You can whiten teeth at home using grocery store products. But these methods lack science.

8% of 18-49-year-old Americans want whiter teeth, and they spent $1.4 billion on at-home whitening products in 2016 [1].

There are many teeth-whitening products. Most teeth-whitening products use chemicals, which may concern some.

This article lists natural ways to whiten teeth without chemicals.

What causes the yellowing of teeth?

The discoloration and dulling of teeth can be attributed to several different causes.

Certain foods can stain the enamel, the protective layer covering your teeth. In addition, the accumulation of plaque can give the appearance of yellowing to your teeth [2,3].

Most of the time, standard cleaning and whitening products will be sufficient to rectify this type of discoloration.

The protective layer of enamel on a person’s teeth can wear away over time, exposing the yellow dentin beneath the surface. This can give the appearance that the person’s teeth are yellow. Dentin is a naturally yellow, bony tissue located beneath the enamel and protects the tooth’s pulp [4].

How to whiten teeth using natural methods

Prevent Discoloration

There are ways to prevent discoloration of the teeth, despite teeth being naturally yellow with age.

  1. Get sufficient calcium in your diet

Enamel erosion is the root cause of some forms of tooth discoloration because it reveals the yellow dentin that lies beneath the enamel. Therefore, anything you do that helps strengthen the enamel on your teeth will contribute to preserving their natural whiteness.

There is some evidence that consuming foods high in calcium, such as milk, cheese, and broccoli, can help prevent enamel erosion [5].

  1. Confine your sugar consumption

Cut back on the amount of sugar you eat if you want your teeth to look brighter.

A high sugar diet encourages the growth of the Streptococcus mutans, which is responsible for plaque and gingivitis [6].

You should brush your teeth right away after eating something with a lot of sugar in it.

  1. Limit beverages and foods that stain

Dark berries, soda, red wine, and coffee are just some foods and beverages known to stain teeth [7].

This does not mean that you have to steer clear of these substances completely, but you should try to minimize the amount of time your teeth spend in contact with them. Drinking beverages that are likely to stain your teeth through a straw will help you avoid having direct contact with your teeth.

Brushing your teeth 60 minutes after consuming these foods or drinks is recommended to reduce their impact on tooth color. Additionally, it is important to avoid smoking and chewing tobacco because both activities can stain teeth [8].

Eat Certain Foods

There is evidence to suggest that consuming a diet high in fruits and vegetables benefits the body and the teeth.

Plaque can be removed from the teeth by simply chewing on crunchy, raw fruits and vegetables; however, this is not a replacement for brushing your teeth.

It is said that eating strawberries and pineapple can help whiten teeth.

  1. Pineapple

According to some people’s beliefs, consuming pineapple can help whiten your teeth.

A gel containing bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapples, was more effective at removing tooth stains than a placebo in a study [9].

On the other hand, there is no evidence to suggest that eating pineapples have the same effect, so the conclusion must be drawn that they do not.

  1. Strawberries

A natural remedy that celebrities have helped to popularize by using a mixture of baking soda and strawberries to whiten teeth is using the mixture.

The malic acid found in strawberries is said to be able to remove tooth discoloration, while baking soda is said to remove stains, by the proponents of this method. However, there isn’t enough evidence in the scientific literature to fully back up this treatment.

It’s possible that eating strawberries can help exfoliate your teeth and make them look whiter, but it’s not likely that they’ll remove any stains [10].

Use hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide kills oral bacteria and bleaches naturally [11]. Hydrogen peroxide’s antibacterial properties have long been used to disinfect wounds. Commercial whiteners contain hydrogen peroxide in higher concentrations than at home.

There have been no studies done on the effects of rinsing or brushing with hydrogen peroxide on its own; however, many studies have been done on the effects of toothpaste-containing peroxide. For instance, a study found that toothpaste with more hydrogen peroxide whitened teeth better after 12 weeks [12].

Another study found that toothpaste containing hydrogen peroxide reduced coffee-induced tooth discoloration better than charcoal- and abrasive-containing toothpaste [13].

Hydrogen peroxide’s safety is questioned.

If the concentration is too high or the product is used for too long, it can irritate the gums and make the teeth sensitive. High doses may cause cancer, but this is unproven [14,15].

Brushing with baking soda

Because baking soda whitens naturally, it’s used in commercial toothpaste.

It is a mild abrasive that removes tooth surface stains [16]. Baking soda creates an alkaline mouth environment, inhibiting bacteria growth. This remedy won’t whiten teeth overnight, but you should see results over time. Studies show baking soda toothpaste can improve dental health and whiten teeth.

However, baking soda alone won’t whiten teeth, according to science. One study found that toothpaste with baking soda reduced plaque, gum inflammation, and bleeding more than regular toothpaste [17].

Do the oil pulling

Traditional Indian oil pulling improves oral hygiene and eliminates toxins.

Oil swishing removes bacteria that can cause plaque and yellow teeth [18]. Coconut oil’s flavor and health benefits make it popular. Coconut oil is rich in anti-inflammatory lauric acid [19].

According to a few studies, oil pulling reduces oral bacteria, plaque, and gingivitis [20].

Unfortunately, oil pulling doesn’t whiten teeth. It’s safe and worth trying. Oil pulling is said to whiten teeth.

Do not undervalue the importance of brushing and flossing

Some tooth discoloration is caused by aging, but most by plaque. Regularly brushing and flossing your teeth can help keep them white by reducing the number of oral bacteria and plaque that builds up on them. Toothpaste can remove stains, but flossing can eliminate bacteria that cause plaque [21]. Teeth can be kept clean and white with routine dental cleanings.

Other methods that are not proven

There are a few other naturally occurring ways to whiten teeth, but none of them are supported by any scientific evidence.

Apple cider vinegar

There is no evidence to suggest that using apple cider vinegar as a mouthwash for whitening teeth is effective. On the other hand, it causes enamel wear and may speed up the decay process in teeth [22].

Fruit peels

It’s been said that rubbing the peels of citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and bananas on your teeth will make them whiter.

Kaolin clay

Clay, when used as a toothpaste, is said to be effective at removing stains from teeth, according to the proponents of this method.

The use of activated charcoal

According to popular belief, tooth brushing with powdered charcoal can remove stains from teeth and draw toxins out of the mouth, but research suggests this remedy is probably ineffective [23].

Proponents say these methods whiten teeth significantly, but no studies have been done. They haven’t been tested for tooth-related side effects.

The Bottomline: Natural Ways to Whiten Teeth 

There are a variety of natural treatments available that can whiten teeth. The majority of these treatments are effective because they remove stains from the tooth surface in a gentle manner.

On the other hand, the vast majority of dentists provide treatments that are noticeably more effective than these naturally occurring remedies. Bleaching the teeth is required for these procedures, which may prove more successful for extreme cases of tooth discoloration. Any teeth-whitening product, if misused or in excess, can cause damage to the teeth.

Always discuss the various treatment options with your dentist to determine which will benefit you the most.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your own healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Dr Faisal is a certified Medical Doctor currently carrying the role of a Senior Medical Officer in the Orthopaedic Surgery Department of his local hospital. With his vast experience and knowledge in the medical field, Dr Faisal is well-equipped to share educational content that helps readers improve their health and wellness. During his hospital shifts, he diligently cares for and treats patients under him. And during his spare time, he enjoys crafting health and wellness content that inspires readers to make positive changes. LinkedIn