Do teeth-whitening hacks actually work?

Banane-A-05_croppedWe’re all more concerned about keeping our teeth as gleaming as possible these days; like most practitioners, CK Dental practice in Bristol provides a teeth-whitening service.

And there are an ever-increasing range of products available over the counter. But is it possible to bypass all that and create a homemade solution?

You’d certainly think that was the case after a cursory glance at the internet, which now contains a welter of articles promoting the use of a bewildering range of recipes and quick-fixes designed to knock the stains from your smile.

So let’s take a look at the ingredients in these ‘hacks’ and see if any of them actually work – and if there are any hidden dangers in using them.

Baking Soda

Certain normal toothpastes use it as an ingredient, so a concentrated dollop of it mixed into a paste has got to be more effective, right? Well, not exactly: high levels of baking soda are highly abrasive when brushed against the teeth, and can play havoc with their enamel coating.

Lemon juice

Great for getting nicotine stains out of your fingers – but an absolute no-no for teeth, due to the high levels of acidity. And combined with baking soda, it’s the worse-case scenario for tooth enamel.


Be it olive, sesame or sunflower, the practice of oil-pulling (swishing a teaspoon or two in the mouth for 20 minutes) isn’t going to hurt your teeth. But it’s not going to remove the stains, either.

Banana skins

Some people are hugely excited about the properties of banana skins, packed as they are with teeth-whitening potassium, magnesium and manganese, but rubbing them onto the teeth over a period of time doesn’t really do much.

If you’re looking to un-stain your teeth, your first port of call should always be your dentist. The team at the CK Dental practice in Bristol are well-versed in the dos and don’ts of teeth whitening, and can recommend a proper and manageable regime as well as treatment that works.