4 Detailed DIY Teeth Whitening Methods: Risks and Warnings

Last Updated on: 12th June 2024, 01:29 pm

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Written by

Q.F. Nayibe Cubillos Morales


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Dr. Gustavo Assatourians D.D.S

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DIY Teeth Whitening

In recent years, having a bright, white smile has become a priority for many people. Home teeth whitening has become a popular alternative to improve the aesthetics of your smile. Although there are numerous commercial and professional options, many people opt for home methods, many of them natural and inexpensive. This article explores various home teeth whitening techniques, including their benefits and risks.

DIY teeth whitening

Home Methods to Whiten Teeth

DIY teeth whitening can be an affordable and accessible alternative to professional treatments. Let’s explore some popular options.

Baking soda and lemon

4 Detailed DIY Teeth Whitening Methods: Risks and Warnings

A mixture of baking soda and a few drops of lemon can be effective in removing surface stains.

How to use it?

1. Preparation of the mixture:

Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with a few drops of fresh lemon juice until it forms a paste. The consistency should be enough to stick to your toothbrush without being too runny.

2. Application:

Apply the paste to your teeth with a soft toothbrush. It is important not to be too aggressive when brushing to avoid damaging tooth enamel.

3. Performance time:

Let the mixture act on your teeth for no more than a minute. The acidity of lemon can be harmful if left for longer.

4. Rinse:

Rinse your mouth carefully with water to completely remove the baking soda and lemon mixture.

Coconut oil

4 Detailed DIY Teeth Whitening Methods: Risks and Warnings

Coconut oil, used in the oil pulling technique, can help reduce bacteria in the mouth and promote whiter teeth naturally.

How to use it?

1. Choose the right oil:

● Use virgin coconut oil as it is purer and contains more beneficial nutrients.

● Make sure it is in a liquid state. If it is solid, heat it slightly until it melts.

2. “Oil pulling” technique:

● Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and place it in your mouth.

● Gargle and move the oil throughout your mouth, making sure it passes between your teeth. Do this for 10-15 minutes.

● It is important not to swallow the oil, as it absorbs bacteria and toxins from your mouth.

3. Rinse and final cleaning:

● Once the time is up, spit the oil into the trash to avoid clogging the pipes.

● Rinse your mouth with warm water to remove any oil residue.

● Finally, brush your teeth as you normally do to make sure your mouth is completely clean.

Apple vinegar

4 Detailed DIY Teeth Whitening Methods: Risks and Warnings

Apple cider vinegar, used as a mouthwash, can help remove stains.

How to use it?

1. Dilution:

Mix one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water to create a dilute solution. This dilution is important to reduce the acidity of the vinegar.

2. Use as mouthwash:

Use the solution as a mouthwash. Take a sip, gargle, and swish the liquid around your mouth for about a minute. Make sure not to swallow the solution.

3. Rinse with water:

Immediately after using apple cider vinegar, rinse your mouth with water to remove residual acid.

4. Post brushing:

Before brushing your teeth, wait at least 30 minutes after using apple cider vinegar. This allows your mouth’s pH to return to normal and reduces the risk of enamel damage.

Strawberry and baking soda paste

4 Detailed DIY Teeth Whitening Methods: Risks and Warnings

The strawberry and baking soda mixture can help remove superficial stains from your teeth. Strawberries contain malic acid, a natural teeth whitening agent.

How to use it?:

1. Selection and preparation of strawberries:

● Choose ripe and fresh strawberries, as they contain more malic acid.

● Wash the strawberries well to remove any residue or dirt.

2. Crushing the strawberries:

● Crush 1 or 2 strawberries until forming a paste.

● You can do it with a fork or in a mortar.

3. Application of strawberry paste:

● Use a soft toothbrush to apply the strawberry paste to your teeth.

● Spread the paste evenly, making sure to cover all areas of the teeth.

● Let the paste act on your teeth for about 5 minutes.

4. Rinse and clean:

● After the recommended time, rinse your mouth with water.

● Brush your teeth with your regular toothpaste to remove any strawberry residue.

Tips to Keep Teeth White

● Maintaining strict dental hygiene, including brushing and flossing, is crucial to preventing teeth stains.

● Limiting your consumption of coffee, tea, red wine, and coloring foods helps prevent discoloration.

● Regular visits to the dentist for professional cleanings are essential for dental health.

● During orthodontic treatments, hygiene measures must be intensified to prevent cavities and tooth color changes.


Comparison of Home Methods and Professional Treatments

4 Detailed DIY Teeth Whitening Methods: Risks and Warnings

Professional treatments are usually more effective and safer, but they are also more expensive. Homemade methods can be an option for those looking for a cheaper and more readily available solution.


Professional treatments usually offer more noticeable results in less time compared to at-home methods.


Safety is an important consideration. Some home methods can be harmful if used incorrectly.


Professional teeth whitening is more expensive than at-home methods, but also safer and more effective.

Risks and Warnings

It is vital to know the possible risks and side effects of home teeth whitening, such as tooth sensitivity and damage to enamel.

1. Side effects: Overuse of some at-home methods can cause tooth sensitivity or enamel damage.

2. There is not enough evidence: Although several of the methods mentioned could work to whiten teeth, not enough scientific evidence exists to support their effectiveness or
safety. If it is about whitening your teeth, the best option is to visit a dentist to choose the most appropriate treatment for each case.

3. Contraindications: People with sensitive teeth, cavities, cracks, or gum disease should avoid certain at-home methods.

4. Tooth sensitivity: Frequent use of acidic or abrasive products can increase tooth sensitivity.

5. Inconsistent results: Results may vary and are not always comparable to professional treatments.

6. Observe the reactions: If you notice any signs of erosion or increased sensitivity, stop using apple cider vinegar and consult a dental professional.

Professional Alternatives

In-office whitening: Procedure performed in dental clinics, which sometimes uses LED light to activate a whitening gel.

Personalized dental splints: Custom-made splints with whitening gel for use at home, under the supervision of a dentist.

Whitening toothpaste: Formulated with special ingredients to help eliminate surface stains.


DIY teeth whitening can be a cheap and easy option, but it’s important to be aware of its risks and limitations. It is always recommended to consult with a dental health professional before undertaking any home treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I whiten my teeth quickly at home?

To whiten your teeth quickly at home, use a mixture of baking powder and lemon juice. Baking powder helps remove superficial stains on teeth, while lemon contains elements that contribute to teeth whitening. Simply combine a teaspoon of baking powder with a teaspoon of freshly-squeezed lemon juice. Use this paste to brush your teeth and you  notice the results in just two minutes.

An excellent option is the combination of baking soda with hydrogen peroxide. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda and two tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide to form a paste. Brush your teeth regularly with this mixture for a brighter smile.

Absolutely. There are several strategies to restore the whiteness of your teeth after they have turned yellow. These include everything from modifying your choice of toothpaste and mouthwash to regularly attending professional teeth cleaning appointments.

The disadvantages and risks of using baking soda to whiten teeth include potential damage to tooth enamel. This damage can increase the sensitivity of teeth to extreme temperatures, both hot and cold, and could make brushing your teeth a painful experience. Additionally, weakening enamel can increase the susceptibility of teeth to developing cavities.



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2. Cirino, E. (Aug 24, 2017). How to get rid of yellow teeth. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/dental-and-oral-health/how-to-get-rid-of-yellow-teeth

3. Schneider, K. (Nov 29, 2021). How to whiten your teeth: 4 home remedies. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/how-to-whiten-teeth/

4. Frisbee, E. (Oct 31, 2021). Teeth whitening. WebMD. R https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/teeth-whitening

5. Brennan, R. (Apr 2, 2023. Teeth whitening. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/oral-health/teeth-whitening-and-bleaching

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