How To Whiten Your Teeth, Naturally. 9 Methods You Can Try Today - Dental Guide Australia

How To Whiten Your Teeth, Naturally. 9 Methods You Can Try Today

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You cannot bear looking into the mirror any more. All you can see are your yellow discoloured teeth.

You are even beginning to keep yourself from smiling widely. And forget about selfies too.

Who wants to show the whole world your lovely yellow teeth!

In this: you are not alone.

A survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry found that the most important thing people want to improve about their smile is “whiter and brighter teeth”.

Almost everyone who took part in the survey believed that a great smile is an important social asset. Yikes!

When asked What types of things make a smile unattractive. The most common responses were discoloured, yellow, or stained teeth.

If this is how you feel about your teeth, our goal is to give you the ultimate guide: how to whiten your teeth naturally.

But First: Why Do Teeth Get Discoloured?

Before we get down to remedies for whitening teeth naturally, let us understand what leads to tooth stains and discolouration.

Knowing this may take you halfway towards solving the problem.

Our teeth become tainted and stained due to various reasons:

1 - Extrinsic Discolouration

Extrinsic discolouration or external staining of teeth occurs when the enamel—the shiny white outer layer—of your tooth, becomes stained.

Your food and drinks are the main culprits here.

Fond of coffee, tea, wine, colas, juices, soft drinks or energy drinks?

They can contribute to staining your teeth in a big way. So does betel and tobacco chewing and smoking. Some medications and oral care products too can cause staining.

Surface tooth stains can occur in two ways. The salivary pellicle, a thin organic film that covers our teeth, plays a key role in the staining process.

  • When we consume foods and drinks that have staining qualities—such as tea, coffee or wine—the chromogens in the food or drink get incorporated into the salivary pellicle. This is one way in which your teeth become stained.
  • Tooth stains can also be due to chemical reactions that take place on the tooth surface.

Here’s a list of extrinsic staining agents, grouped by the stain colours on the teeth:

  • Tobacco products
  • Dental plaque
  • Tea, coffee, wine, and other beverages
  • Certain foods
  • Metals
  • Iodine
  • Chlorhexidine rinse
  • Cetylpyridinium chloride rinse
  • Stannous fluoride
  • Khat leaf
  • Doxycycline

  • Chromogenic bacteria
  • Metals
  • Doxycycline

Intrinsic Or Internal Discolouration

Sometimes the dentin—the inner structure of your tooth below the enamel—develops a yellow tint or darkens from within. This can happen due to a number of factors including things that happened while you were a kid, or even before you were born. Yes, so bad karma and bad habits are not all there is to it.

Your teeth could darken from the inside due to exposure to excessive levels of fluoride in early childhood, if you had been given tetracycline antibiotics as a child, a fall, accident or other trauma affected your teeth, tooth decay or due to being born with a number of medical conditions.

Here’s a comprehensive list of agents and reasons that cause extrinsic discolouration together with the colours and types of stains involved.

Localized color changes affecting one or two adjacent teeth

White (opaque) stain

Yellow stain

Brown stain

Blue, gray, or black stain

Intrinsic causes - Regional color changes

White (opaque) stain

Yellow stain

Brown stain

Blue, gray, or black stain

Green stain

Intrinsic causes - Generalized changes involving primary and/or permanent teeth

White (opaque) stain

Yellow stain

Brown stain

Blue, gray, or black stain

Green stain

Age Related Tooth Discolouration

Age-related staining could be due to a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic causes.

  • Your food habits and lifestyle choices—including smoking—may contribute to yellowing and staining. Tooth erosion is a natural thing, and acidic food, energy drinks and sugar in your food and drinks can speed up this process.
  • Some people become slack in routine brushing, flossing and oral care as they grow older.
  • Your tooth enamel wears down and becomes thinner as you (and your teeth) grow older. Unlike your skin, hair or nails, your teeth do not renew themselves over time.
  • Vigorous brushing and abrasive tooth cleaners hastens this wear and tear.

Age related discolouration occurs when a thinning stained enamel on the outside comes together with a darkening dentin on the inside. These factors get together to make a fine recipe for yellow and stained teeth.

9 Methods (That You Can Try Today) To Whiten Your Teeth Naturally

Now to discovering the natural ways in which you can regain your bright white smile again. Going the natural route to health problems should always be your first choice in dealing with health goals.

Yes, we are well aware of other whitening strategies, such as peroxide based home kits, but why not go the natural route first?

Note however that many of these methods only impact external stains. They cannot change your darkened dentin back to white again.

#1 - Activated Charcoal Teeth Scrub

People have been using charcoal for millennia to clean their teeth for its abrasive qualities when grounded into a powder. Today, you can use activated charcoal as a tooth scrub.

Activated charcoal is made by heating regular charcoal in the presence of a specific gas. This treatment makes it extremely porous, expanding its surface area which makes activated charcoal bind with impurities easily. Activated charcoal is used in treating cases of poison and overdose also because it has the capacity to absorb impurities and toxins.

Porous activated charcoal can easily bind with the plaque and substances in the food stains on your teeth and help clean it effectively.

  • Activated charcoal comes in capsule, tablet or powder form.
  • It is tasteless and odorless.
  • It is safe to use. You cannot be poisoned with it because its a detoxifier in itself!
  • You can get it over the counter, without a prescription.
  • Watch out for your tooth caps, crowns and veneers. Activated charcoal may stain them black.
  • It can stain your bathroom tile grout, counters, floors and clothing.
  • The abrasive quality of activated charcoal powder may lead to sensitive teeth.
  • Some people don’t like it because it makes your mouth all black.
  • It also stains the tongue black, so you need to take time to clean it afterwards.
  • We could not find any studies that proved the effectiveness of activated charcoal as a tooth whitener.

What You Will Need To Do It:

  • Activated charcoal powder, or, powdered charcoal tablet
  • Water and a toothbrush

HOW TO DO IT (2 Methods)

Here’s one method using charcoal powder like toothpaste:

  1. Wet your toothbrush and dip it in the activated charcoal powder.
  2. Brush in the normal way, focusing more on stained areas on your teeth.
  3. Take water in your mouth, swish and spit.
  4. Rinse well until the black goes away from your mouth.
  5. Expect your tongue to be black, which then needs cleaning.

Here’s another, making a paste from charcoal powder:

  1. Make a paste with activated charcoal powder
  2. Dab the mixture on to teeth, as opposed to rubbing.
  3. Leave the paste on your teeth for three minutes allowing it to bind with impurities on your teeth.
  4. Clean it off by rinsing and brushing your teeth.

There are different guidelines on how to use activated charcoal for best effect in tooth whitening.

Some dentists recommend using activated charcoal for brushing two or three times a week for best results.

Be warned that either way, charcoal powder is very abrasive. Do not rub or brush too vigorously. If you develop sensitive teeth as a result--too much abrasive stuff can do this—stop using activated charcoal for tooth whitening, at least for a while.

#2 - Hydrogen Peroxide And Baking Soda Mix

Baking Soda or sodium bicarbonate can be used to whiten teeth with or without hydrogen peroxide because of its mild abrasive qualities, says "It is this same abrasiveness that effectively removes surface stains from your teeth and make them appear whiter. However, if your goal is to remove deeper, older stains, then baking soda will not be as effective".

According to, baking soda mixed with water release free radicals that can breakdown molecules on the tooth enamel that cause tooth staining.

Most whitening products in the market include abrasives like sodium bicarbonate with or without a mild bleaching component such as hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. In combination they can remove both extrinsic and intrinsic stains through an oxidative mechanism.

  • More affordable than commercial whitening products with the same ingredients; or getting teeth whitened by a dentist.
  • You can make the paste in a jiffy once you have the products at home.
  • Baking soda has multiple other positive effects on oral health. It can prevent bad breath (halitosis), have a preventive effect on gum disease and a soothing and healing effect on mouth sores and ulcers.
  • Using the mix is not as convenient as squeezing some whitening toothpaste out of a tube.
  • Continual use of abrasive baking soda can damage your tooth enamel.
  • Damages to tooth enamel can lead to tooth sensitivity.
  • You should avoid the baking soda and hydrogen peroxide mix if you wear braces and permanent retainers. Baking soda may soften the orthodontic glue used in these products.

What You Will Need

  • ​Hydrogen peroxide
  • Baking soda
  • Water and a toothbrush

How To Do It:

  1. Mix two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide with a tablespoon of baking soda and stir into a paste. Using less baking soda makes your whitening paste less gritty.
  2. Let the mix stand for a
  3. Dip your toothbrush in the mix and start brushing.
  4. Let the paste cover your teeth for around a minute and rinse off.
  5. Make sure to rinse your mouth well to ensure no hydrogen peroxide or baking soda is left in your mouth.
  6. Use this whitening method only twice or thrice a week.
  7. Don’t skip your usual brushing and flossing in the meanwhile.

#3 - Coconut Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic remedy practiced in ancient India. A review published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine says that "It is believed to cure more than thirty systemic diseases when practiced regularly and as directed".

If you don't know what ‘oil pulling’ is, it is simply swishing a bit of oil—a table spoon would do—around your mouth for 10 to 20 minutes at a time. Oil pulling cleanses your mouth, sucking up dirt and toxins from the mouth, probably making life unpleasant for all the harmful microbes—because who wants a 20 minute-long soak in an oil bath!

In Ayurveda, they use various oils, such as coconut, sesame and olive oil. Cold pressed organic oils such as sunflower oil would do as well since there are no trans fats in them. Even refined oil can be used for oil pulling.

Why Is Coconut Oil Better For Oil Pulling Compared To Other Oils?

Coconut oil has additional beneficial qualities for oral health.

  • Coconut oil contains lauric acid which reacts with saliva to form sodium laureate. This soap like substance helps reduces plaque adhesion and accumulation on teeth and has a cleansing action.
  • Lauric acid is known to have antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It is effective against Streptococcus mutans and Candida albicans which work together in causing dental caries and early-childhood caries. It has positive effects on oral health.
  • Lauric acid also has a pleasant taste, making oil pulling with coconut oil more tolerable.
  • Coconut oil does not have adverse effects such as brown staining and altered taste sensation produced by chlorhexidine.
  • Inconvenient and time consuming process.
  • Not everyone can afford a 10 to 20 minute oil pulling routine each morning.
  • Not everyone enjoys the oil pulling process, as this journalist found out.
  • Swallowing of oil can be unpleasant early in the morning; not to mention, unhealthy.
  • You must avoid spitting the pulled oil into the sink because oil can cause clogging of the pipes. Spit it into a paper towel or into a trash can instead.

The Benefits Of Oil Pulling Are Many

  • Prevents dental caries
  • Improves oral hygiene
  • Decreases oral microbial count
  • Inhibits adhesion of plaque to teeth and oral surfaces
  • Reduces gingivitis
  • Reduces bad breath (halitosis)
  • Strengthens oral cavity muscles and jaws
  • Improves general health, according to Ayurveda, due to excretion of toxic heavy metals by way of saliva
  • And besides doing all that good stuff, it also whitens your teeth!

What You Will Need

  • Table spoon of oil, coconut, in this instance
  • Warm saline water or tap water
  • Toothbrush for regular cleaning

How Coconut Oil Pulling Is Done

The oil pulling procedure is described in an article published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine.

  1. Sit comfortably with your chin up.
  2. Take a table spoon full of coconut oil in the mouth and swish around for about 20 minutes.
  3. Use a tea spoon of oil for children (over five years). Oil pulling is not recommended for children below five years of age.
  4. Preferably, oil pulling should be done in the morning, before breakfast, on an empty stomach.
  5. Pull or force the oil between all the teeth by swishing it around your mouth. (Do we even need to mention this, kids will love this activity, for sure!)
  6. If you have done the pulling correctly, the viscous oil would turn milky white and thinner in the end.
  7. Spit it out and rinse the mouth with warm water or saline water.
  8. Clean your teeth as usual with a toothbrush.
  9. If your jaws begin to ache, you may limit oil pulling to for about 5 to 10 minutes.
  10. Make sure to avoid swallowing the oil.
  11. For better and faster healing effects, you may practice oil pulling three times a day before meals.

#4 - Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made by fermenting the juice from crushed apples.

According to WebMD, apple cider vinegar contains so many vitamins, minerals and acids. This makes it difficult to figure out what exactly may be contributing to the whitening effects.

  • There are multiple ways of using apple cider vinegar to whiten teeth.
  • Easy to use and very much affordable.

What You Will Need

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Water
  • Baking soda (optional)

How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar As A Tooth Whitener

  1. One method is to gargle with apple cider vinegar daily. Mix a teaspoon in a cup of water and swish it around your mouth for a while. Over time, your teeth will whiten as a result.
  2. For stubborn stains, rub apple cider vinegar on your teeth and then rinse your mouth with water. Don’t do this too often. Rubbing apple cider vinegar straight on your teeth can cause the tooth enamel to break down and lead to tooth sensitivity.
  3. You can also make a tooth whitening paste with apple cider vinegar and baking soda. Mix one part of baking soda with two parts apple cider vinegar to make a paste. Do not use this paste more than twice or three times a week. The abrasive qualities of the mix can damage your tooth enamel.

Now that you know the pros and cons of apple cider vinegar as a tooth whitener, go ahead and make your decision. Just go lightly because extended use can damage your teeth. Eroded teeth look worse than yellow or stained ones.

#5 - Strawberries And Baking Soda Mix

The Dr. Oz Show and numerous YouTube videos have touted using strawberries and baking soda mix as a natural, affordable, do-it-yourself method to whiten and brighten teeth.

If you are curious about whether this actually works, you are not the only one. One researcher, Dr So Ran Kwon, at the University of Iowa has actually performed a scientific experiments to see whether California-grown, organic strawberries and baking soda mix produces a whitening effect on teeth. The results of the study, comparing this DIY (do-it-yourself) method with in-office whitening, professionally dispensed patient applied home whitening, and an OTC (over-the-counter) product” were published in the journal Operative Dentistry.

According to Dr Kwon, the only benefit of the do-it-yourself strawberries and baking soda mix is while it seems to make your teeth look whiter, they look whiter because you’re just removing plaque accumulation on your teeth. According to her, that is a lot less than you get with alternative commercially available whitening treatments. “You really want something that penetrates into your teeth and breaks down the stain molecules,” says she. “If you don’t have that, you get just the superficial, and not the whitening from the inside, which was what you really want.”

Here’s why you see the whitening effect. Strawberries contain citric acid, a substance known to weaken the surface hardness of your tooth enamel. They also contain the less potent malic acid. The riper the strawberries are, the higher the concentration of malic acid in the fruit. The ripe strawberry rub helps remove the superficial debris from your teeth, giving them a whiter look.

If you are happy with just the superficial whitening, go ahead with the DIY strawberry mix. It probably tastes great in your mouth too!

  • Easy to make and smells great too. How about delicious?
  • Scientifically tested method which actually works. Strawberry and baking soda mix can make your teeth look whiter because it helps remove plaque, a biofilm, that has accumulated on your teeth.
  • Strawberries contain citric acid, just like lime does, and is harmful for the tooth enamel.
  • Dr Kwon’s study results showed that “DIY whitening with the use of a strawberry mixture is not an effective tooth whitening modality when compared to professionally applied inoffice whitening, professionally dispensed patient applied home whitening, and an OTC product.”

What You Will Need

  • A ripe strawberry
  • Baking soda
  • Soft toothbrush
  • Water to rinse

How To Do It

  1. Strawberry and baking soda paste. Crush a ripe strawberry and mix in baking soda to make a paste. Dip your toothbrush in it. Brush carefully rubbing the strawberry mix over your teeth.
  2. In the scientific experiment Dr Kwon used a puree of strawberry (15g) mixed with 2.5g of baking soda, at five day intervals, for five minutes for each application. Brush with a soft toothbrush for 30 seconds.
  3. You can also do some whitening while just eating strawberries. Crush a ripe strawberry. Dip your toothbrush in the mush and brush your teeth.

Whether you decide to use plain strawberries or strawberry mix with baking soda, you will get some positive results. Keep smiling with that strawberry flavor in your mouth.

#6 - Fruit Peels

If you Google "fruit peel teeth whitening" you are going to get nearly a million results. The top results are going to be talking about orange and banana peel and how to use them as tooth whiteners. But then there is pomegranate peel, and Rhus coriaria, or Sicilian sumac peel which appear in more scientific studies than do either orange peel or banana peel.

Studies show that the peel of sweet orange, or citrus sinensis peels extract is effective against bacteria that cause dental caries and contain compounds that have therapeutic potential.

Banana peel has been demonstrated to have antibacterial activity against periodontal pathogens such as P. gingivalis and A. actinomycetemcomitans. Banana peel contains minerals of potassium, magnesium, manganese and acids that helps break down tooth stains. The gritty fiber of the banana peel helps polish the tooth enamel.

Nothing probably can beat pomegranate, known to science as Punica granatum when it comes to fruit peel with medicinal effects. There are many studies demonstrating the effect of pomegranate peel and flower extract on bacteria and viruses that affect human health. Pomegranate peel contains substances that suppress enteric infections, promote gut health, oral health and wound healing. It also works on some drug resistant bacteria and those used in food preservation. Pomegranate peel also has a suppressing effect on food borne and intestinal viruses, and those causing pox, herpes and HIV.

The list of oral bacteria against which pomegranate peel extracts have shown positive effects is pretty long.

The qualities of pomegranate that promote oral health, and work on tooth and gum disease bacteria may make its peel a great ingredient in making natural dentifrice preparations.

  • It’s the stuff you throw away. Anyone can afford them.
  • The pros depend on the type of fruit peel you use. They cause different levels of whitening and may have positive effects on your oral health overall.
  • Some fruit peels have proven positive effects on oral health, including the controlling of dental plaque; if not necessarily a direct effect on tooth whitening. Still, the fact that they help remove plaque means that they do have a somewhat brightening effect on teeth.
  • Fruit peel whitening is organic, so you are not putting chemicals in your mouth.
  • Makes you eat more fruit! This is anyway good for your teeth and gums and general health.
  • Not always pleasant or time saving to try whiten teeth with fruit peel.
  • Some peel like banana or pomegranate powder may not feel great in the mouth and not everyone can tolerate the sensations or the taste.
  • Not everything you see on the Internet or which appeals to logic always turns out to be true. It is just a feel-good idea that fruit peel can be a great tooth whitener. While some fruit peels have proven medicinal and positive oral health qualities, its questionable whether those can be directly extrapolated to include whitening effects is the question.
  • We did not find any scientific studies indicating fruit peels has even been tested as a tooth whitener, let alone studies proving them to be effective.

What You Will Need

Pomegranate fruit peel whitening

  • Powdered pomegranate peel. To make the powder, put dry pomegranate peel in direct sunlight until the peels lose all their moisture. Grind in a clean, dry grinder for two minutes. Store in a clean airtight glass jar.
  • Toothbrush
  • Water

Banana fruit peel whitening

  • A banana peel
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Water

Orange fruit peel whitening

  • Orange peel, the white bits

How To Do It

Orange peel tooth whitening

  1. Use inner white part of orange peel to rub your teeth for white, shiny teeth.

Banana peel tooth whitening

  1. Rub the inside of the banana peel—the stringy, fleshy side—to your teeth.
  2. When doing this, "You will start feeling your gums getting pasty," says Be patient anyway for at least 10 minutes. Try not to rub your gums or lips against the texture. Focus on something else.
  3. After the 10 minutes are up, take a dry toothbrush and start brushing your teeth in a circular motion.
  4. Rinse with water.
  5. Then brush your teeth with toothpaste as usual to complete the process.
  6. You may need to use banana peels this way for two weeks or until you get to see good results.

Pomegranate peel tooth whitening

  1. Make a powder of pomegranate peels.
  2. Use this powder to brush your teeth every morning and night.
  3. Rinse with water.

There may not be any guarantees whether fruit peel whitening will work for you. But just the fact that you have these peels in your mouth may have positive effects on your overall oral health.

#7 - Kaolin Clay As Tooth Whitener

Mechanical cleaning helps you get rid of plaque and stains from the tooth surface. The other cleaning method, bleaching, uses chemical agents to whiten teeth both intrinsically and extrinsically.

Mechanical cleaning requires abrasives. Kaolin clay or aluminium silicate is an abrasive.

Abrasives, however, are a double-edged sword. When overly abrasive, they scrape, scratch or gouge the tooth surface. An unpolished, uneven tooth surface is an open invitation to mouth bacteria. Many studies have shown that unpolished tooth surfaces facilitate dental plaque, calculus, oral debris and extrinsic stains. In fact, the initial bacterial colonization begins in rough tooth surfaces.

Aesthetically too, a highly polished tooth enamel is desirable because it appears whiter than an unpolished, duller enamel. Compared to most other abrasives, kaolin clay possesses the ability to clean the tooth leaving it smooth and polished.

  • When abrasives are ranked for the combination of abrasivity in relation to their cleaning ability kaolin clay ranks very high.
  • Kaolin produces a polished tooth surface with maximum gloss and luster while other abrasives tend to scrape, scratch or gouge the enamel surface.
  • Safe and easy on your enamel.
  • Affordable. Most tooth whitening powders we came across in our research use white kaolin clay as one ingredient, rather than on its own.
  • You can also find tooth powders and toothpaste in the market made from kaolin clay.
  • Swallowing Kaolin clay may cause constipation. So go easy on the toothpaste or tooth powder. Tell this to your kids as well.
  • Not used on its own. Requires you to make a mix of ingredients.
  • Some of these ingredients may stain clothing and tiles.
  • If the mix contains Xylitol, it is toxic to your pets.

Now to the recipes. We will share two recipes with you

#1 - Recipe for DIY Tooth Whitening Powder (from Julie, of 'My Merry Messy Life')

What You Will Need

  • 2 tsp clay. You can use white kaolin clay or bentonite.
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp activated charcoal
  • 1 1/2 tsp xylitol
  • Pinch of salt
  • 8-10 drops of Peppermint essential oil

How To Do It

  1. Pour all the ingredients into a small bow
  2. Add drops of essential oil
  3. Gently mix the ingredients together using a small fork
  4. Break up the essential oil that may clump together
  5. Pour into a jar you can easily dip your toothbrush into

What You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons white kaolin clay
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons calcium magnesium powder
  • 2 capsules of activated charcoal
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unrefined organic coconut oil
  • 15 to 20 drops of essential oils
  • An air-tight glass or plastic container (to hold your tooth powder)
  • Small container for mixing
  • Wooden or plastic spoon for mixing. Do not use metal bowls or spoons.
  • Spring or filtered water

How To Do It

  1. Put all dry ingredients into your air-tight glass or plastic container
  2. Shake well to mix
  3. Pour in liquid coconut oil. Heated a bit to liquify if necessary
  4. Mix into powder
  5. Add 15 drops of the essential oils of your choice

Whether you are opting to make tooth whitening powder or paste the DIY route or are actually looking ant qualities of kaolin clay to make toothpaste buying decisions, now you have the information you need. Happy whitening!

#8 - Turmeric

Turmeric is a spice derived from the root of a plant. It has been used in the ancient Indian medicine system of Ayurveda, for thousands of years. Ayurveda says turmeric possesses the ability to make the skin glow, and to provide vigor and vitality to the entire body. Turmeric also has antimicrobial, antioxidant, astringent, and other useful properties, that are useful in medical and dental treatments.

According to this study the therapeutic applications of curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, extend across a wide range including oral and medical applications.

Dental applications of turmeric

Turmeric offers relief from dental problems including

  • Dental pain and swelling by massaging the aching teeth with roasted ground turmeric
  • Periodontal problems such as gingivitis and periodontitis can be relieved by rubbing the teeth and gums with a paste made of turmeric, salt and mustard oil twice daily.
  • One study showed that Turmeric mouthwash with curcumin extract was "as effective as most widely used chlorhexidine mouthwash".
  • Turmeric is a natural product that is non-toxic, safe and effective against mouth bacteria contributing to tooth decay, dental plaque and gum disease.
  • Affordable and easy to make
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Turmeric leaves a great smell in the mouth

Turmeric’s many medicinal qualities may lead to problems when used on a regular basis. Here are some points offered up by turmeric tooth whitening users:

  • Abrasive qualities may damage your tooth enamel if used daily
  • If you are pregnant and breast breastfeeding, avoid turmeric as it may interfere with milk production
  • If you are on other medications it is best to stay away from this remedy
  • It may result in lowering testosterone levels in men after long term use
  • Turmeric decreases blood sugar. If you have diabetes, be careful in using turmeric as a tooth whitener
  • People with gallbladder problems should avoid turmeric
  • Those who have scheduled surgery should stop using turmeric at least two weeks before date of surgery

And, we found some not-so-glowing reviews such as these two

In Myth vs. fact: An experts' take on teeth whitening home remedies, the expert, Uchenna Okoye, clinical director at London Smiling Dental Group delivers a damning verdict on the claim that brushing with turmeric powder can whiten your teeth:

"False. This is a recipe for disaster. The rule in dentistry is that anything that will stain a white shirt will stain your teeth. All spices stain teeth but yellow spices are the worst. Far from whitening your teeth, using turmeric will make them even more discoloured."

In Can You Whiten Your Teeth With Turmeric? Dental DIY Video, Jessica French the dental blogger describes her experience using turmeric tooth brushing with coconut oil.

What You Will Need

  • Dried turmeric root powder. You can easily buy this from specialized food shops or online. To make turmeric powder, the root (similar to ginger) is soaked in water, and dried in a hot oven. The dried roots are then ground into a fine yellow powder.
  • Toothbrush
  • Water to rinse
  • Coconut oil (optional)
  • Baking soda (optional)
  • Lime juice (optional)
  • Salt (optional)

How To Whiten Teeth With Turmeric Powder

There are a number of ways in which you can use turmeric as a tooth whitener.

One method uses only turmeric powder:

  1. Mix half a teaspoon of dried turmeric powder with a few drops of water
  2. Stir into a thick paste
  3. Dip your toothbrush in the yellow paste and brush your teeth with it
  4. Remember to watch out for the yellow stains. The turmeric will stain your toothbrush, your tongue and your teeth. Rinsing it off takes some effort
  5. Plan for a longer tooth brushing routine than usual. Your teeth cleaning time is doubled due to the time it takes to rinse the yellow from teeth and gums and wherever else you end up staining (shirt, face, counter)
  6. The abrasive qualities of the bright yellow root powder will clean your teeth

Mommypotamus offers an alternative method to using just turmeric powder.

Another method recommends using turmeric powder with coconut oil.

  1. Mix turmeric powder with a bit of coconut oil
  2. Use the paste to brush your teeth
  3. Leave on your teeth for 3 to 5 minutes
  4. Rinse
  5. Use it no more than three times a week to avoid damages to the enamel

There are other methods using turmeric powder, coconut oil and baking soda mix or turmeric, salt and lime juice to whiten yellowed teeth.

Here’s our take:

Despite the hassles of using a yellow powder, and the nasty reviews from some users, here are many oral health benefits of just having turmeric in your mouth. Perhaps those benefits can translate into glowing white teeth for you. Watch out for the yellow stains!

#9 - Make Home-Made Whitening Toothpaste

After considering all of the above exotic sounding natural tooth whitening options, if you feel like finding a regular toothpaste that whitens teeth, here’s the recipe you need.

This recipe, from Wellness Mama, requires very few ingredients.

  • Affordable. You can buy the ingredients you need by the pound
  • Easy to make and store
  • Xylitol makes the toothpaste taste good and is healthy for reducing the levels of decay causing acids in the mouth
  • You can add the essential oils you like best to make it smell and taste the way you like your toothpaste
  • Edible. If your kids are like most other people’s kids, they’ll be consuming copious amounts of toothpaste. At least, with the home-made version, you know what they are eating!
  • Environmentally friendly and less wastage. You don’t need to fill local garbage dumps with multiple empty toothpaste tubes
  • Not everyone has the time or the patience to make DIY toothpaste
  • Xylitol is toxic to dogs. Be careful with the powder pack as well as what the kids would do with the toothpaste

What You Will Need

For one batch you need:

  • ¼ cup Calcium Carbonate Powder
  • 3 Tablespoons Xylitol powder, finely ground and not coarse
  • ¼ cup MCT coconut oil. You may need more for thinning the toothpaste
  • Essential oils are optional. Use 20 -30 drops using a dropper. That is approximately 1/8th of a teaspoon

How To Do It

  1. Mix all the ingredients well by hand or using a blender
  2. Add more oil if the paste turns out to be extra thick
  3. Store in a glass jar

You now have a whitening toothpaste you can use just like regular toothpaste.

Prevention: How To AVOID Teeth Discolouration After Whitening

Whitening is just one step. Now let us also look in to how you can protect your newly whitened teeth from staining again.

Here are 15 simple steps to keeping your teeth whiter, for longer:

1 - Don’t forget the very basics. Brush and floss daily. Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.

2 - Get your teeth professionally cleaned.

3 - Inexperienced cleaning may also damage your crowns and veneers. Make sure you choose and experienced professional practice with trained staff.

4 - As much as possible, stay away from foods and beverages that stain your teeth (see image above)

5 - Cut down the amount of sports and energy drinks you consume. They can cause irreversible damage to your teeth.

6 - Rinse your mouth after eating and drinking, but as the next point notes, that depends on what you had.

7 - If you consumed acidic food or drinks, “avoid brushing your teeth right away,” says the Mayo Clinic Staff. “These acids weaken tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can remove enamel.” Mayo Clinic recommends brushing before you eat.

8 - Alternately, wait for 30 minutes before you brush your teeth after eating and drinking acidic stuff.

9 - Do not linger over your food and drink. This tend to cause more harm and even more staining than just finishing it up immediately.

10 - Avoid swishing drinks around your mouth. Like swishing? Try oil pulling instead.

11 - Use a straw to avoid the staining beverages from touching your teeth.

12 - Drink your coffee and other beverages with a to-go lid instead of a straw or straight out of the cup. Doing so will help reduce the acidity in the mouth.

13 - Watch out for medications and oral and medical treatments that stain teeth.

  • Mouth rinses and mouth washes with chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride can stain your teeth.
  • Antihistamines such as Benadryl, antipsychotic drugs, and high blood pressure drugs.
  • Dental materials such as amalgam restorations and materials with silver sulfide may cast a gray-black color to your teeth.

14 - Talk to your doctor and dentist to discuss this matter. They may be able to prescribe alternatives that do not cause staining or discolouration.

15 -Keeping your crowns and veneers from staining. Most are made to withstand stains. But too much abrasion can take away the sheen from your veneers and crowns. Gentle brushing, using a low abrasive toothpaste on a Q-tip, or returning to your cosmetic dentist for a gentle polishing may be necessary.


After all the research, pros and cons and methods of using various natural tooth whiteners, are you ready for making your choice? By now, you should know how to whiten your teeth naturally.

To remind you, here are our recommendations:

For a quick whitening on the fly, we’d opt for the strawberry crush.

  • It has been tested scientifically and proven effective.
  • It is not a bad thing to do it on the long run either, as long as you don’t do it too often.

As a long term solution, we’d opt for home-made tooth whitening toothpowder or toothpaste with kaolin clay.

  • Baking soda can be very harsh on the teeth, so the best remedy from #7 above is the Remineralizing and Whitening Home-Made Tooth Powder Recipe from Almost Exactly Blog.
  • If you don’t need remineralization, just drop the calcium magnesium powder.
  • We also have concerns about activated charcoal. There are no studies that prove its effectiveness as a tooth whitener. We have no doubts about whether it works. We know it does. Our concerns are whether activated charcoal is too abrasive and may damage teeth. So go lightly on that element in the recipe.
  • The same can be said of most of the other methods listed above.
  • Whatever you go with, stick to the middle path. Don’t over do it.

We wish you happy, bright, white smiles, all day, every day!

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