5 Ways to Whiten Teeth Naturally

The desire for a beautiful white Hollywood smile is big business these days. But did you know there are simple very inexpensive whitening methods which can be achieved by simply using common household products and food items you probably purchase every week?

  • Strawberries and baking soda might not sound very appetizing but can work wonders when it comes to whitening teeth. Mash up four or five strawberries, mix in a small amount of baking soda then using a fresh toothbrush, dip the brush in the mixture and brush over the front of the teeth. Let sit for approximately five minutes and rinse.
  • No strawberries? No problem. Just add some hydrogen peroxide to your baking soda. Stir until the mixture reaches paste consistency, apply to the teeth and then brush as usual. This is also a great breath freshener and anti-bacterial agent.
  • We’ve all heard about the health benefits of coconut oil and now many experts are touting the effects of using this oil after brushing to eliminate staining. Coconut oil can be applied by several different methods, including swishing a small amount around in your mouth or applying to a cotton swab and rubbing on each tooth.
  • Naturally whiten your teeth through the foods you eat. By selecting saliva producing snacks like apples, carrots and pears you’ll have more saliva to rinse away the bacteria causing plaque which can cling to the tooth surface, allowing it to become stained.
  • Try brushing with apple cider vinegar first before brushing with your regular toothpaste. This method will take about a month before you begin to see results and you do need to rinse thoroughly so the acid doesn’t damage your tooth enamel.

Even though these natural whitening options are low cost, they do take some time and preparation.  The easiest and quickest way to whiten your teeth is through our professional whitening program at Ellis Dental.  Please call 314.965.1334 for more information or to schedule an appointment today.

Pros and Cons of Whitening Strips

Over the counter whitening strips have become big business during the past ten years.  In the beginning using these strips was a time consuming process but as manufacturing technology became more sophisticated, now whitening your teeth can be done in a matter of minutes. No matter which brand you select most meet their advertised selling points, but just like everything else on the market these days educate yourself to the pros and cons before using these strips on a regular basis.


  • For the majority of people whitening strips do make their teeth whiter without any major side effects or problems.
  • Whitening strips are convenient, easy to use and fairly inexpensive. No prescription is required and they can be purchased at just about any grocery store, pharmacy or big box store.
  • The time requirement is minimal. Depending on the brand selected it can take as little as five minutes or up to thirty. Because the strips adhere snuggly to the teeth, you can spend that time doing just about any other activity including watching television, exercising or cleaning house.


  • Occasionally the adhesive fails, making the strip(s) unusable.
  • Overusing the strips or leaving them on too long can damage the tooth enamel.
  • Often tooth and/or gum sensitivity occurs.
  • Depending on what caused the stains, whitening strips may not work. Discoloration because of poor oral hygiene, tetracycline antibiotics taken as a child, as well trauma to the tooth, will not be removed by over the counter whitening strips. In fact, many times these stains will look darker against the rest of the freshly whitened teeth.

In conclusion, these strips can be effective but as with any other over the counter product, read and follow all directions. If you experience any discomfort or other problems immediately stop using and if the problems continue, please contact Dr. Ellis immediately.

Tooth Whitening: Pros and Cons

Teeth Whitening at Ellis Dental 

Teeth Whitening at Ellis Dental 

As we age our teeth become dingy and yellow due to enamel being worn away, along with staining caused by what we eat and drink, mainly red wine and coffee. And if you smoke, nicotine definitely will turn teeth a very unpleasant shade. Along with whitening procedures performed in a dental office, tooth whitening has gained in popularity due to the availability of over the counter products.


  • A bright white smile gives you more self confidence and you’ll be perceived as friendlier and more approachable.
  • Nice white teeth just naturally bring to mind good health and you’ll be more inclined to get regular dental checkups since you are no longer embarrassed by your teeth.
  • Studies have indicated that healthy white teeth can have a positive effect on all areas of life, from personal to professional.


  • Bleaching is one of the most common methods used for tooth whitening and the chemical makeup of the bleaching compound can cause gum and tooth sensitivity. Generally this dissipates shortly after treatment has ended.
  • Whitening strips or gels is the method most often used in over the counter whitening kits, while many dental practices will customize a lightweight plastic tray to fit a patient’s mouth. On occasion, there will be discomfort associated with the fit of the tray but this normally can be alleviated by a simple adjustment.
  • Bleaching will not work on stained crowns or implants so it’s important to let your dentist know if you use whitening products or are planning to do so. That way the restoration color can be adjusted to match the whitened shade.

Interested in learning more about tooth whitening products and procedures? Please call Ellis Dental today at 314.965.1334.