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How to naturally whiten teeth: Non-harmful products and methods

woman smiling with white teeth on grey background - how to naturally whiten teeth

If you’re wary of high-street teeth whitening methods, turn to these natural remedies instead to improve your smile

The desire to learn how to naturally whiten teeth likely comes from wanting to avoid adding excess chemicals to your dental hygiene routine. Regular brushing with an electric toothbrush can help keep your gnashers free from plaque, however may not be enough to make them pearly. Attaining whiter teeth can be a complicated endeavour — even the best teeth whitening kits can contain ingredients that are difficult to decipher or even seem somewhat dubious health-wise due to the inclusion of certain bleaching agents.

So, if you’d rather steer clear of those formulas, then the good news is that there are great natural alternatives to try instead. As well as preventative methods, including cutting out certain food and drinks, there are novel and even ancient methods that avoid chemicals and aim to get your teeth gleaming and white once more. All of the methods below are safe to try, though not all of them have been scientifically proven to have an impact on the whiteness of teeth. To keep away from chemicals, however, we think they’re worth a try.

Whichever one of these methods you try out, remember to follow the advice of healthcare professionals, and crucially your dentist, above anything else. Dr Rhona Eskander, Dental Expert at, advises against being overzealous with any teeth whitening products, saying “that overusing commercial whitening products or seeking frequent professional whitening treatments can weaken enamel, leading to increased sensitivity and susceptibility to dental problems.”

She adds that “dentists recommend moderation in teeth whitening” and adds that she would “advise individuals to consult with professionals to determine the safest and most effective whitening options based on their unique dental conditions.”

How to naturally whiten teeth with baking soda

First up is an ingredient that you can sometimes find added to toothpaste: baking soda. Not only good for bakes and cakes, but baking soda also contains natural teeth-whitening properties and doesn’t run the risk of damaging your teeth due to harshness.

Baking soda works twofold in dental care: it can help to scrub away pre-existing stains and creates an alkaline environment in the mouth, to prevent harmful bacteria from growing.

While applying baking soda alone to the teeth is not scientifically proven to add whitening, one study has found that brushing with toothpaste containing baking soda was more effective at reducing plaque, inflammation and bleeding than using normal toothpaste. So, it might be worth investing in a specialist toothpaste with baking soda, such as this one from Arm & Hammer for £4.50 on Amazon.

How to naturally whiten teeth using coconut oil

While baking soda has scientific backing, the use of coconut oil for teeth whitening is not proven. It is a safe method to try on your teeth, however, and is a traditional method that derives from India.

How does it work? Like mouthwash, all you need to do is gargle it in your mouth, paying special attention to covering your teeth with it in the process. It’s pleasant to taste and easy to come by, including in supermarkets or on Amazon for just £5.99.

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How to use activated charcoal to whiten teeth

Activated charcoal has become a popular ingredient in skincare and hygiene products in recent years, thanks to pores within it that can trap chemicals. While there is backing to the use of activated charcoal to reduce underarm odour, there’s no such science behind its use as a teeth-whitening agent.

hand putting black charcoal toothpaste on toothbrush - how to naturally whiten teeth

Though it’s popular, charcoal can be dangerous if not correctly used and therefore anyone thinking of using it should approach it with caution. Dr Rhona Eskander warns that “the abrasive nature of charcoal particles can harm tooth enamel, leading to increased tooth sensitivity and vulnerability to decay” if overused. She adds that “dentists emphasise the importance of using scientifically proven and ADA-approved dental products for maintaining oral health.”

Products such as this toothpaste from Colgate available on Amazon for £12 are approved for use and therefore are safe, but we’d recommend steering clear of administering activated charcoal via your own methods.

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Preventative methods to whiten teeth

Though it is not effective after the fact, as is often the case with health issues, prevention is your best option to keep your teeth pearly white. The official advice from the NHS to keep your teeth unstained is to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste twice a day and to use mouthwash to prevent tooth decay. These methods are not exciting, but they certainly are effective if you’re serious about preventing staining and keeping those teeth pearly white.

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