Timbercrest Dental Center

Natural Teeth Whitening: Investigating 10 Common Options

Dr. John Luther

Dr. John Luther, D.D.S. & Founder

Feb 12, 2015

By this point, you know that your teeth are our bread and butter.

Oh and hey, speaking of bread and butter…


Okay that’s not true, but chances are you’ve seen headlines like this on Facebook or Pinterest. “You mean to tell me that I can save money and use up that jar of pickle seeds, while other doofuses are paying out their nose for Hollywood smiles?”

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. While there are things you can do to assist in whitening your teeth naturally, professional whitening is the only proven way to whiten your teeth by multiple shades.

We rounded up some of the most common methods of natural teeth whitening and ranked them 1-10 by their actual effectiveness at supplementing a professional whitening procedure (1 being great, 10 being physically harmful). Here’s what we found:

10. Lemon Peels – Not good for your teeth, bad for your teeth. Lemon peels are highly acidic and can erode enamel, which your teeth need and don’t regenerate. Not at all recommended for direct contact.

9. Orange Peel – Orange peels are rich in natural solvents which is likely the source of this rumor, however citric acidity means orange peels can also damage your enamel. While they may do wonders for your formica, oranges aren’t useful for teeth whitening.

8. Oil pulling – Neither harmful nor beneficial, oil pulling can leave your mouth clean and refreshed. Although examples of significantly whitened teeth due to the trendy procedure are limited to personal anecdotes.

7. Banana Peels –  Banana peels contain minerals and nutrients that can contribute to the strength of your teeth. Though the whitening effect is hardly significant, rubbing a peel on your teeth before brushing with fluoride can be beneficial.

6. Strawberries – Making a paste of strawberries and brushing with it before you fluoride brush can actually be of help to remove stains over time.

5. Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar can be one of the more palatable ways to naturally whiten. The effects can take over a month to be seen but combined with professional whitening, rubbing this versatile substance on your teeth before brushing with fluoride can marginally reduce coloration.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide – One of the active ingredients in many brands of mouthwash, hydrogen peroxide is potent at wiping off daily stains from your teeth. You can wet your toothbrush with the compound and then dip it in baking soda to make a paste for extra effect. Just make sure you’re not swallowing it and be sure to brush it off afterward with a fluoride toothpaste.

3. Baking soda and Vinegar – Combining the two into a runny mixture works wonders as a natural toothpaste. You will want to make sure it isn’t gritty at all, however, or your tooth enamel can be at risk.

2. Eating raw fruits and vegetables – Similar to the banana peel and likely the source of the citrus speculation. Fruits and veggies are a great way to take care of your body as well as your teeth. Natural fibres help to scrub the teeth and work out tough stains.

1. Avoiding stain-makers – Avoiding smoking and foods like coffee and soda is the most effective way to see an improvement in natural tooth coloration. Your morning needs that extra boost? Drinking two big glasses of water in the morning can give you a natural energy boost without any teeth staining effects.

We hope you were able to get through the list before trying the bread and butter thing. It really doesn’t work, as our intern, er…test subject discovered.

Professional whitening is the best way to get visible results. If you’re looking to supplement your professional whitening job with some natural help however, there are a few options.

Just remember that those lemon slices will only leave you sour and disappointed.

Sign up for dental news and resources from Timbercrest:

Recent Articles by Timbercrest Dental

COVID Update – 4/28/2020

To Our Dental Family: We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. First off, Timbercrest Dental Center will be opening back up to ALL services starting May 11, 2020. Until then, we will continue to be open, and ready to schedule for emergencies only....

Find a Dentist You Trust BEFORE An Accident

Find a Dentist You Trust BEFORE An Accident

It is important to trust your dentist, especially if you have an emergency situation and need help quickly. The last thing you want after getting in a car accident is to be afraid about the type of treatment you may get for your dental injury. A quality lawyer can...

Teeth Grinding Signs & Preventions

Teeth Grinding Signs & Preventions

There are countless benefits to having a beautiful smile. People are often concerned about the health of the teeth that appear when they smile, but they do not worry as much about the teeth in the back of their mouth. With respect to chewing food and...