“Natural” Ways to Whiten Teeth – Do They Work?

Everyone wants a beautiful smile with bright white teeth — and many people are willing to go to great lengths to achieve that. Thanks to the rise of websites like Pinterest, there is a growing culture of do-it-yourself hacks to help whiten teeth “naturally.” Unfortunately, most of these DIY techniques do not work; in fact, some can even be harmful to the teeth.

Here, the trusted team at Northfield Dental Group discusses the most talked-about natural ways to whiten teeth, and explains why they are ineffective and sometimes downright dangerous.


Turmeric has received some buzz because, according to some, it can whiten the teeth. However, the actual results aren’t nearly as noticeable as reported, and the root’s abrasive quality can be harmful to the tooth structure. What’s more, turmeric is messy and can easily stain fabrics and surfaces with which it comes into contact.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is also popular among DIY circles for scrubbing away tooth stains. But the truth is that if used too frequently, baking soda can wear down the tooth enamel. Worn tooth enamel actually makes the teeth look darker and duller.


Another natural tooth whitening treatment involves making a paste from strawberries. Some claim the malic acid in the berries is good for dissolving stains. In reality, it can soften tooth enamel and cause serious damage to the teeth.


Speaking of fruit, lemons are supposedly helpful for brightening dull-looking teeth because of their acidity. What the citric acid actually does is etch away tooth enamel, leaving tiny “ditches” in the teeth in which stains can accumulate.

The Best Way to Whiten Teeth

Most dentists agree that these and other “natural” tooth whitening techniques should be avoided in the best interests of your dental health. If you are serious about whitening and brightening your teeth, consider a professional teeth whitening treatment.

During a professional whitening treatment, your dentist controls the whitening gel that is applied to the teeth. By monitoring the bleaching agent, the dentist protects your tooth enamel and helps prevent any sensitivity or discomfort during treatment.

And not only is professional teeth whitening the safest option, it’s also effective and fast. A one-hour whitening treatment can lighten teeth up to eight shades.

To make a teeth whitening appointment at Northfield Dental Group, or to discuss another cosmetic dentistry treatment, please call us today at (973) 736-0111.