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What is a home remedy for whitening my teeth?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Dr. Oz suggests a teeth whitening home remedy using baking soda and lemon.

Follow these directions:
  • In a small bowl, mix a little bit of baking soda with the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon. The mixture should bubble slightly.
  • Using a cotton swab, wipe saliva and excess plaque from your teeth before brushing on the mixture. Leave the mixture on your teeth for a minute before gently brushing it off with a toothbrush.
  • Don’t leave the mixture on your teeth for any longer than a minute; the acid erodes tooth enamel.
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com

To safely whiten your teeth, you should stick with products specifically designed for tooth whitening.

  • Whitening toothpastes
  • Whitening mouthrinses such as Listerine Whitening
  • Over the Counter Whitening kits

You can also purchase a whitening kit from your dentist that you'll use at home. 

To whiten your teeth at home, you have many options:
  • whitening toothpastes
  • avoiding foods that lead to tooth discoloration (red wine, coffee, tea, colas, berries)
  • bleaching solutions
Bleaching solutions come in several strengths and usually contain the bleaching ingredient peroxide. Unlike whitening toothpastes, peroxide actually changes the color of your tooth enamel, making it lighter and whiter. You can buy an over-the-counter bleaching kit or get one from your dentist. Usually, you pour the solution into a special mouthpiece that you wear a couple times a day or overnight. The advantage of getting the kit from your dentist is that the mouthpiece will be customized to fit your mouth; also, the bleaching solution is usually stronger than the over-the-counter options.

If you experience side effects from the solution (irritation of your mouth or gums), contact your dentist.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.