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Tried and Tested Teeth Whitening Home Remedies

Updated on February 3, 2012

Your teeth are the most important part of your smile, and as such, they need to be looking their best so that you can successfully carry out the task of capturing the heart of the one you are talking to! Yellow teeth can be a major turn off and it’s hard to take a person with yellow teeth seriously. The brown stained teeth of a smoker can look unsightly, as can the yellowish teeth of an avid curry connoisseur. Of course, not all smokers have brown teeth and not all avid curry eaters have yellowish teeth! People with stained teeth may even feel uncomfortable smiling or laughing. I have a jolly friend who drinks a lot of coffee. Her teeth have a brownish hue to them. I’ve noticed that every time she bursts out laughing, she immediately covers her mouth to hide her stained teeth. It’s a pity to see my friend restrain her laughter just because of her teeth.

My own story is that I had normal looking clean teeth all my life…until I got braces. The braces made it hard for me to brush my teeth thoroughly. To be honest, I would get a bit lazy sometimes and go to bed without brushing my teeth while I had braces. It was also a time where I was stressed by various things and would binge on lots of refined sugary foods. Being an avid curry lover didn’t help either. Well, after one whole year, when my orthodontist removed my braces, I was delighted to see my lower crooked teeth were all set straight – but I was also shocked to see that my teeth were YeLLoW. Without wasting any time, I set out to the World Wide Web in search of a natural way to whiten my teeth. Today, my teeth are not flashy white (who wants chemically whitenized unnaturally white teeth anyway?) – but I have pearly clear teeth, which I am very happy with.

Why should you consider whitening your teeth naturally with home remedies? Surely it’s easier to walk into your dentist’s office and let him apply various treatments on your teeth? The primary reason I did not do that – even if my orthodontist insisted is because I try to live a natural healthy life and I did not want to bleach my teeth with strong chemicals that are not only expensive but are often not worth the money because they are temporary. Furthermore, although home remedies may take time to realize any results, they are far cheaper than chemical whitening.

Take note that the following people may not be encouraged to carry out teeth whitening; for further info, do consult your local dentist;

- persons with sensitive teeth.

- persons with worn down or weak enamel.

- persons with gum disease/ mouth disease.

Home remedies can work for persons with topical superficial staining that may have been caused by;

- coffee/ tea

- curry (turmeric in food)

- berries

- smoking, to a certain extent

If you have topical staining like I did, then I’m convinced that you can whiten your teeth within a few weeks of consistent practicing of the remedies below;

1. Baking Soda, Lemon and Salt: This is the number one remedy that I used consistently for 1 week at the beginning of my teeth whitening process. I got a pinch of salt, a pinch of baking soda and I quickly mixed these into a paste with a squeeze of lemon juice. I would first brush my teeth normally with my every day toothpaste, and then I would brush my teeth for the second time using the above combination. The first time I did this, my teeth were noticeably whiter and shinier!

2. Hydrogen Peroxide: While using hydrogen peroxide, many people may notice their gums turning pale. Don’t let this put you off. This paleness usually disappears after a few hours. However, this should not be a problem for those using it only once a day. Use 1.5% hydrogen peroxide. Do not swallow the hydrogen peroxide. What you should do is to swish the hydrogen peroxide around your teeth for about 30 seconds or more, after using the above baking soda-lemon-salt combination. Hydrogen Peroxide is safe and environmentally friendly. It has various other uses you may be pleasantly surprised to hear of.

3. Oil pulling: If you haven’t read about oil pulling, please do so here or here. Oil pulling is basically very simple, no quantum physics involved. All you have to do is to get an oil of your choice and swish it around your mouth, pulling it between your teeth and working it around your mouth – all this without swallowing any bit of it. I did this every morning on an empty stomach for about 10 – 15 minutes after brushing. I still carry out oil pulling every morning. I mostly use a teaspoon of sesame oil but many people use sunflower oil, coconut oil and even olive oil. Oil pulling helps to clean in between your teeth and strengthens your gums making them pink and healthy. I had plaque on the sides of my incisors and almost all of it has now disappeared. I attribute this to oil pulling, which I believe is a great health-boosting technique, not only for your teeth but also for other various ailments.

4. Strawberries: Who would have thought the humble strawberry would terrific teeth whitening properties. During my teeth whitening journey, I did not use strawberries daily (because I don’t have easy access to them where I live) but based on the accounts of numerous people, strawberries are a great home remedy for teeth lightening. Strawberries contain malic acid, which has astringent properties that erase teeth discoloration. Simply cut a strawberry in half, sprinkle a dash of baking soda and rub on your teeth for a noticeably whiter smile.

5. Extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar: These are both ingredients that can commonly be found in anyone’s home. Pour a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into a wide-mouthed bowl. Dip your toothbrush into this and brush your teeth vigorously. Re-dip until it gets finished. Your teeth should be visibly brighter. You can use 2 teaspoons in one cup of drinking water for an effective and sanitary mouth wash too. This mouth wash also helps relieve any inflammation of the gums that may happen while your brushing your teeth vigorously.

I must warn you that there is some conflict on whether baking soda should be used on teeth as it is abrasive and wears down the enamel. But its abrasive properties help get rid of topical stains and plaque. The same goes for lemon juice which has citric acid that unlocks some of the calcium of the enamel, causing the teeth to whiten. This is why I used the baking soda-lemon-salt combination only for about a week.

Use Point number 1 and 2 once a day for only 1 week. Point number 3, Oil Pulling is a regimen that I would encourage you to integrate into your daily life. Strawberries and a little baking can be used for the second week and after these intensive 2 weeks, by which time your teeth should have whitened remarkably, just use any one of the remedies once a week only.

Please use these remedies at your own discretion. These remedies have worked for me without any side effects. I have been able to maintain my white teeth but I have had to avoid tea, I rarely drink coffee, and if I happen to eat refined foods, I make sure I floss immediately (though I hate flossing like hell. Eugh). Good things don’t come without sacrifice ;)

With these home remedies, you can hopefully whiten your teeth by at least 50% if not more!

Good luck and make sure you tell me about your teeth whitening journey and the remedies that you used too!

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    • profile image

      Jerry 3 years ago

      Chai!!! i need to practice this as quickly as possible....i'm tired of all d embarrasment dis teeth has caused me thus far. Tanx to d author of dis

    • livehightech profile image

      livehightech 3 years ago from Delhi, India

      Interesting article. Also checkout this article on home remedies for whitening teeth :

    • profile image

      Mary -new Granny 4 years ago

      Actually, that's not true. Turmeric in a paste with a little water makes your teeth whiter! It seems contrary to what one would think because turmeric and curry stain everything yellow in the kitchen. But it does whiten teeth. Look it up there are many articles about it. I tried it. It strangely does work really well!

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 4 years ago

      If you eat a lot of curry in your diet, then your teeth are more susceptible to yellowing. The turmeric powder in many curries gradually stains your teeth over time. May be try cutting down on the curry? Or brush immediately after each main meal.

    • profile image

      Anita 4 years ago

      Thanks for the info,i am already using mustard oil with salt , but now on i will also try b.soda, lemon etc . Ihave a request if you can suggest some tips for discoloured teeth,i will be highly obliged,my kids have some yellow shade on their teeth, please help.

    • csgibson profile image

      Craig Gibson 4 years ago from Traverse City Michigan

      This is an interesting article. As a child we always brushed our teeth with salt and soda.

    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 4 years ago from South of France

      Really interesting suggestions here, and I'd never heard of oil pulling. Voted up and interesting.

    • profile image

      Freak 5 years ago

      Woww my teeth r whiter than santas beard thanks

    • profile image

      oceansider 5 years ago

      Thank you for an interesting article about naturally whitening teeth.

      I have to admit that I have thought of getting my teeth whitened at the dentist, but have never done it so far. Actually, I can't even afford it because I've been unemployed for a year, your remedies sound like they are worth a try. I think I may try the first one with the baking soda, lemon and's definitely worth a shot!

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 5 years ago

      @ Jandee, lol! Thanks for reading and leaving your thoughts. I had a good laugh.

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 5 years ago

      @ Lilsham, thanks for commenting, hope the tips help!

    • jandee profile image

      jandee 5 years ago from Liverpool.U.K

      I Smirked when I noticed in your profile that you are Twenty ! Hang around ! When you have drunk Black tea,Black coffee Red Wine for 'too many' years, well ones teeth would take on a miserable yellowy look. Nice hub with some good stuff but would like to add that it would be wise to put half peroxide & half water mixed with Two spoonfulls bicarbonate of soda.

      I use Vit. E,

      best from jandee

    • profile image

      lilsham 5 years ago

      great ideas will try them thanks

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 6 years ago

      Hi Gezondgewicht, thanks for commenting. Real life examples of people using home remedies are always encouraging. Oil pulling is very easy to do. You can read more about its benefits on the Earth Clinic. Perhaps I'll write my own article on OP when I get the time...

    • gezondgewicht profile image

      gezondgewicht 6 years ago from Netherlands

      Hey, thanks. I've always been amazed by a friend of mine who's is a heavy coffee drinker and very heavy smoker. I've noticed just now that he also tends to consume a lot of strawberries....

      And about that oil pulling. Will definitely try it!

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 6 years ago

      Hi Kath, many thanks for your comment. I'm glad you found the hub of use!

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      Very informative Rehana! I have never heard of oil pulling but will sure try it! Thanks for the share! Voted up and useful!

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 6 years ago

      Lol Yoda. Not providing any tips on making teeth yellower lol! Thanks for stopping by.

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 6 years ago

      Thanks Dips. Use baking soda and the other remedies with caution and discretion. Over-use may lead to wearing down of the enamel. You may have to cut down on your tea intake ;)

    • Yoda Speaks profile image

      Hub Pages the home of the loony left 6 years ago from the cultural crybabies to the lefty campus snowflakes

      Wish I knew this when Luke came to me asking if him the floss I could teach. He said the force I thought. Saved me much trouble, would have! .

      What have you to make my teeth yellower, hmm?

    • dipsmi profile image

      dipsmi 6 years ago from Plymouth, Minnisota

      baking soda?!really...i am a tea lover and have noticed yellow straining on my teeth going to try your remedies...great hub rehana!it seems you have a solution to all my problems!!!keep writing!

    • QuestionMaster profile image

      Susannah Birch 6 years ago from Qld, Australia

      I'd agree about the bleaching - something I've never done.

      I would say that for anyone who wanted a gentle, healthy and longterm solution, oil pulling is probably the best - you just need to stick with it for longer for results.

    • Rehana Stormme profile image

      Rehana Stormme 6 years ago

      iAlex - Thanks for your comments! I'm oil pulling right now - it is among the first things I do when I wake. It really does not pose much inconvenient and having done it for quite some time, I feel it has given me numerous benefits aside from improving my overall mouth health. I wish to continue doing it for as long as I can. Sesame oil works great for me. My Dad, who is a smoker, uses sunflower oil. His gums are pinker and his teeth, though still a bit yellow, are definitely more decent looking. I mentioned Oil Pulling because over time, it has worked for me and others in my life. I truly believe in it. Will probably write a hub on it soon :D

      QM - Thanks for taking the time to comment! Baking soda, lemon have astringent effects which can wear down your enamel, true. I used this for 6 or 7 days and found my teeth to have brightened considerably. Of course I now have to take greater care of my teeth to prevent cavities and decay. But for someone like me, the quality of my smile matters a lot and therefore I sacrifice many things such as ice cream and oreos (haven't had that in a while). And I take out the time at the end of everyday to floss after brushing.

      We need to understand what commercial teeth bleaching does. Bleaching also has potent side effects. Teeth bleaching uses concentrations of chemicals that are much higher than what we find in home remedies. After bleaching, teeth are more susceptible to staining from alcohol, tobacco, chocolate, tea etc as the bleach removes the protective pellicle layer of the teeth.

      At the end of the day, it's one's choice to schedule regular visits to the dentist to bleach and rebleach teeth or to use sustainaible cheaper home remedies to do the same in a much gentler way. In both cases, it would be self-defeating to smoke, drink afterwards because teeth staining would occur almost immediately. I have tweaked the article to add a bit of info on who shouldn't be trying these remedies. Thank you for your insightful comment QM! :D

      Mondkill - Hi there, thanks for your question. Definitely highly concentrated hydrogen peroxide would be too harsh but 1.5% hydrogen peroxide is mild and safe on use topically on teeth. Hydrogen peroxide is safe and environmentally friendly'. Read more of it's practical uses at

    • mondkill profile image

      mondkill 6 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this great info to us, I want to try one of the trick you mentioned here.

      Is it safe to use hydrogen peroxide? Don't you think it’s too harsh to use this to our teeth!

    • iAlex profile image

      iAlex 6 years ago

      Yeah I guess it varies from person to person. It really worked great for me. You have to find the right oil.

      It is true though that some of my family members noticed very little to no change and gave up after couple of weeks.

      Thanks for the info on baking soda, lemon,salt,strawberries.. I think I'll pass. :)

    • QuestionMaster profile image

      Susannah Birch 6 years ago from Qld, Australia

      Baking soda, lemon, salt and strawberries all have astringent effects which can wear away your teeth enamel - leaving you at higher risk of cavities and tooth decay.

      Oil pulling is likely to only whiten your teeth by one or two shades and needs to be done for several months at least to show a difference - and often doesn't work noticeably on stained teeth.

    • iAlex profile image

      iAlex 6 years ago

      I started doing oil pulling couple years ago. It works great!! Even after 3 days you can already see the benefits. Highly recommend it. I use cold pressed coconut oil.

      Every now and then I do it for couple of weeks. Haven't done it in a while now..

      Thanks for sharing. I might try some other tactics that you suggest.