Many teeth whitening products on the market use chemicals to bleach teeth. This is a concern for many people. Fortunately, it is possible to whiten your teeth without any of the harmful chemicals.
There are many ways to whiten your teeth naturally. You can purchase natural whitening products, try home remedies, or use a mixture of both for a brighter smile.
Popular ways to whiten teeth include:
Teeth whitening is a popular cosmetic dental treatment. In fact, Americans spend $1.4 billion annually on non-prescription teeth whitening products. $3.2 billion is spent on whitening treatments worldwide.
Teeth can turn yellow due to intrinsic or extrinsic discoloration:
Extrinsic discoloration affects the outside of your teeth. It is caused by consuming certain foods and beverages (e.g., tea, red wine, coffee, and foods with dyes). Tobacco smoke can also cause this type of tooth discoloration. Poor oral hygiene can leave teeth looking darker and yellow due to plaque build-up. Since it only affects the outside of your teeth, whitening products can treat extrinsic discoloration.
At-home teeth whitening kits can give you the same results as professional whitening treatment in less than two weeks. (Be sure to follow instructions carefully).
Intrinsic discoloration forms within your teeth. This type of discoloration is commonly caused by a childhood illness, genetics, infection, trauma, aging, or medications. To remove intrinsic discoloration, professional whitening treatment is typically necessary.
There are a few ways to naturally whiten your teeth at home, including:
The best ways to keep your teeth white include:
Many healthy foods can also improve teeth health, strength, and brightness. These include, but are not limited to:
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 your teeth and decrease the risk of stains/damage.
Many vegetables and dairy-free products also contain calcium. These include leafy green vegetables, soy products, legumes, beans, and nuts, among others.
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.
Hydrogen peroxide (HP) is a natural bleaching agent. It also kills bacteria in your mouth, which can help prevent cavities and oral disease.
Many commercial whitening products list hydrogen peroxide as an ingredient. However, they often contain high concentrations of the chemical compound.
When hydrogen peroxide is heavily concentrated, it can lead to gum irritation, tooth sensitivity, and/or enamel erosion. However, studies show HP is safe to use if it is diluted in toothpaste or mouthwash.
It is best to use whitening products that contain 1 to 1.5 percent hydrogen peroxide. 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.
Peroxide-containing products are safe to use on your 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.
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:
All medical content on this site, including this guide and other products 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:
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 are specifically instructed to flag any recommendations they don’t agree with. Any products that don’t meet their professional standards are removed.
None of the products on this page have the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal of Acceptance. This is because ADA-approved whitening products do not use all-natural ingredients.
NewMouth recommends LED teeth whitening systems to achieve a brighter smile. They are affordable, easy to use, produce minimal side effects, and highly effective.
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.
If you do not want to use peroxide-containing products, there are many other natural whitening treatments available.
Our team has put together a list of the best natural products based on the standards listed above:
Primal Life’s LED Teeth Whitening Device uses warming heat technology and whitening gel for faster, easier, and more effective whitening.
It is cordless, perfect for on-the-go, and only needs to be used for 15 minutes a day.
Blue light LED teeth whitening offers many benefits, including:
We recommend purchasing Primal Life’s White Whitening Gel (listed below) instead of the Activated Charcoal Whitening Gel.
Charcoal-based dental products haven't been thoroughly tested. No evidence shows that activated charcoal is 100 percent safe for teeth due to its severe abrasiveness on enamel.
Primal Life’s White Teeth Whitening Gel is an excellent way to whiten your teeth naturally.
This product does not contain peroxide, bleach, or chemicals. These ingredients were replaced with:
You can use this natural, mineral-infused whitening gel alone or in combination with Primal Life’s powerful LED Whitening Device (listed above).
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’s Whitening Kit is a certified non-toxic, microbiome safe, and clinically proven teeth whitening regimen.
Lumineux products combine ancient homeopathic ingredients with scientific evidence.
The formulas include ingredients like coconut oil, sage oil, and lemon peel oil. These naturally-derived ingredients help remove surface stains and freshen your breath naturally.
These products are non-toxic, enamel-safe, SLS Free, vegan, preservative-free, sugar-free, and dentist formulated. They will also whiten your teeth without any sensitivity.
Lumineux’s Teeth Whitening Kit includes:
The Cali White Botanical Whitening System is non-toxic and contains zero peroxide.
The whitening gel is made of botanicals and other natural ingredients. It is also vegan, paraben-free, sulfate-free, organic, and gluten-free.
These ingredients work to give you whiter teeth without any harmful chemicals used in traditional whitening kits.
The kit includes:
This advanced whitening system allows the gel to fill crevices between your teeth. It also whitens molars, giving a uniform whitening effect on all teeth.
Cali White’s whitening gel tastes better than traditional gels because it contains Xylitol (non-toxic sugar alcohol) and organic peppermint oil. This oil is also a natural antiseptic.
Some natural teeth whitening methods are capable of lightening your teeth safely. However, other 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:
The answer is mixed. While studies have shown that activated charcoal removes stains, it is not the most effective option.
A 2017 review of charcoal-based toothpastes (by JADA) found that 96 percent of them claimed to have whitening effects. Forty-six percent of them were able to detoxify teeth.
This shows that charcoal does have whitening properties. However, the problem is that there is no clear definition of what it means to detoxify something (at least not in the mouth).
In addition to this, the toxicity of charcoal-based dental products hasn’t been thoroughly tested.
No evidence shows that activated charcoal is 100 percent safe. Some dentists are also concerned that charcoal's abrasive particles whiten teeth by removing a layer of enamel.
Until more research comes out, it is best to avoid whitening products containing charcoal.
Barrette, Lori. “DIY Teeth Whitening: Too Good to Be True?” URMC Newsroom, 24 July 2020.
BJ;, Kleber CJ;Putt MS;Nelson. “In Vitro Tooth Whitening by a Sodium Bicarbonate/Peroxide Dentifrice.” The Journal of Clinical Dentistry, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Carey, Clifton M. “Tooth whitening: what we now know.” The journal of evidence-based dental practice vol. 14 Suppl (2014): 70-6. doi:10.1016/j.jebdp.2014.02.006.
Brooks, John K., et al. “More on Charcoal and Charcoal-Based Dentifrices.” The Journal of the American Dental Association, vol. 148, no. 11, 2017, p. 785., doi:10.1016/j.adaj.2017.09.027.
CP;, Hara AT;Turssi. “Baking Soda as an Abrasive in Toothpastes: Mechanism of Action and Safety and Effectiveness Considerations.” Journal of the American Dental Association (1939), U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Culter, R. “Alternatives to Toothpaste'.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 11 July 1992.
Kalyana, P, 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, 1 July 2010.
“Natural Teeth Whitening: Fact vs. Fiction.” Mouth Healthy TM.
Neighmond, Patti. “Navigating The 'Aisle Of Confusion' To Whiten Your Teeth.” NPR, NPR, 14 Aug. 2017.
Vaz, Vanessa Torraca Peraro, 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, Faculdade De Odontologia De Bauru - USP, 14 Jan. 2019.
Chakravarthy, Pk, and S Acharya. “Efficacy of Extrinsic Stain Removal by Novel Dentifrice Containing Papain and Bromelain Extracts.” Journal of Young Pharmacists : JYP, Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd, Oct. 2012.