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What Are Some Natural Tooth Whiteners?

Everyone wants a pearly white smile. Having pretty, clean-looking teeth can really enhance your confidence and make a massive improvement in how you perceive yourself and your assumptions about how others perceive you. Still, for many people, peroxide whiteners like the traditional methods are unappealing since they can cause sensitivity and discomfort. Let’s discuss natural tooth whitener options that some dental professionals are looking at as viable options for alternatives to peroxide whitening methods according to one 2020 bovine-based study.


Papain is a natural extract from the papaya plant that is generally used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant agent that has proven to be effective in a wide range of common medical treatments. Recently, though, during a study involving bovine teeth samples stained with coffee, papain proved to be a mildly effective topical whitening agent that is less toxic and irritating in nature than traditional peroxide methods. That being said, the dental professionals working on the study found that it was significantly less impactful on stains than the peroxide whitener and the other methods tried in the test experiment.


Derived from a plant known as Ficus insipid, this extract is tree-based and shows a significant improvement in tooth whiteness. It was actually comparable to the results found from a peroxide-based whitening treatment, though it did have some differences. The dental hygienists and expert dentists conducting the study noted that the main difference concerns the ficin acting as a protectant during the whitening process instead of damaging the enamel as typical peroxide-based treatments are prone to do. This shows ficin as a promising future treatment option that could be viable for longterm and more severe whitening situations.


Bromelain is taken from pineapple plants, which are a member of the bromeliad family. This extract behaved very similarly to ficin, in that it whitened to a level similar to that of a peroxide whitener but did not damage the enamel and instead acted as a protecting agent for the duration of the process. Bromelain, along with papain and ficin, all showed non-cytotoxic effects while peroxide whiteners showed significant cytotoxic impact, resulting in the assumption being made that the three natural whiteners are safer than the typical peroxide-based solutions.

Safety and Effectiveness

It is believed, following this study, that there is significant hope for new whitening methods to be taken from these three natural treatment options. For years, people have expressed concerns to dental hygienists and assistants about the potential impact of peroxide tooth whitener use on the health and overall hardness of the tooth enamel. Now, it appears, we may soon have the opportunity for whitening alternatives that actually work without potentially irritating the oral cavity or weakening the integrity of the tooth structure, opening the door for people with more severe staining to begin whitening procedures without worrying about harming their teeth further.

If this study is found to be accurate and is approved through long term safety testing and experimentation, there is a very real chance that these types of extracts could be used in future whitening products.


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