The Truth About DIY At-Home Teeth Whitening

The Truth About DIY At-Home Teeth Whitening

  • Posted: Oct 31, 2023

While everyone might desire a radiant and white smile, there is conflicting information circling regarding just how effective DIY home remedies are. Together, let’s uncover and explore this topic in greater detail.

Those who decide to avoid the route of professional teeth whitening services at a dental office and instead favour an at-home solution should be careful of the risks associated. Before any DIY home remedy is conducted, it’s important to conduct research and seek the guidance of a dentist for their professional opinion. For the sake of our commitment to promoting good oral health, our team at Canada Dental Network has put together this informative guideline to provide the truth about DIY natural teeth whitening treatments such as fruits, scrubs, and spices/oils, while also exploring the benefits of cosmetic dentistry as a viable solution.

Why Should I Avoid DIY Teeth Whitening?

When it comes to DIY natural teeth whitening, studies on these natural whitening products are limited. This information can translate into the fact that there is not yet enough evidence out there to support or deny the claims out there. 

In fact, those who attempt at-home bleaching often cause adverse reactions such as tooth sensitivity, gingival or throat irritation, soft tissue burns, and nausea. Without any scientific proof, one who follows DIY routines may harm their overall oral health. While movie stars or celebrities may flaunt their perfectly white teeth, it’s important to remember that what you see can be fake or, it can take numerous harmful chemical treatments to achieve their results. 

3 Common Natural Teeth Whiteners 

What kind of DIY teeth whiteners have you heard about? Some common examples of natural products that have been used as home remedies include strawberries, coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, baking soda, lemon, banana peel, activated charcoal, etc. While some of them may facilitate tooth lightening, they may cause harm in the process. For example, cons include: the composition of the enamel being affected, the surface of the tooth texture being changed, and undesirable changes in the micro hardness being a result. Please note that weakened tooth enamel can be strengthened through the process of remineralization. Next, let’s discuss in detail the three most used DIY natural teeth whiteners. They include: fruits, scrubs, and spices/oils.


There are many benefits to eating a balanced diet that includes fruits. Fruits can help to lower blood pressure, prevent cancer, reduce the risk of stroke or heart disease, etc., but when it comes to applying fruit directly on your teeth, this is a big no-no. 

It’s common to see people use naturally acidic fruits that contain digestive enzymes like oranges, lemons, and apple cider vinegar to change the colour of their teeth, but the issue here is that this process can affect the tooth enamel. Acidic fruits can wear away tooth enamel causing the outer coating to thin leaving one exposed to risks of tooth sensitivity and cavities. In addition to sensitivity and cavities, the risk of discolouration, cracks, chips, and severe pain is more likely to arise.


Loading your teeth up with different kinds of scrubs simply does not even sound good for your teeth. Trending today is the activated charcoal scrub – which is one of the most dangerous forms of DIY teeth whitening. 

The issue with using charcoal on the teeth is that it is a very abrasive substance. This means that while its grittiness will remove stains, it also grinds away the top layer of the tooth, also known as the enamel. Once this is ground away, the next layer of your tooth called dentin can become exposed. Another scrub that is known to be harmful is the mix of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Again, this will result in weakened enamel and increased tooth sensitivity. 

Spices & Oils

When it comes to using spices and oils, one should know that there is no benefit to teeth whitening. In fact, using spices and oils in your teeth will not even remove bacteria. 

One common spice that is popular in the marketplace for teeth whitening is turmeric. Although, there are no studies that support this theory and all current evidence is anecdotal. In regards to swishing around coconut oil in your mouth, some studies suggest that it is physically impossible for this product to give results of whiter teeth based on its ingredients. It’s recommended to avoid placing spaces and oil in your mouth for teeth whitening purposes.

Avoid DIY Tooth Whitening Solutions & Stick to Practicing Good Dental Hygiene Habits

When it comes to getting whiter teeth, it’s no secret that the correct way to achieve this is by practicing good dental hygiene habits. This includes regular brushing, flossing, mouthwash, dental check-ups, and more. Committing to a regular routine of good habits will put you on the right path. To achieve a healthy white smile, follow along with the tips below.

  • Consistent Brushing. A minimum of brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes should be completed.
  • Proper Brushing Technique. Use soft circular motions to avoid enamel and gum damage, and brush your tongue.
  • Remember to Floss. Flossing should become a daily habit ensuring that each tight space is included.
  • Live Tobacco-Free. Tobacco use and smoking can result in tooth discolouration and dangerous oral health issues.
  • Attend Dental Check-ups. These visits help one to maintain oral health as they come with professional cleanings and assessments.
  • Limit Staining Foods. To keep teeth white, limit your intake of tea, coffee, red wine, cola, fruit juices, etc.

Final Notes on the Path to a Brighter & Healthier Smile 

In conclusion, before embarking on any DIY teeth-whitening endeavour, it is strongly advisable and in your best interest to conduct detailed research and consult with a professional and trusted dental office. By following these recommendations from Canada Dental Network, you can rest assured that your oral health will be safe and preserved. If you are interested in booking a teeth whitening service, it’s best to locate and choose a dental office that provides professional teeth whitening services.

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