The cosmetic dental industry has been booming over the past few years as more and more people attempt to achieve that perfect white smile. Since teeth whitening services were once restricted to procedures that could only be completed at your dentists’ office, many people sought to find home remedies that were more affordable and accessible to everyone. These were often concocted from everyday ingredients found in kitchen pantries and medicine cabinets. Now that there are whitening products on every drugstore shelf and countless TV and magazine ads are used to promote new products, the effectiveness of homemade solutions comes into question again.

One common ingredient found in both commercial and homemade whitening products is peroxide, primarily due to its natural whitening capabilities. The other benefit of peroxide is that, unlike older products used to whiten teeth, peroxide is non-abrasive and will not damage or erode tooth enamel. Some of the most effective home commercial whitening products available today such as Premium White Pro and Idol White utilize a peroxide based gel. These gels contain a much higher concentration of peroxide than most drugstore products such as whitening toothpastes and adhesive strips. Many homemade recipes call for the use of hydrogen peroxide to aid in the tooth whitening process. While this may seem like it would be an effective alternative to commercial methods, the peroxide content in hydrogen peroxide is still not concentrated enough to provide the more drastic shade improvement that most people are hoping for.

Some other home recipes used to whiten teeth include mixing lemon juice with various ingredients to form a paste which is then applied to the teeth. This method is not widely recommended since the acidic nature of lemon juice, like earlier whitening methods, can erode tooth enamel and leave teeth more prone to decay and sensitivity. Brushing your teeth with fresh strawberries made into a paste is another widespread solution which, unfortunately, can have the same adverse affect that lemon juice may have.

Baking soda, another common home remedy to whiten teeth can be somewhat effective but must be used in large quantities and over an extended period of time before any changes are noticed. It is still beneficial to good oral hygiene though which is why it is an advertised ingredient in many name brand toothpastes.

While it may seem that homemade whitening solutions are an effective alternative to commercial methods, most known recipes include items that can actually do more dental harm than good. When compared to more expensive dentist administered procedures, homemade treatments are much more financially feasible. However, now that effective and affordable commercial products are available, your best bet is to stick with commercial whitener products.