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6 Tips to Make Your Teeth Whiter at Home

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Written by
NewMouth
Medically Reviewed by 
Dr. Erica Anand
10 Sources Cited

What Causes Tooth Stains?

Everyone wants gleaming white teeth. Unfortunately, over time, teeth can lose their white sheen and become discolored or yellow. 

This is known as teeth staining. Various things cause it, but it’s usually due to certain acidic or dark-colored foods or substances like tobacco. Plaque is another common cause.

These stain the surface of your tooth enamel, which causes it to become yellow. Thankfully, various at-home remedies can treat these stains and make them disappear.

6 At-Home Tips to Make Your Teeth Whiter

Here are some things you can do at home to keep your teeth white:

1. Brush Twice a Day

A major cause of yellow teeth is plaque. If plaque hardens, it accumulates minerals that develop into tartar. This accumulation gives tartar a yellow appearance. 

The best way to prevent plaque and tartar is to brush regularly. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends brushing for 2 minutes twice a day to prevent plaque buildup.9 

Read more on how to brush properly.

2. Use an Electric Toothbrush

Many people fail to brush properly with manual toothbrushes. They either don’t brush sufficiently, thoroughly, or long enough.

Using an electric toothbrush is a great way to quickly improve your brushing quality. Many models have timers to ensure you brush for 2 full minutes, with 30-second intervals for each quadrant of your mouth. 

The vibrations also remove plaque buildup. 

Read our reviews of the best electric toothbrushes.

3. Floss Regularly

Flossing your teeth can keep them whiter for longer periods. This is because flossing helps remove food particles that get stuck between your teeth. Flossing also reduces plaque buildup in difficult-to-reach areas.

Read our reviews of the best dental floss products.

4. Avoid Foods and Beverages that Stain Your Teeth

Acidic and dark-colored foods and beverages can cause your teeth to become yellow. 

These include:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Alcoholic drinks (especially red wine)
  • Tomatoes
  • Colas
  • Berries and fruit juices
  • Vinegar
  • Soy sauce
  • Curry

Consider limiting your intake of these foods to reduce your risk of stained teeth. 

If you do consume them, try using straws and rinsing your mouth with water afterward. Milk is a great beverage to neutralize acids as well.

5. Adjust Your Diet

There are many foods out there that can stain your teeth. 

But there are also foods that can actually keep your teeth white for longer periods. Dairy products, for example, strengthen tooth enamel. Some fruits and vegetables can lead to more saliva production, which helps remove surface stains.

Other foods and beverages include:

  • Apples
  • Strawberries
  • Cheese
  • Milk
  • Yogurt
  • Raw onions
  • Nuts
  • Broccoli 
  • Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Leafy greens

Of course, these foods won’t replace brushing and flossing. But they can help keep plaque at bay.

6. Use At-Home Whitening Products

Various teeth-whitening products are available for purchase over-the-counter (OTC). 

These include:

Many of these products use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which are bleaching agents that can whiten teeth without scrubbing away tooth enamel.

For safety reasons, these products often contain lower levels of hydrogen peroxide than those used in dental offices. 

Read about NewMouth’s top whitening products of 2022.

Are At-Home Teeth Whitening Kits Safe?

At-home teeth whitening kits are safe if used according to the manufacturer’s directions. 

Sometimes peroxide-based whitening products can cause tooth sensitivity or gingival inflammation. But these are temporary side effects that usually occur when high concentrations of peroxide are used. 

For safety, most at-home whitening products contain between 3 and 15 percent hydrogen or carbamide peroxide. This is lower than the 15 to 43 percent in products used by dentists. 

Long-term and improper use of teeth whitening products can negatively affect dental health, according to some studies.3

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends consulting your dentist before using any at-home whitening products.2 

Read more about how to safely whiten your teeth.

Teeth Whitening Methods That Aren’t Proven

There are a variety of other methods that claim to whiten teeth naturally. But there’s no scientific proof that they’re effective.


These include:

Last updated on April 26, 2022
10 Sources Cited
Last updated on April 26, 2022
All NewMouth content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed dentist or orthodontist to ensure the information is factual, current, and relevant.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from current scientific research, such as scholarly articles, dentistry textbooks, government agencies, and medical journals. This also includes information provided by the American Dental Association (ADA), the American Association of Orthodontics (AAO), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
  1. American Dental Association. “ADA Seal.” www.ada.org.
  2. American Dental Association. “Whitening.” www.ada.org.
  3. Carey, Clifton M. “Tooth whitening: what we now know.” The journal of evidence-based dental practice.
  4. Cleveland Clinic “Is Teeth Whitening Safe?” Cleveland Clinic.
  5. Crest. “What is the Difference Between Whitening and Bleaching?” www.dentalcare.com.
  6. Epple, Matthias et al. “A Critical Review of Modern Concepts for Teeth Whitening.” Dentistry journal.
  7. Ghassemi, A et al. “Effectiveness of a new dentifrice with baking soda and peroxide in removing extrinsic stain and whitening teeth.” The Journal of clinical dentistry.
  8. Kleber, C J et al. “In vitro tooth whitening by a sodium bicarbonate/peroxide dentifrice.” The Journal of clinical dentistry.
  9. Mouth Healthy. “Brushing Your Teeth.” https://www.mouthhealthy.org.
  10. Philips. “Is Teeth Whitening Safe? - Teeth Whitening Side Effects.” www.philips.com.au.
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