The internet is full of teeth whitening remedies that claim to give you a bright and beautiful smile. These home remedies are often much less expensive than professional teeth whitening, which could be why so many people are keen to try them out. The problem is that a lot of do-it-yourself teeth whitening solutions don't work at all while some of them can even harm your teeth!

Let's take a look at three popular teeth whitening home remedies that won't help you get a whiter smile.

1. Strawberry Paste

One popular teeth whitening remedy involves mixing crushed strawberries with baking soda and smearing the paste all over your teeth. Sound tasty? Maybe, but it's not good for your teeth, says Dr. So Ran Kwon. This University of Iowa dental researcher tested the method and discovered that acids in the strawberries weaken tooth enamel, which is the hard coating that protects teeth from decay. The teeth she used to test the strawberry paste method didn't even get any whiter as a result of the treatment, so it's definitely not worth trying.

2. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is another favourite among fans of do-it-yourself teeth whitening. Even T.V. health guru Dr. Oz recommends brushing teeth with a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda to whiten them. Unfortunately, it's not a safe solution. According to Dr. Gerald P. Curatola, DDS, the damage caused by this abrasive treatment actually makes it easier for stains to develop in the future.

3. Coconut Oil

What about swishing coconut oil around your mouth? Can that whiten your teeth? This remedy is at least unlikely to do any harm, according to cosmetic dentist Dr. Joseph Banker. However, there are no studies that suggest coconut oil can make teeth whiter. Simply swishing plain water around your mouth is likely to be just as effective as a method for washing particles of food and plaque away from your teeth -- and it's much less expensive.

How to Whiten Teeth Safely

If you're keen to have a brighter smile, don't lose hope. There are plenty of ways to safely and effectively whiten your teeth at home, including whitening toothpastes, strips, gels and mouth rinses. These products have been thoroughly tested to ensure they won't damage your teeth. Another safe option is professional teeth whitening, which can produce effects that are far more dramatic than any amount of coconut oil is likely to achieve.