Using acidic fruits is a popular natural whitening treatment. This includes brushing the teeth with lemon juice or even ground up strawberries. The problem with using fruits is that the acid in them will eat away at the enamel of the teeth. Eventually, using an acidic based fruit to whiten teeth will cause damage that is beyond repair. Using fruits with seeds can also harm the teeth by scratching the enamel off also. A good alternative to using acidic fruits as a natural whitening agent is crunchy vegetables. Vegetables such as raw carrots will help scrub the teeth clean, almost like brushing them would do.
Wood ash has also been used as a natural agent. Chemically, wood ash accomplishes the whitening process the same way commercial procedures do. Commercial whitening agents generally have a peroxide concentration in them that acts as a bleaching agent. Wood ash has that same ingredient, along with potassium. Unfortunately, the potassium contained in wood ash will eat away at the enamel of teeth. Aesthetically, wood ash tastes fairly bad too.
One of the oldest natural teeth whitening methods known is brushing with a mixture of baking soda and salt. Baking soda is actually a great method for removing stains from teeth. The salt is added for coarseness, allowing the teeth to be scrubbed while the baking soda cleans. Baking soda can make the gums a little sore, though. All in all, baking soda is a good natural teeth whitening agent.
Commercial whitening products generally contain a concentration of hydrogen peroxide. Because of this, it is commonly believed that using over the counter hydrogen peroxide is a good natural teeth whitening agent. As a natural agent, it is. Unfortunately, hydrogen peroxide is a liquid, so won't stick very well to a toothbrush. The best way to use hydrogen peroxide is to swish it around the teeth, then rinse the mouth with water. Hydrogen peroxide bought over the counter though, has generally only a 3% concentration of peroxide. This is a lower dose than most commercially available whitening methods.
The best known natural teeth whitening agent is actually a combination of two. Brushing with baking soda then rinsing with hydrogen peroxide is a method that some dentists even promote. While this method won't make teeth as white as most commercial treatments, it can be a safe alternative, provided care is taken to not swallow any of it.
Having a shiny white smile is important to many people. While there is no natural solution that is quite as good as those commercially available, it is possible to achieve at least partial results. Knowing which solutions will work and what their limitations are can help with the decision on which method may be the best for an individual. In the end, the best results will generally come with the method that a person is most comfortable with natural teeth whitening solutions.