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Can You Naturally Whiten Your Teeth?

Can charcoal actually whiten your teeth? What about banana skin? Or coconut oil? There are a heap of natural beauty crazes out there that claim to be able to whiten teeth. Here’s the fact vs. fiction.

If you’re a social media user you will have seen a lot of posts lately promoting charcoal teeth whitening.

Charcoal is abrasive and can remove some surface staining from your teeth; however it will not change the actual colour of your teeth (even though there are companies claiming that it will).
If you do not have any external staining on your teeth the charcoal won’t be effective in improving the colour of your teeth.
Just like teas that are meant to make you skinny, charcoal teeth whitening is just not true. When you see it being promoted on social media, remember that the celebrities endorsing it are being paid a lot to do so, and are most likely using different lighting or photo editing apps for the ‘after’ pics!

Long term use of something as abrasive as charcoal could actually lead to sensitivity and excessive tooth wear, so we don’t recommend it.

Banana Peel
Bananas are full of potassium and magnesium and are good for our health, and in recent years it has been claimed that a banana peel can whiten your teeth. Really?

According to various online blogs, if you rub your teeth with the insides of a banana peel for 2 minutes each day, your teeth will turn 1-2 shades whiter within three weeks.
What will actually happen is, the skin of the banana will act as a gentle exfoliator and will remove some surface stains from your teeth, making them appear whiter. Doing this will not change the actual shade of your teeth.
Just make sure you brush off any banana peel residue from your teeth because it can reduce saliva flow. If you don’t have enough saliva and develop dry mouth it can lead to tooth decay, gum disease, sores or split skin at the corners of your mouth, and cracked lips.

Oil Pulling
Edible oil pulling (swishing) with coconut oil is natural, safe and has no known common side effects. Many people around the world consider oil pulling as a preventative therapy at home to maintain oral hygiene – coconut oil has antimicrobial properties which some say cleans your teeth and gums. But is it good for you and does it whiten your teeth?

To put it simply, the answer is we don’t know. There is a lack of scientific evidence to sufficiently support the claims, however the Australian Dental Association’s stance is that there is no known potential damage with oil pulling.

Hard evidence of oil pulling having any link to whitening your teeth is hard to come by.  There is no reliable scientific evidence. What we do know is that swishing coconut oil (or even swishing water for that matter) around your mouth for 15 minutes each day would remove some plaque and surface staining, which would make your teeth appear whiter.
If the practice of oil pulling really does improve gum health, then your gums will appear pinker, which will always makes the teeth look whiter.

If you’re in to oil pulling and it makes your mouth feel great and your teeth appear whiter then there is no harm in doing it  🙂

Note: oil pulling should definitely not be viewed as a replacement for regular brushing and flossing.



While these natural ways of “teeth whitening” don’t actually change the shade of your teeth, they can remove some surface stains making your teeth appear whiter, so adding them to your normal oral health routine won’t do any harm. The best thing for your oral health will always be having regular dental check ups and cleans. If you want to change the shade of your teeth you will need to use professional teeth whitening systems.

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