Dentistry
Cosmetic
Product Reviews
Updated on January 20, 2023
9 min read

Natural Teeth Whitening

NewMouth is reader supported. We may earn a commission if you purchase something using one of our links. Advertising Disclosure.

How To Whiten Your Teeth Naturally

Common teeth whitening products on the market use chemicals to bleach teeth, which can be a concern for many people. Fortunately, it is possible to whiten your teeth without any harmful chemicals.

You can try alternative teeth whitening options by purchasing natural whitening products, trying home remedies, or using a mixture of both for a brighter smile.

Everything We Recommend

Best Overall (Editor’s Choice) Primal Life Teeth Whitening Gel (WHITE)

Best Vegan Whitening Kit — Lumineux Oral Essentials Teeth Whitening Kit

Also Great — Bite Whitening Gel Teeth Whitening Kit

6 Ways to Whiten Your Teeth Naturally (Home Remedies)

If you want to whiten your teeth naturally at home, there are a few things you can try, including:

1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

The best way to keep your teeth white is to have a good oral hygiene routine. This involves brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes at a time and flossing.

Other practices you can do include:

  • Avoid smoking or using tobacco products
  • Visit your dentist every six months for professional teeth cleanings
  • Limit intake of staining products like coffee, tea, red wine, dark berries, and curry powder
  • Limit or avoid sugary foods and drinks

2. Maintain a Healthy, Balanced Diet

Many healthy foods can improve teeth health, strength, and brightness. These include, but are not limited to: 

  • Coarse vegetables like broccoli High in fiber and require more chewing to break down, which increases saliva production and helps scrape away stains
  • Pineapple — Contains bromelain, an anti-inflammatory compound that helps remove stains
  • Dairy products Increase saliva production to help remove stains
  • Nuts and seeds — Natural exfoliators that help remove stains
  • Onions — Contain sulfur to help keep plaque from forming on teeth
  • Celery and carrots High in water, which helps remove debris between teeth

3. Get Enough Calcium in Your Diet

Calcium is essential for strong bones, including your teeth. The stronger your teeth are, the lower the risk of damage. And the less damaged your teeth are, the less prone they are to yellowing.

Cheese, yogurt, and milk contain lactic acid and the enamel-fortifying mineral calcium, which strengthen the teeth and decrease the risk of stains and damage.

Many vegetables and dairy-free products also contain calcium. These include:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Soy products
  • Legumes
  • Beans
  • Nuts

4. Eat Fruits Containing Papain and Bromelain

Fruits like papayas and pineapples contain the enzymes papain and bromelain, which have been shown to have whitening effects on teeth. However, more research is still being done on the effectiveness of these enzymes.

5. Baking Soda and Hydrogen Peroxide (Diluted)

Hydrogen peroxide (HP) is a natural bleaching agent that can kill bacteria in your mouth. It can help prevent cavities and oral diseases.

Many commercial whitening products list hydrogen peroxide as an ingredient. However, they often contain high concentrations of it, which can lead to:

  • Gum irritation
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Enamel erosion

However, studies show HP is safe to use if it is diluted in toothpaste or mouthwash. Products that contain 1 to 1.5 percent hydrogen peroxide are best. Many of these products also have small amounts of baking soda. 

Do not overuse whitening products containing hydrogen peroxide or baking soda. Always make sure you read the instructions before using them. 

6. Use Natural Whitening Products

Peroxide-containing products are safe to use on teeth in small doses. However, some people prefer to use completely natural products.

Many natural whitening strips, toothpastes, and mouthwashes on the market use essential oils and botanicals to whiten teeth gradually.

What Makes a Whitening Product “Natural?”

Before purchasing a natural teeth whitening product, it is essential to look for certain features to ensure you are buying the best product.

All of the products listed below meet NewMouth’s standards for a “natural whitening product.”

These standards are:

  • Certified non-toxic
  • Enamel-safe
  • Non-abrasive
  • Gluten-free
  • Fluoride-free
  • Preservative-free
  • Sulfate-free
  • Vegan ingredients
  • Organic or naturally-derived ingredients
  • Latex and paraben-free
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS)-free
  • Sodium saccharin (artificial sweetener)-free
  • Sugar-free or naturally sweetened with safer sugar alcohols, such as xylitol
  • Not tested on animals (cruelty-free)
  • Clinically tested
  • Whitens without sensitivity (chemicals can cause sensitivity)
  • Dentist-formulated and approved

3 Best Natural Teeth Whitening Kits

If you do not want to use peroxide-containing products, other natural whitening treatments are available. Our team has put together a list of the best natural products based on the standards listed above:

Primal Life Teeth Whitening Gel (WHITE)

Also Great
Primal Life Teeth Whitening Gel WHITE

Primal Life’s White Teeth Whitening Gel is an excellent way to whiten the teeth naturally. 

Primal Life’s White Teeth Whitening Gel does not contain peroxide, bleach, or chemicals. These ingredients were replaced with:

  • Olive oil
  • Essential oils
  • Bentonite clay
  • Diatomaceous earth (DE) clay

Together, these ingredients will clean your gums, promote fresher breath, and give you whiter teeth. The bentonite and DE clay will gently polish your teeth to remove stains.

You should use this teeth whitener 3 to 5 times a week. After desired whiteness is reached, only use it 1 to 2 times a week.

Lumineux Oral Essentials Teeth Whitening Kit

Best Vegan Whitening Kit
Product Backgrounds 12

Lumineux’s Whitening Kit is a certified non-toxic, microbiome-safe, and clinically proven teeth whitening regimen. The products combine ancient homeopathic ingredients with scientific evidence.

The formula includes ingredients like coconut oil, sage oil, and lemon peel oil. These naturally-derived ingredients help remove surface stains and freshen your breath naturally. 

The products are non-toxic, enamel-safe, SLS-free, vegan, preservative-free, sugar-free, and dentist-formulated. They will also whiten your teeth without causing any sensitivity.

Lumineux’s Teeth Whitening Kit includes:

  • 14 natural whitening strips
  • Whitening toothpaste (3.75 oz)
  • Whitening mouthwash (16 oz)
  • Bamboo toothbrush

Bite Whitening Gel Teeth Whitening Kit 

Best Overall (Editor’s Choice)
Product Backgrounds 13

Bite’s teeth whitening kit is easy to use and made with clean ingredients. Its packaging is also 100 percent plastic-free.

Its other features include:

  • Vegan
  • Cruelty-free
  • Baking soda-free
  • Alcohol-free
  • Paraben-free
  • Phthalates-free
  • No synthetic dyes or flavorings

All you need to do is dip the compostable applicator into the bottle and apply the serum to your teeth. Keep your mouth open while the product bubbles for two minutes, and then spit out excess.

Bite recommends keeping the serum on for at least 30 minutes for best results. You should also use it twice daily for 14 days.

The product is safe for sensitive teeth, and it’s normal to feel a slight tingling sensation. If, after 14 days, you still have serum left in the bottle, Bite recommends throwing it away.

You can make a one-time purchase on the Bite website or sign up for their subscription service, so you don’t have to worry about missing a teeth whitening session.

Why Do Teeth Stain?

Teeth can turn yellow due to intrinsic or extrinsic discoloration.

Extrinsic Discoloration

External staining or extrinsic discoloration affects the outside of your teeth. It is caused by consuming certain foods and beverages, including:

  • Tea
  • Red wine
  • Coffee
  • Foods with dyes
  • Tobacco

Poor oral hygiene can leave teeth looking darker and yellow due to plaque build-up. Since at-home whitening products only affect the outside of your teeth, they can treat extrinsic discoloration.

Intrinsic Discoloration

Internal staining or intrinsic discoloration forms inside your teeth. It is commonly caused by several factors, including:

  • Childhood illnesses
  • Genetics
  • Infection
  • Trauma to the teeth
  • Aging
  • Medications

To remove intrinsic discoloration, professional whitening treatment is typically necessary.

5 Unproven Natural Teeth Whitening Methods

Some popular whitening methods are not proven to work. They may actually do more harm than good.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), you should avoid whitening your teeth with:

1. Acidic Fruits 

Naturally acidic substances can wear away tooth enamel and cause cavities, sensitivity, and other conditions. Avoid using lemons, oranges, limes, strawberries, or other acidic fruits to whiten your teeth.

However, eating them as part of a healthy diet is perfectly safe. Make sure to eat them in moderation, as an increased intake of acidic foods can cause tooth sensitivity and wear away enamel.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Vinegar contains acid, which can wear away tooth enamel. Do not put vinegar directly onto your teeth, as it can cause tooth erosion and, eventually, decay.

3. Baking Soda-Hydrogen Peroxide Paste 

Applying a homemade baking soda-hydrogen peroxide paste directly to your teeth is abrasive because the concentration of the mixture is often too strong. Overuse can erode your enamel.

4. Turmeric and Other Spices

There is no reliable evidence that shows putting turmeric on teeth whitens them. Many herbs are beneficial for your health but will not whiten teeth. 

5. Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is an Ayurvedic practice of swishing oil through the teeth and around the mouth. Coconut oil and olive oil are commonly used. This practice may improve bad breath, but it will not remove stains from teeth.

Is Activated Charcoal Safe on Teeth?

The answer is mixed. While studies have shown that activated charcoal removes stains, it is not the most effective option. 

A systematic review of 208 articles revealed that charcoal-based teeth whitening products have a lower whitening effect.11 It also says that these products carry more risk of dental erosion than other whitening alternatives due to their highly abrasive properties. 

Charcoal does have whitening properties. However, the toxicity of charcoal-based dental products hasn’t been thoroughly tested. Until more research comes out, avoiding whitening products containing charcoal is best. 

Why Trust Our Review of Natural Teeth Whitening?

All medical content on this site, including this guide and other product reviews, is written by our team of experienced writers and researchers. All NewMouth writers vet products that are recommended and reviewed in the industry. In cases where this is not possible, our team will:

  • Compare positive and negative reviews on the products
  • Talk to company leaders to ensure their products are safe and effective
  • Look into costs to ensure customers are getting the best quality products at reasonable prices
  • Read research studies to compare the pros and cons of each product

Every piece of content is heavily reviewed before publication. All content on NewMouth is also medically reviewed by a licensed dentist, specifically any content where we recommend products.

Our dentists flag any recommendations they disagree with. Any products that don’t meet their professional standards are removed.

Some natural teeth whitening products also use ingredients that may not be completely effective at removing stains. More research is still needed on the overall effectiveness of natural teeth whitening products.

Summary

  • Natural teeth whitening products are effective alternatives for products containing bleaching agents like peroxides
  • You can also maintain a brighter smile through good oral hygiene and nutrition
  • Teeth stains can be internal or external
  • At-home teeth whitening kits usually target external stains
  • Activated charcoal does have whitening effects but increases the risk of dental erosion
Last updated on January 20, 2023
11 Sources Cited
Last updated on January 20, 2023
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. Barrette, Lori. “DIY Teeth Whitening: Too Good to Be True?” URMC Newsroom, 2020.
  2. Kleber, et al. “In Vitro Tooth Whitening by a Sodium Bicarbonate/Peroxide Dentifrice.” The Journal of Clinical Dentistry, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  3. Carey, Clifton M. “Tooth whitening: what we now know.” The journal of evidence-based dental practice, 2015.
  4. Brooks, et al. “More on Charcoal and Charcoal-Based Dentifrices.” The Journal of the American Dental Association, 2017.
  5. Hara, AT., and Turssi, CP. “Baking Soda as an Abrasive in Toothpastes: Mechanism of Action and Safety and Effectiveness Considerations.” Journal of the American Dental Association, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  6. Kalyana, et al. “Stain Removal Efficacy of a Novel Dentifrice Containing Papain and Bromelain Extracts – an in Vitro Study.” Wiley Online Library, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, 2010.
  7. Natural Teeth Whitening: Fact vs. Fiction.” Mouth Healthy TM.
  8. Neighmond, Patti. “Navigating The 'Aisle Of Confusion' To Whiten Your Teeth.” NPR, 2017.
  9. Vaz, et al. “Whitening Toothpaste Containing Activated Charcoal, Blue Covarine, Hydrogen Peroxide or Microbeads: Which One Is the Most Effective?” Journal of Applied Oral Science: Revista FOB, 2019.
  10. Chakravarthy, PK., and Acharya, S. “Efficacy of Extrinsic Stain Removal by Novel Dentifrice Containing Papain and Bromelain Extracts.” Journal of Young Pharmacists, 2012.
  11. Tomás, et al. “Effectiveness and abrasiveness of activated charcoal as a whitening agent: A systematic review of in vitro studies.” Annals of Anatomy, 2023.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram