Teeth Whitening: Commercial Products vs. Home Remedies

In a surve conducted by the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, it was found that 18% of those surveyed conceal their teeth in photos. With the new awareness on oral health, the rise in dentist visits has increased in the past few years.

In Australian dental statistics on the other hand, 3 out of 5 adults have tooth decay. This has created frustration among oral health advocates in the country. This seemed a little ironic when the BACD, previously mentioned, sited Kylie Minogue, an Australian, as having the most popular smile and being the  most liked celebrity smile in their survey.

This problem is continuing to be addressed. Now Australians are spending more than $8 billion a year for dental care. The government is even putting in effort as well.

dental expenditure

screenshot: ADA

Growth in Demand

By 2012, the number of dental practitioners increased to 19, 600 in Australia. This also made way for the rise of various other oral health treatments. Now, for every 100, 000 people, there are 55-57 dentists to boot.

Although there is a known and notable negative trend in oral health care, this did not deter the statistics on the increasing dental care market.

And these past few years, one treatment that has become a commodity is teeth whitening.

Teeth Whitening

girl grinningphoto: Dee

Having white teeth is one key in landing a good job, a study says. It establishes a good impression, among other factors. In a study conducted by Oral-B, 75% of British people are now looking into teeth whitening options.

Whiter teeth, according to DailyMail may be advantageous to the point of:

  1. It makes you look successful.
  2. It makes you a catch among employers.
  3. It adds a notch to your attractiveness by 20%.
  4. Chops away five years from your age.
  5. It can make or break your date prospects.

So the conclusion to this is, oral health care and teeth whitening is an investment.

Teeth Whitening: Home Remedies

There are some cheap whitening solutions, many of which are available from your own pantry. However, we don’t advocate the excessive use of home remedies that may include harmful substances. The following options are for informational purposes only. It is still best to check with dentists for professional opinions.

  • Strawberries

Our image above features a woman eating a strawberry. But that isn’t just for display purposes; strawberries are good for teeth whitening. The strawberries have the right amount of acid plus the abrasive texture removes yellow stains from teeth. Catherine Zeta Jones uses this trick.

strawberryphoto: tamburix

What to do:

Cut a small portion of a  strawberry and and rub the opened part to your teeth. Another alternative is to make a whitening paste. You will need 1 strawberry and 1/2 tsp of baking soda. Crush the strawberry in a bowl and mix in the baking soda. Using your toothbrush, apply the mixture to your damp teeth and let it stay for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, gently clean each tooth with your toothbrush and rinse your mouth with water. You can do this twice a week.

  • Baking Soda and Peroxide

Baking soda is a staple in most DIY teeth whitening ventures. With the addition of peroxide, it can be a sure way to whiten teeth minus the expenses. However, peroxide isn’t advisable for too long on your teeth, it may cause white spots to appear. Applying this remedy to your gums is a no no too, unless you want whiter gums.

baking sodaphoto: kat

What to do:

In a bowl, put in 2 tbsp of peroxide. Add in baking soda until the mixture begins to look like your toothpaste. You can make as much as you want and store it. To apply, wet your toothbrush and dip it in your mixture. Brush it onto the teeth gently for two minutes. Rinse mouth and brush teeth without toothpaste for another minute or two. You can do this twice a week. Doing it everyday isn’t advisable since regular use may cause abrasion in the teeth.

  • Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is acidic and can be very abrasive, so again it isn’t advisable to be used everyday. Just do this once a week or once every two weeks.

apple cider vinegarphoto: artizone

What to do:

Like your normal brushing method, dip your brush in apple cider vinegar. Then brush it around your teeth as you normally do. Apple cider vinegar isn’t so taste-friendly but it can deliver the result.

  • Lemon and Orange Peels

Orange peel contains acid which may help whiten teeth but it can also wear down enamel with excessive use.

peelingsphoto: Lenore Edman

What to do:

Prepare the lemon or orange peels. Rub it on your teeth until all have been covered. the rinse thoroughly afterward to remove the remaining acidic content in your teeth.  Or you can add in half water and half peroxide for your mouth wash and swish around after the peel rubbing.

  • Coconut Oil

Oil pulling seems to be the newest trick and trend circulating the internet.  Coconut oil has antimicrobial properties which makes it beneficial for overall oral care.

 coco oilphoto: Mattie Hagedorn

What to do:

Every morning use coconut oil for mouthwash. Swish it in your mouth for 10 to 15 minutes. Alternative techniques include brushing the oil on your teeth or rubbing it through cotton balls or cloth oo your teeth.

  • Banana Peel

Banana peelings may always go straight to the trash can but it can be an effective teeth whitener. Like the lemon and orange peel, you simply have to rub it in to get the results.

peel 2photo: Wendy

Teeth Whitening: Commercial Products

US spends $1.4 billion every year on whitening products and just last year there were 100, 00 British people who sought teeth whitening treatments.

There are four major commercial products that claim to whiten teeth. These include toothpaste whitening, home bleaching kits, laser whitening and other dental treatments.

  • Whitening toothpaste

Whitening toothpaste is toothpaste that includes whitening properties. There are many variations. There are toothpastes that aim to only whiten teeth and there are also toothpastes that aims to whiten teeth and to clean and prevent cavities as well.

whitening toothpastephoto: Vance

These toothpastes work through the peroxide components and second through their scouring capacity. The peroxide lightens the teeth while the scouring capacity contains abrasives that remove old stains.

Whitening toothpastes can’t ensure white teeth forever, however it can remove surface stains. And it can be a good way to maintain your prior teeth bleaching treatments.

  • Teeth whitening kits

Home whitening kits have been all the rage these past few years. One can buy it in local drugstore or online. These kits contains a high level of peroxide. They can be very effective after a couple of weeks use.

kitphoto: white image

There are also dentist provided kits. These may include whitening trays that will fit your teeth better. The results are quick and differences can be seen right away. However, these may cost a little more than drugstore kits.

  • In-office Whitening (Laser)

Not everyone is fit for this kind of treatment. It requires the service of a good dentist. The procedure uses ultraviolet light but can be expensive at $500-$900. This treatment may produce a very dramatic effect.

 Laser-Dentistry-Denverphoto: Suyashdental

The procedure starts with your dentist coating your gums and teeth with a liquid product that hardens with the UV light. The bleaching solution is then applied to the teeth. for 15 minutes, the bleach will sit to the UV light. a one-day sensitivity will be expected but will be gone the day after.

  • Other Products

stripphoto: Aidan Whiteley

 Other products includes over-the-counter whitening gels from drugstores and whitening strips. The strips are made to conform to the shape of the teeth and are easy to use. There are products which may supply three week worth of strips and may cost from $30-$40.

Other options includes whitening floss which may help in removing stains in between teeth with constant use of course.

Teeth Whitening: Home Remedy or Commercial?

As mentioned, when used excessively, both types of teeth whitening may result in teeth abrasion and with enamel stripping away. And take note, enamel doesn’t grow back and can’t be replaced which may cause teeth sensitivity later on.

The home remedies are helpful but they are the most unregulated and can be disastrous if you get it wrong. Except for some options we mentioned above, those that produce extra acidic components may be harmful to teeth and need to be used sparingly.

On the other hand, the same can be said with the commercial and ready-to-use products. Once there is excessive use, it may strip away the teeth’s enamel as well.

The advice of most experts is to invest in a one time treatment that will be done in a day. This will minimize the chance of causing teeth sensitivity caused by everyday product abrasion. Follow up this one time treatment with a good oral health regimen.

featured Image: PicJumbo


  1. I tried oil pulling and I love the results – whiter teeth, fresher breath plus some experts say that it has a detoxification effect. But I ran out of coconut oil so I haven’t done it for a couple of months now.


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