Teeth Whitening: Facts, Home Remedies and FAQs

Yellowing of the teeth is a common dental problem people experience. Your teeth can become yellow due to several reasons and may have a greyish shade from food stains. A major cause of yellowing teeth is heavy smoking of cigarettes.

Nicotine, a constituent of cigarettes, leaves brownish and yellowish stains on the teeth surface, but you can remove them by whitening your teeth. Using mouth fresheners and chewing teeth whitening gums, which are common practices for smokers, does not remove the stains on the teeth and causes more dental health problems when used excessively.  

Another reason for the teeth turning yellow is the thinning and weakening of the enamel. The enamel (the outer layer of the teeth) gives a glossy finish and prevents tooth sensitivity. If the enamel wears off, it causes yellowing of the teeth and leas to some dental complications.

You may decide to whiten your teeth as a temporary fix or undergo periodic teeth cleansing to remove the nicotine stain on your teeth. Asides from staining the teeth, smoking also leads to several dental complications.

If you can’t visit a dentist to whiten your teeth, the alternative home remedies below will help prevent your teeth from getting yellow or brown.

Facts about Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening can brighten your teeth and improve your smile, but you should have a teeth whitening treatment only once in six months. Other things you should know about teeth whitening include:

  • The effect of UV and laser light teeth whitening treatments are temporary
  • You cannot whiten your dental restoration
  • Tooth sensitivity is a common side effect people experience after teeth whitening
  • You cannot remove hard stains on the teeth
  • Like sponges, the teeth absorb different food and drink colours
  • Everyone cannot have white teeth

You may decide to visit a dentist to whiten your teeth or use any of these teeth whitening home remedies to remove the stain on your teeth.

Home Remedies for Teeth Whitening

  • Brush your teeth with baking soda

Baking soda has teeth whitening properties, and it is an ingredient in most toothpaste. To remove teeth discolouration with baking soda, gently scrub the baking soda on the surface of your teeth. The baking soda removes stains and prevents bacteria production on your teeth.

However, baking soda does not whiten the teeth overnight, so you have to use it for a few weeks to see the result. Using a toothpaste containing baking soda reduces bacteria in the mouth and stains.

  • Eat vegetables and fruits

Having a healthy diet containing fruits and vegetables is good for your dental health. There is no diet for teeth whitening, but chewing vegetables and fruits like strawberries can help whiten your teeth and give them a glossy look.

  • Reduce sugary foods

Limiting your intake of foods containing sugar can prevent your teeth from becoming dull. However, you may not need to avoid these foods completely, but in moderate quantity.

  • Eat calcium-rich foods

You begin to have teeth discolouration when your enamel wears down, exposing the dentin. Taking foods rich in calcium like milk can prevent erosion of your enamel.

  • Brush and floss regularly

Brushing your teeth a minimum of two times daily will remove the harmful bacteria on your teeth and prevent dental diseases. Flossing also helps to clean between and remove plaques. Plaques are hard coatings on the enamel.

  • Use hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural bleaching agent used to destroy bacteria on the teeth. Most toothpaste contains hydrogen peroxide, and it helps whiten the teeth. Hydrogen peroxide has several other dental benefits, and you can use it as a mouthwash.

  • Oil pulling

Oil pulling helps remove harmful toxins in the body, improves oral health, and involves applying oil to your teeth to remove the accumulated yellowish plaque. Coconut oil gives the fastest result for teeth whitening. You can use coconut oil by gaggling it in your mouth for 15 – 20 minutes. Using coconut oil daily will reduce plaque build-up on your teeth and whiten the teeth.

  • Tumeric powder

Add a teaspoon of turmeric in a small amount of water, mix until it turns to a paste, then dip your toothpaste in the turmeric paste before brushing your teeth. Brush with the turmeric paste for about two minutes to whiten your teeth. Tumeric powder has other medicinal properties and removes surface stains.

  • Charcoal brush

Dip your wet toothbrush in charcoal powder, then brush your teeth for about two minutes. Charcoal powder whitens the teeth and prevents plaque build-up. 

  • Baking soda and lemon juice

Sprinkle a teaspoon of lemon juice on baking soda and mix to form a paste. Dip your toothbrush in the baking soda paste and brush your teeth. Lemon has a high amount of citric acid, which is a natural stain removing agent. Baking soda adheres to the teeth to prevent mild stains.

  • Apple cider vinegar

Swish a small quantity of apple cider vinegar in your mouth for about two minutes, then rinse your mouth with water. Use apple cider vinegar to brush your teeth to remove stains. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which breaks down plaques and removes stains on the teeth. It also kills bacteria in the mouth.

  • Baking soda and salt

Mix baking soda, about half a tablespoon of salt with water, then dip your toothbrush in the baking soda mixture to clean your teeth for about two minutes. Baking soda mixed with salt is a perfect stain removing agent on the teeth.

  • Toothpaste with powdered milk

Add a small quantity of powdered milk to your toothpaste to brush your teeth for about two minutes before rinsing your mouth. The milk powder fortifies the toothpaste with calcium which helps strengthen your enamel.

  • Water and lemon juice

Mix water and a small amount of lemon juice to brush your teeth. This solution makes the teeth stronger and disinfects your mouth. Lemon juice mixed with water also serves as a mouthwash.

  • Orange peel

Cut the orange peel and rub it on your teeth. The acid contained in the peel can brighten your teeth and remove bacteria. Ensure you brush your teeth for about five minutes after rubbing the orange peel.

  • Chew nuts

Gently chewing nuts and other hard foods can remove plaque on your teeth. Plaques contain proteins and healthy fat, which protect the teeth and prevent dental problems.

  • Sticky foods

Sticky foods remain on the teeth for a longer time to remove bacteria but ensure you brush your teeth after chewing sticky foods. Try not to consume excess sticky foods as this can lead to other different dental conditions.

Tips for home teeth whitening

Most people prefer to have their teeth whitened fast, but you can gradually whiten your teeth at home. Teeth whitening at home requires simple and easy steps that you can perform every day. This teeth whitening process, if done correctly, will not elicit any side effect.  

The following are simple home teeth whitening tips.

  • Brush your teeth a minimum of twice daily and floss your teeth every day to reduce the build-up of plaque and bacteria.
  • Take a lot of milk and milk products as they are rich in calcium which strengthens the enamel.
  • Apply coconut oil on your teeth for about 15 – 20 minutes daily.
  • Avoid sugary drinks to reduce the build-up of plaque.

Home teeth whitening

Different factors like the food we eat and oral hygienic practices can affect the colour of the teeth. Seeking professional help on time can help preserve your oral health, but some home remedies can help.  

Ensure you brush your teeth to remove the plaque and bacteria accumulated in your mouth. You can remove yellowish and brownish stains from your teeth at home by consistently using the home remedies listed above. Although these remedies tale along time to achieve your desired result, the result lasts longer, and they are affordable

Teeth whitening kit

You need a teeth whitening kit if you are concerned about your dental health. The following are some things you need in your teeth whitening kit.

  • A teeth whitening charcoal powder
  • Teeth whitening powder
  • Teeth whitening toothpaste
  • Teeth whitening accelerator light

Teeth whitening treatment

Different teeth whitening treatments are available, which removes hard stains on the teeth. Before you buy a teeth whitening kit, consult your dentist.

Professional teeth whitening is safe and lightens the teeth by several shades, but your teeth may get stained faster within a short time, usually six months. Home teeth whitening is a cheaper option, but most people consider it unsafe and needs to be done in moderation to prevent damage to the teeth.

If you decide to get professional teeth whitening in London, visit this official website to schedule a teeth whitening appointment with a dental provider. 

Frequently asked questions about teeth whitening

What causes teeth discolouration?

Teeth discolouration results from three causes. You may have extrinsic teeth discolouration from stains on the outer layer of your teeth. Coffee, wine, and sugary drinks can cause this type of teeth stains.

Fluorosis also causes teeth discolouration, but this affects the inner layer of the teeth, resulting in darker or yellowish teeth. Ageing also causes teeth discolouration.

How can I take care of my teeth after teeth whitening?

After your teeth whitening treatment, you need to reduce your intake of drinks and food with colouring. You also need to avoid smoking to avoid teeth discolouration.
The following will help maintain your whitened teeth.

  • Brush at least two times a day and floss daily
  • Reduce your intake of sugary drinks and foods
  • Visit your dentist regularly, at least twice a year

What are the symptoms of tooth sensitivity?

Some people experience tooth sensitivity after whitening their teeth, but some people experience natural tooth sensitivity. Tooth sensitivity occurs when the enamel (surface of the teeth) wears off.  The enamel may wear off due to the following reasons.

  • Bruxism (grinding the teeth while sleeping)
  • Brushing too hard
  • Regular intake of sugary drinks and acidic foods
  • Brushing with a hard toothbrush


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