to spit the used oil somewhere outside as it’s going to be a mess if you try to spit into the bathroom sink!

2. Brush with baking soda and clay powder

Make a simple mix of baking soda and clay powder to benefit from the gentle abrasive of each. Perhaps add in a little xylitol to support remineralization while you’re at it!

In the end, whatever strategy(ies) you choose, be sure to go about it consciously to care for your enamel. We hope these strategies help you have a healthier, happier (and brighter) smile today and always!

For even more safe and natural teeth whitening tips, feel free to download our FREE eBook, How to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth (Without Destroying Your Enamel).

How about you? What strategies have you used to whiten your teeth? Have you found benefit from them? Any you suggest we stay away from?

Helpful, Related Resources:

The First Step How to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth
Teeth Whitening – Methods & Differences
Can Tooth Whitening Treatments Destroy Your Teeth?
What’s the Safest & Most Effective Abrasives to Naturally Whiten Teeth?
Oil Pulling for a Whiter Smile, Naturally
Is Baking Soda Safe to Brush With?
Is Xylitol Safe to Brush With?
How to Remineralize Your Teeth

March 03, 2017 – 15:53 GMT hellomagazine.com Dr Richard Marques reveals his top tips for getting whiter teeth naturally at home. Read on for his top natural teeth whitening tips, including eating white foods and using an electric toothbrush.

Want that Hollywood smile? While there are a number of cosmetic treatments available on the market, Dr Richard Marques reveals that the secret to a whiter, brighter smile could be as simple as making a few small changes to your diet. Read on for his top tips to whiten teeth naturally at home.

1. Use Baking Soda

Baking Soda is a natural teeth whitener and included in many toothpastes. Try mixing a quarter teaspoon of Baking Soda with water and applying this to the teeth with your toothbrush. Alternatively add the Baking Soda to a cheap toothpaste. It will not damage your teeth in any way but will make them look gradually whiter over time. Science – Baking Soda is a natural cleaning and oxidising agent.

2. Eat strawberries

Due to the Malic acid these can naturally whiten your teeth. Science – Malic acid is a natural cleanser.

VIEW GALLERY

3. Warm salt water

Helps both whiten your teeth naturally and looks after your gums (as it is a natural antibacterial). Mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm kettle boiled water (cool it down) and use it as mouthwash. Science – Salt is a natural antibacterial working by attacking bacterial cell walls.

STORY: 5 DIY beauty ingredients for healthy, glowing skin

4. Eat white foods

The whiter the foods you eat the whiter your teeth will be. Eat chicken, rice and fish. Avoid pigmented foods such as beetroot, blueberries, carrots and Chinese/Indian takeaway (which has lots of turmeric or food colourings). Science – white foods have no colourings. Food colourings stain teeth by binding to tooth surface.

5. Eat apples

Apples are one of the natural teeth cleansing foods. Science – once again Malic acid is a natural cleanser.

VIEW GALLERY

6. Drink water or milk

You can also drink lemonade or tonic water. White wine is better than red wine. Science – Calcium in milk helps strengthen tooth enamel and structure as well as jaw bone. Water is a natural cleanser washing away plaque.

7. Use an electric toothbrush

Electric toothbrushes can remove up to 70% more plaque than manual brushes alone. The new Sonicare Black Diamond brush vibrates at a speed of 31,000 brush strokes per minute and also has whitening mode (that is a special three-minute cycle for the all the teeth) to remove any stains. Science – electric toothbrushes remove more stains by vibrating or rotating in a more efficient and effective manner than manual brushing alone.

STORY: Catwalk beauty trends from runway to real life

8. Eat cheese

Another great naturally cleansing food that can strengthen the teeth. Science-cheese contains calcium and also has a cleansing surface structure (especially hard cheese like cheddar).

VIEW GALLERY

9. Use coconut oil as a mouth rinse (oil pulling)

Use a tablespoon of coconut oil and swill in the mouth for as long as you can. The longer the better (15 mins is the ideal time). Science – This removes bacteria and helps prevent plaque and stains from sticking to teeth by lubricating them.

10. See your dentist regularly

To have the teeth cleaned and checked. You can also consider professional in-clinic laser teeth whitening if advised. Science – only your dentist can check thoroughly for cavities. X-Rays may be required to check the inside of the teeth and jaws. Laser teeth whitening uses hydrogen peroxide activated by a laser light to remove staining from inside the teeth in just 1 hour.

11. Use Charcoal to help clean and whiten your teeth

It’s a 100% natural tooth polish made from activated coconut shell charcoal. It strengths gums, removes toxins from the mouth and absorbs bacteria and is affordable – Diamond Whites for example offers this for only £16.99.

See more beauty tips and tutorials here.

Healthy Eating

We’ve teamed up with Rita Ora and Joey Essex’s dentist to reveal the expert ways to get white teeth – without breaking the bank

If you’re on a mission to get your pearly whites back – but can’t quite afford the extortionate bill your dentist has quoted – you may have to think outside of the box.

Celebrities swear by expensive brands and cosmetic treatments for getting their glossy smiles back, but a few tweaks to your diet can make a huge difference, to both your health and your teeth.

We’ve teamed up with celebrity dentist Dr Richard Marques to reveal the natural remedies, from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, that can help you get white teeth overnight.

Dr Richard Marques told Mirror Money: “These great natural whitening methods can be just as good as some expensive teeth whitening kits sold in pharmacies and chemists and are far better for your teeth.

“Another great money-saving tip for your teeth is to make your own natural mouthwashes. Hot water with a teaspoon of salt can be used as a great natural mouthwash for teeth and gums.

“For coconut oil mouthwash try heating a small amount of natural coconut oil in the microwave then diluting it with a few teaspoons of water and rinsing for about two minutes. Great home made remedies for a fraction of the price.”

1. Use baking soda

Baking soda is a natural teeth whitener and included in many toothpastes, such as the Arm & Hammer brands .

Try mixing a quarter teaspoon of baking soda with water and applying this to the teeth with your toothbrush.

Alternatively add the baking soda to a cheap toothpaste. It will not damage your teeth in any way but will make them look gradually whiter over time.

2. Eat strawberries

Due to the Malic acid, which is a natural cleanser, these summertime treats can naturally whiten your teeth.

3. Warm salt water

Salt water helps both whiten your teeth naturally and looks after your gums (as it is a natural antibiotic).

Mix a teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm kettle-boiled water and use it as mouthwash.

For More of This Stories Subscribe to the Standard Epaper to get a copy of Eve Woman in the Standard

4. Eat white foods

Food colourings stain teeth by binding to tooth surface

The whiter the foods you eat the whiter your teeth will be. Eat chicken, rice and fish. Avoid pigmented foods such as beetroot, blueberries, carrots and Chinese/Indian takeaways (which have lots of tumeric and food colourings in them).

5. Eat apples

Apples are one of the natural teeth cleansing fruits as they contains Malic acid – a natural cleanser.

6. Drink water or milk

Try to get your two litres a day and you’ll see a noticeable improvement

You can also drink lemonade or tonic water, and remember, white wine is better than red wine (for teeth at least).

Calcium in milk also helps strengthen tooth enamel and structure as well as the jawbone. Water is a natural cleanser washing away plaque.

7. Eat cheese

Cheese is another great naturally cleansing food that can strengthen the teeth.

Cheese contains calcium and also has a cleansing surface structure, especially hard cheese like cheddar.

8. Use coconut oil as a mouth rinse (oil pulling)

Use a tablespoon of coconut oil and swill in the mouth for as long as you can.

The longer the better, try to hold on for around 15 minutes.

This practice can help remove bacteria and helps prevent plaque and stains from sticking to teeth by lubricating them.

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Want a dazzling white smile but don’t want to use products full of dangerous chemicals and unknown ingredients? There are lots of effective, safe ways to naturally whiten teeth at home.

This post contains affiliate links. They don’t cost you a thing, but help us bring you natural body care tutorials. Read more at Policies & Disclosures.

According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, most people want their smile to be whiter and brighter. It’s no surprise that dental whitening and at-home tooth whitening treatments have become so popular!

But beware; using a commercial dental whitening product come with its own set of problems:

  • They are expensive. Tooth whiteners can set you back $15 -$45 for store bought treatments and an average of $250 for in-office treatments.
  • They are full of artificial ingredients and man-made chemicals. Tooth whiteners and whitening toothpastes can contain artificial fragrances, artificial flavoring, plastic polymers, sodium laurel sulfate, triclosan, alcohol, hydrated silica, and other ingredients that I do not want in my body!

  • They can be irritating to teeth and gums. Commercial tooth whiteners can cause tooth sensitivity or pain, an increase in hot or cold sensitivity, and gum irritation.

How to Naturally Whiten Teeth at Home

Luckily there are lots of home remedies you can use to brighten your smile that are affordable and easy. Learn how to naturally whiten your teeth at home with these 14 effective, all-natural solutions:

1 – Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide Paste

What to do: Create a thin paste by mixing one teaspoon of baking soda with hydrogen peroxide in a small dish, use a soft toothbrush to apply the paste to teeth and brush gently for 2 minutes. Rinse and brush with regular toothpaste.

Why this works: Hydrogen peroxide is the bleach used most often in commercial teeth-whitening products, it bleaches stains from teeth to restore their natural, white color. Baking soda is mildly abrasive which helps gently buff away surface stains and thicken the peroxide so it stays on the surface of the tooth longer.

Learn more about whitening teeth with baking soda at How Stuff Works.

2 – Hydrogen Peroxide Swish

What to do: Brush teeth with regular toothpaste. Mix ½ cup of water with 2 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, swish in your mouth for 1 minute. Brush and rinse with water to remove hydrogen peroxide. Repeat daily until you see lighter teeth.

Why this works: The peroxide bleaches stains from teeth to restore their natural, white color.

Learn more about whitening teeth with hydrogen peroxide at Bargain Babe.

3 – Sea Salt and Baking Soda Paste

What to do: Create a thin paste by mixing a teaspoon of baking soda with ½ teaspoon of sea salt and a bit of water in a small dish, use a soft toothbrush to apply to teeth and gently brush for 2 minutes. Rinse and brush with regular toothpaste.

Why this works: Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and salt are gentle abrasives that remove surface stains from teeth.

Learn more about whitening teeth with sea salt at Underground Health Reporter.

4 – Turmeric Powder Paste

What to do: Create a thin paste by mixing a teaspoon of organic turmeric powder and a bit of water in a small dish, use a soft toothbrush to apply the paste to teeth and gently brush for 2 minutes. Be careful not to spatter, it can stain! Rinse with water then brush with regular toothpaste.

Why this works: Turmeric powder is a gentle abrasive that can removing surface stains to reveal whiter teeth. Turmeric is naturally anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial which makes it a great choice for natural dental care.

Learn more about whitening teeth with turmeric at Mommypotamus.

5 – Activated Charcoal Brush

What to do: Wet toothbrush and sprinkle with food grade activated charcoal powder then brush for 2 minutes. Be careful not to spatter, it can stain! Rinse with water then brush with regular toothpaste.

Why this works: Activated charcoal whitens by absorbing plaque and other tooth-staining substances, leaving your teeth cleaner and brighter.

Learn more about whitening teeth with activated charcoal at Wellness Mama.

6 – Lemon Juice and Baking Soda Paste

What to do: Mixing a teaspoon of lemon juice with enough baking soda to make a thin paste, use a soft toothbrush to apply to teeth and gently brush for 2 minutes. Rinse with water then brush with regular toothpaste to remove all lemon juice.

Why this works: Lemons are high in citric acid which acts as a natural bleach for stains on teeth. Baking soda is mildly abrasive which helps gently buff away surface stains and thicken the lemon juice so it stays on the teeth longer.

Learn more about whitening teeth with lemon juice at Everyday Roots.

7 – Coconut Oil Pulling

What to do: Place a tablespoon of organic coconut oil in your mouth and swish/swirl it around your mouth (the way you’d use a mouthwash) for 5-20 minutes. Rise then sprinkle clean, damp toothbrush with baking soda and brush your teeth. Rinse.

Why this works: Oil pulling is an ancient technique that removes plaque and bacteria exposing whiter, brighter teeth. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and can also help to reduce gum disease. Baking soda is mildly abrasive which helps gently buff away surface stains.

Learn about whitening your teeth with coconut oil pulling at Health Extremist.

8 – Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse And Scrub

What to do: Swirl a mouthful of ACV around your mouth the way you’d use mouthwash for 2 minutes then dip your toothbrush in apple cider vinegar (ACV) and brush to help remove stains. Rinse then brush your teeth with baking soda or toothpaste to remove all ACV.

Why this works: ACV contains acetic acid which helps break down plaque and stains on teeth. It also contains minerals, probiotics, and enzymes which can kill germs and bacteria in your mouth.

Learn about whitening your teeth with apple cider vinegar at Dr Axe.

9 – Baking Soda, Toothpaste, and Hydrogen Peroxide Scrub

What to do: Mix 2 teaspoons of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of toothpaste and a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide. Spread mixture over teeth and leave on for 5-10 minutes. Brush teeth with mixture then rinse thoroughly with water, brush with regular toothpaste or plain baking soda to remove all hydrogen peroxide.

Why this works: The peroxide bleaches stains from teeth to restore their natural, white color. Baking soda is mildly abrasive which helps gently buff away surface stains and the toothpaste helps the mixture adhere to the surface of the tooth.

Learn more about making a whitening tooth scrub at Colgate.

10 – Homemade Whitening Toothpaste with Essential Oils

What to do: Mix equal parts of organic coconut oil and baking soda with a few drops of peppermint oil, spearmint essential oil, or cinnamon bark oil to create toothpaste. Brush teeth twice a day.

Why this works: Coconut oil and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) are a powerful plaque-removing combination that’s naturally anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. The mint oil gives the mixture an appealing flavor .

Learn more about homemade whitening toothpaste at Family Sponge and Crunchy Betty.

11 – Homemade Whitening Toothpaste with Turmeric

What to do: Mix 1 tablespoons of organic coconut oil and 1 teaspoon of organic turmeric powder with a few drops of peppermint oil, spearmint essential oil, or cinnamon bark oil to create toothpaste. Brush teeth twice a day.

Why this works: Coconut oil and turmeric powder are a powerful plaque-removing combination that’s naturally anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. The essential oil gives the toothpaste a nice flavor .

Learn more about whitening teeth with homemade turmeric toothpaste at Fit Life.

12 – Lemon or Orange Peel and Salt Rub

What to do: Sprinkle the white side of an orange peel with sea salt then gently rub a small piece onto your teeth for 2 minutes. Rinse then brush with regular toothpaste or baking soda to remove all citrus residue.

Why this work: The white part of a citrus peel naturally contains d-limonene a substance that is used in commercial teeth whitening products. Salt is naturally abrasive and can help remove surface stains.

Learn more about whitening your teeth with citrus peels at Live Strong.

13 – Strawberry and Baking Soda Paste

What to do: Crush and stir a large strawberry with ½ teaspoon of baking soda until smooth and well blended. Spread mixture onto teeth and wait 5 minutes. Rinse then brush with regular toothpaste or baking soda to remove all berry residue.

Why this works: Strawberries contain malic acid which is used in many commercials teeth whitening products to help remove surface stains. Baking soda is a mild abrasive which helps gently buff away discoloration.

Learn more about whitening teeth with strawberries at Health.

14 – Banana Peel Rub

What to do: Gently rub a small piece of the inside of the banana peel of your teeth for two minutes. Rinse then brush with regular toothpaste or baking soda to remove all banana residue.

Why this works: The high level of minerals in the peel (potassium, magnesium, and manganese) are absorbed into the teeth and help to whiten your smile. .

Learn more about whitening teeth with banana peels at Southeast Family Dental.

2 Tips to Naturally Whiten Teeth at Home

  1. Track Tooth Whitening Progress: Whitening teeth at home will not produce the immediate dramatic results you see in the dentists office. You should take photos to help track your progress.
    • What to do: Take a picture of your teeth before and after each whitening treatment. Compare the images to see what works.
    • Why: The natural whitening process is gradual, you will be able to see analyze the results more if you compare a before and after picture instead of relying on your memory.
  2. Tooth Whitening Warnings: If you have any dental issues or dental work you should consult with your dentist before trying any of these home remedies.
    • Be Cautious – Naturally whitening teeth at home is safe and effective if done correctly. Use these natural tooth whitening remedies occasionally to avoid damage to the tooth enamel.
    • Be Realistic – Some yellowing is natural and is a sign of healthy tooth enamel. You do not want to over-bleach or cause enamel damage.

Disclaimer

Information on Bren Did is provided for educational purposes only and has not be evaluated by the by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should NOT be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk.

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Everyone wants to know the secret tricks of how to whiten teeth. Bright, yellow-free tusks have been one of the most universally aspirational ideals for ages, and if anyone ever tells you that they’re 100% satisfied with their smile, you can bet your ass that they’re either lying to you, lying to themselves, or both. The good news is that there are distinct factors that lead to discoloration, and ruling them out early can keep your teeth brilliant for a long time. Most people get to these tricks too late, long after the damage has been done.

Get a head start on warding off stains with the follow dentist-approved tips. Read on to learn what products to use, what habits to make (and break), and even DIY methods for how to whiten teeth.

1. Regular Dental Appointments

Before you go out and buy a pack of Whitestrips or set up an appointment for hyper-whitening with your local dentist, make sure everything else is taken care of, health-wise. “You want to ascertain that there’s no underlying disease before you do a program of whitening, and you also want to make sure you have a thorough cleaning so you can get the best benefits,” says dentist Dr. Jeanne Strathearn. In other words, you want to be working with as white a canvas as you can. And, duh, visit your dentist at least twice a year.

2. Avoid Known Stain Causers

You probably know that coffee and red wine stain teeth, but they’re certainly not the only culprits that can leave your teeth looking less than stellar. There are plenty of other foods and drinks that can stain your teeth, including:

  • white wine
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • pomegranates
  • soda
  • barbecue sauce
  • green tea
  • black tea
  • sugary treats
  • marinara
  • curry
  • turmeric
  • paprika
  • balsamic vinegar

All of these foods or drinks cause or contribute to extrinsic stains. The good news is that extrinsic stains can usually be removed or at least improved, explains Dr. Strathearn. (Other stains—permanent ones—are called intrinsic stains, and can be the result of taking antibiotics when your teeth were developing as a kid. Those are much harder to deal with.)

If you can’t imagine giving up your daily coffee or nightly glass of wine, however, just make sure to rinse with water within 30 minutes of consumption. Rinsing with water helps wash away the offending liquid and lessen the likelihood of a stain. Rinsing is better than brushing, because brushing so soon after drinking or eating a stain-causer can make a situation worse, since at that point you’ll be scrubbing the food or drink’s enamel-eroding acid right into the teeth.

3. Consume Certain Foods

There are foods that can actually brighten your teeth. Fight stains and improve overall oral health by munching on the following:

  • Apples. Apples improve your gum health and stimulate saliva production, which helps to rinse away stains.
  • Cheese, milk and yogurt. Rich in calcium, all of these help to strengthen teeth enamel and appearance.
  • Nuts, celery, broccoli and carrots. The abrasive and coarse abrasive texture of these foods scrubs off stains.
  • Raw onions. The sulfur found in raw onions stops plaque from forming.
  • Strawberries. The malic acid found in strawberries naturally removes surface stains lurking on your teeth.

4. Brush and Floss Daily

Dr. Strathearn says you should be brushing and flossing daily. “You want to be careful not to scrub away enamel at the gum line. You want to go below the gum line when you floss—between the gum and the tooth. That’s where people are either too aggressive or not aggressive enough.” Hardly groundbreaking information, we know, but diligence is the key.

5. Invest in an Electric Toothbrush

Thanks to their vibrating heads, electric toothbrushes are able to remove more stains than a standard toothbrush. The Philips Sonicare Diamond Clean Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush can get your teeth a full shade whiter in just one week and improve gum health in two weeks. This charged-up brush is your best bet for scrubbing off surface stains, plus it comes in a sleek black color.

6. Take Good Care of Your Gums

Gums are the backdrop for your teeth, and if you’re suffering from gingivitis (characterized by red, bleeding, receding or puffy gums), it can make your whole smile look unhealthy. Taking care of your gums lets your white teeth take center stage. Make sure to brush and floss twice a day. Use soft bristles rather than hard ones, as hard brushes can be too abrasive for sensitive gums and cause them to recede further. Brush gently, but thoroughly.


About 18 percent of people report “usually concealing their teeth in photos,” many due to being embarrassed over the yellow appearance of their teeth. Having great teeth is very important in our culture today — hence the growing number of people using white strips and whitening paste as part of their oral care at home or turning to professional in-office whitening treatments. Your teeth are one of the first things people notice; they’re a sign of health as well as confidence. When making a first impression, most worry about having aged, crooked or discolored teeth, which can send a signal that you don’t really care about yourself. Who doesn’t want to have a beautiful smile with white, sparkling teeth? But what’s the best way to whiten your teeth?

Some people — no matter how many times they brush their teeth — have teeth stains from habits like drinking coffee or tea and/or smoking. Oftentimes yellow- or brown-tinted teeth can also point to a larger problem: unhealthy gums, thinning enamel and overall poor dental hygiene. Whitening the teeth alone won’t help protect the teeth or gums from cavities or diseases, such as gingivitis — so while white teeth are certainly a nice thing to have, it helps to keep things in perspective.

As one dentist reporting for the Dentistry IQ website puts it, “It is a misnomer that whiter teeth are the same as healthy teeth, since tooth color has very little to do with the health of the tooth. The consumer perception, though, is that white teeth equal a healthy mouth, and perception is reality.” (1) Here’s the good news: Below I explain several home remedies that help naturally whiten your teeth, while also improving overall oral hygiene. The kind of toothpaste you use plus regular brushing and flossing, using baking soda , coconut oil pulling, and tooth-healthy diet can all whiten your teeth naturally — in addition to offering benefits like antibacterial and antiseptic protection.

You may also want to check out the Environmental Working Group’s recommendations for the best kinds of toothpaste for teeth whitening.

Why Do Teeth Turn Yellow?

Teeth become discolored, turning yellow or even a beige or brown color, due to stains that develop on both the hard, white surface of teeth (the enamel) as well as deeper within the teeth’s structure.

Underneath the enamel is a pale brown substance called dentin, which can become more visible when enamel gets thinner — a very common occurrence for many adults. (2) Dental erosion (erosive tooth wear) results from chronic loss of dental hard tissue that is chemically etched away from the tooth surface by acid and/or chelation (without bacterial involvement). (3) What are some of the reasons enamel thins? Risk factors include aging, genetics and intake of foods that promote erosion and/or staining. Many of these same unhealthy habits also increase your risk for gum disease.

While it’s unrealistic to expect that your teeth will remain shiny and very white into older age, many factors that accelerate the rate of teeth discoloration can be avoided.

Some of the reasons teeth turn yellow, beige or brown include:

  • Drinking coffee or tea
  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Thinning tooth enamel due to aging
  • Eating a poor diet. This includes consuming lots of processed foods high in acid, including soft drinks/soda, candies or sometimes even certain fruits. Even some supplements can worsen enamel thinning due to their acid content.
  • Suffering from dry mouth (since lack of saliva means less protection for enamel)
  • Breathing through your mouth and having blocked nasal passages. These conditions lower the amount of saliva and prevent the teeth/mouth from remoisturizing
  • Antibiotic use
  • Excessive fluoride intake, especially if this habit starts when you’re a child
  • Genetic factors

How to Naturally Whiten Your Teeth

1. Brush After Drinking or Eating

The best way to whiten your teeth naturally — though maybe not always the easiest — is to simply brush your teeth with an appropriate toothpaste 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 of eating (such as work or school).

Avoiding smoking cigarettes, drinking too much coffee and/or soda, improving your oral hygiene overall, and eating a healthy diet can all also help prevent yellow teeth. If you do regularly drink staining beverages, do so through a straw and try to cut back. Try to drink more plain water after eating or drinking something staining or acidic to help reduce the negative effects.

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 over time due to thinning enamel and/or staining. If this is the case, then having your teeth cleaned every three months may be in order, besides trying some of the natural remedies listed here.

2. Coconut Oil Pulling

Can it be true? Coconut oil to clean your teeth? Just when you thought you heard it all when it comes to coconut oil, along comes the news that coconut oil pulling can serve as a natural teeth whitener. Some people attest to their teeth becoming whiter and overall healthier by applying coconut oil to their teeth after they brush, and most people praise the results of oil pulling.

To oil pull, simply put a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth and swish it between your teeth for five to 20 minutes, or add a few drops to your toothbrush and brush it on. Another oral care option is to apply coconut oil to a corner of a clean washcloth and rub it on the teeth. A bonus regarding coconut pulling? Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties, so it’s great for protecting and cleaning your gums as well.

A study featured in the Journal of Contemporary Dental Hygiene found, “Edible oil-pulling therapy is natural, safe and has no side effects. Hence, it can be considered as a preventive therapy at home to maintain oral hygiene.” (6)

3. Use Apple Cider Vinegar

It makes sense that apple cider vinegar (ACV), which effectively works as a natural antibiotic and teeth/gum cleanser, would also be able to remove stubborn stains on the teeth. ACV is especially helpful for removing stains due to common culprits like coffee and nicotine (smoking). Some report that after using ACV it looks like you just got your teeth professionally cleaned!

What’s the secret of ACV? It contains compounds, including acetic acid, potassium, magnesium, probiotics and enzymes, which kill germs (dangerous “bad” bacteria) and at the same time foster the growth of beneficial “good” probiotic bacteria. Since it’s naturally acidic, it helps break down plaque or other substances stuck to the teeth. The pH of apple cider vinegar can remove stains from your teeth, which helps naturally whiten your teeth.

The key to using ACV for teeth whitening is to be consistent, using it for at least a month continuously in order to see the best results. However, be careful, as with all acids it can remove the enamel on your teeth if you brush too hard or use too much. After brushing with ACV, you need to brush again with regular toothpaste, preferably a non-fluoride paste, or rinse your mouth out well.

Take your finger and rub apple cider vinegar on your teeth for about one minute. Then rinse your mouth out with water or a hydrogen peroxide rinse.

4. Lemon or Orange Peels

Similarly to apple cider vinegar, some swear that using citrus fruits — including lemon and/or orange peels, or lemon essential oil, which contain beneficial acids — also does the trick for whitening teeth. These foods overall are very healthy, such as benefiting digestion due to regulating levels of stomach acid, but the high acid content can also eventually wear away the enamel on the teeth if used too aggressively. Like with ACV, if you use lemon or orange peel on your teeth, always rinse your mouth afterward to be on the safe side. Use the hydrogen peroxide oral rinse formula described above for best results.

5. Strawberries and Other Healthy Foods

Rumor has it that some celebrities whiten their teeth with healthy foods like strawberries. Who would have thought? Model Tyra Banks even tried this tooth-whitening trick on her show. She simply mashed up about four or five strawberries and rubbed this yummy mixture all over her teeth, then rinsed well afterward.

Still, researchers aren’t all keen on this tooth whitening method. A 2015 study published in Operative Dentistry found that while an organic strawberry-baking soda mixture did remove superficial debris on the teeth, it didn’t actually whiten them or break down stain molecules.

Furthermore, the mixture reduced the surface hardness of teeth, known as microhardness, by up to 10 percent, due to the erosive effect of citric acid in the fruit.

Now, berries do contain many beneficial antioxidants and other compounds that can benefit the health of your teeth, but their role in dental health is likely tied to the benefits of an overall healthy diet for your teeth. Foods that can help keep your gums and teeth strong, plus free from diseases or signs of aging, include teeth-strengthening foods like: (7)

  • sources of calcium like yogurt or raw milk
  • foods high in magnesium and potassium like leafy green veggies, apples or pears
  • cage-free eggs
  • mushrooms
  • sweet potatoes, carrots or squash
  • celery
  • nuts like walnuts or almonds

6. Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal, an absorbing product used to trap toxins inside the body, may help whiten your teeth by absorbing plaque and microscopic tidbits that cause staining. To whiten your teeth naturally with charcoal, wet a toothbrush and dip into powdered activated charcoal. Brush teeth as normal, paying special attention to areas showing the most staining. Sip a bit of water, swish through mouth thoroughly and spit. Rinse well, until spit is clear. For best results, brush your teeth with activated charcoal two to three times per week, but avoid using it if you have crowns, caps or porcelain veneers.

Dangers of Conventional Products to Whiten Your Teeth

Research has shown that teeth-whitening products can damage the teeth by removing too much enamel. Conventional whitening strips, and other whitening products, contain a gel with the active ingredient carbamide peroxide, which breaks down into hydrogen peroxide and a waste product called urea. Constant application of whitening strips has been shown to cause erosion of enamel over time and also promote tooth sensitivity, especially when eating hot and cold liquids or acidic foods.

Dentists from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry have stated, “All of the products used in the dentist office are safe and most of the products are safe as well, but there are a few that are acidic, and acidic products increase the likelihood of decay if you overuse them.” (8)

While many people are interested in having whiter teeth, some make this an obsession and turn whitening into a borderline addiction. Here’s what one dentist, New York City dentist Dr. Irwin Smigel, president of the American Society for Dental Aesthetics, had to say about teeth whitening strips:

There are people who can never get enough. I’ve had situations where people have needed root canals because they’ve overbleached, where tissues were damaged. You can wear away some of the enamel and your teeth will become translucent and unnatural. They’ll become blue or blue gray.

The bottom line? Whitening strips should be used in moderation, ideally after you’ve tried natural approaches to taking better care of your teeth.

Teeth bleaching products should only be used under the guidance of your dentist. Remember that whitening treatments may work temporarily but likely not for long. The best way to whiten your teeth is by feeding your body lots of healthy foods (these are also important for strong bones), brushing and rinsing your teeth and gums every day, plus working on omitting coffee, tea and sugary foods in your diet. The very first step you should take: If you smoke, stop smoking! And of course, no matter what your age, show your teeth some love by brushing with a natural, non-irritating toothpaste every day.

Precautions: Can Even Natural Teeth Whitening Harm Your Teeth?

One thing to be aware of when it comes to whitening teeth is that certain natural whiteners can eradicate enamel. Some teeth whiteners are just not a good idea to use, especially lemon juice. While the lemon peel is actually a good, healthy way to whiten teeth, the juice itself is simply too strong. The acid in the actual lemon juice does great for bleaching clothes, hair and getting stains out of furniture, but you wouldn’t want to put lemon juice on your teeth as a mouth gum cleaner every single day. Eventually, the acid creates tiny holes in your teeth, and then every kind of staining type food will seep into these tiny holes and remain there. The acid from the lemons is so strong it just eventually wears away the teeth, causing cavities.

To avoid overdoing teeth whitening, start gradually, only use a small amount of any product, follow directions and pay attention to signs of worsening sensitivity.

Key Points on How to Whiten Teeth Naturally

  • Teeth become less white (yellow or brown colored) due to factors like aging, thinning enamel/erosion of the surface of teeth, a poor diet, drinking coffee/tea, smoking and suffering from dry mouth.
  • Teeth-whitening products can damage the teeth by removing too much enamel. Constant application of whitening strips has been shown to cause erosion and negative effects on dental health, so don’t whiten your teeth this way.
  • Ways you can naturally whiten your teeth, while also protecting enamel, include using coconut oil pulling; eating a healthy diet; brushing and flossing; staying hydrated; and trying activated charcoal.

Read Next: How to Reverse Cavities Naturally & Heal Tooth Decay