It isn’t exactly wise to try out just any TikTok hack you come across, particularly the ones that seem too good to be true. (That’s how you end up giving yourself uneven bangs for the 100th time.) But every now and then, a trend comes along that really does seem worth a shot, and before you know it you’re standing in the bathroom with a bowl of mashed up kiwi, cucumber, and baking soda.
That’s the ingredient list from a viral TikTok teeth whitening hack by user Armen Adamjan (@creative_explained) that has racked up over 291,000 views. In it, Adamjan — a DIY enthusiast — says that by mixing these three household items into a paste and brushing with the mixture twice a week, you’ll have brighter, whiter teeth. While it seems like it could easily fall into the “too good to be true” category, dentist Dr. Joseph Field, DDS says this trick really does work.
While you shouldn’t expect a blindingly bright smile, you should notice a difference. “The kiwi, cucumber, and baking soda combo does a good job removing the stains from your teeth, giving them a whiter appearance,” Field tells Bustle. It’s mostly due to the mildly abrasive nature of baking soda combined with the fruit acids in kiwi and cucumber, which work together to help dissolve and remove surface stains.
Field says this particular hack is not only effective but also safe, as long as you don’t try to whiten every day. “You need to be careful not to use it too often as it can cause [your tooth] enamel to erode,” he cautions. His advice? “You could apply it once a day for up to 10 consecutive days. After that, use it one to two days every month for maintenance.”
Field says almost all his patients ask about whitening their teeth, so it makes sense that DIY teeth whitening videos like this one get tons of views. “With our diets and consumption of wines, coffee, and juices, our teeth can discolor quickly,” he notes.
Another draw? Not everyone’s ready or willing to use over-the-counter whitening kits. They can be pricy, can cause tooth sensitivity, and tend to require a lot of effort. Read the instructions on the back of any tooth whitening box and you’ll see there’s often a two-week commitment where you have to apply strips or gels for 30 minutes every day. So brushing with a cucumber, kiwi, and baking soda paste could be more appealing, especially if you’re short on time or cash.
How To Naturally Whiten Your Teeth At Home
Of course, brushing with the two green fruits combined with baking soda isn’t the only way to whiten your teeth at home. If you’re looking for other natural teeth whitening tricks, simply eat more high-fiber foods like apples, celery, pears, almonds, and carrots.
“Since they are high in fibers, when you chew them, they will have the same effect as a natural toothbrush,” cosmetic dentist Dr. Joseph Salim, DMD tells Bustle. “The fibers will act as micro toothbrushes, scrubbing the surface of your teeth. They also stimulate the production of saliva, which neutralizes acids produced by bacterial food fermentation.” That means these fiber-rich foods will help prevent enamel erosion that happens from acids in your diet.
While not as flashy or exciting as a TikTok hack, Salim says proper oral hygiene also goes a long way in keeping your teeth white. “Regular brushing and flossing of your teeth are tried-and-true methods,” he says. “They will prevent food and bacteria hardening into plaque, which will then stain your teeth.”
Moral of the story? Stick with your regular dental hygiene routine, but feel free to try the three-ingredient TikTok whitening hack should the DIY mood strike.
Carey, C. M. (2014). Tooth whitening: What we now know. Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice, 14, 70–76. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jebdp.2014.02.006
Epple, M., Meyer, F., & Enax, J. (2019). A critical review of modern concepts for teeth whitening. Dentistry Journal, 7(3), 79. https://doi.org/10.3390/dj7030079
Ghassemi, A. (2008). A four-week clinical study to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of a baking soda dentifrice and an antimicrobial dentifrice in reducing plaque. Journal of Clinical Dentistry. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19278080/
Honorio, H. (2010). Effect of Acidic Challenge Preceded by Food Consumption on Enamel Erosion. European Journal of Dentistry. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2948745/
Nielsen, S. (2016). Dietary Fiber Intake Is Inversely Associated with Periodontal Disease among US Adults. The Journal of Nutrition. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/146/12/2530/4630477
Dr. Joseph Field, DDS, dentist
Dr. Joseph Salim, DMD, cosmetic dentist