The Dangers of DIY Teeth Whitening

The Dangers of DIY Teeth Whitening

by Alex Hirsch (SU)

A beautiful smile gives you confidence when meeting people for the first time and even when seeing friends you always see. Having straight, white teeth truly helps make a good impression.

A number of do-it-yourself (DIY) teeth-whitening methods are now readily available in your local drugstore or supermarket, and you can find home-spun whitening ideas by doing a simple internet search. While these might seem great to try, many of them can actually do serious damage to your teeth.

Common DIY Whitening Trends

There are several popular teeth-whitening approaches that are meant for home concoction, such as activated charcoal, lemon juice, and oil pulling. Let’s talk about these approaches and whether or not they work to whiten your teeth:

Oil pulling is an ancient folk remedy that’s supposed to remove bacteria, but there is no scientific evidence to back up the claims about its health benefits. Plus, some bacteria is beneficial in protecting teeth from erosion.

Lemon juice is not a good idea, because you’re essentially applying a strong acid directly onto your teeth. Enamel is very vulnerable to any type of acid – and if the enamel on your teeth erodes, it cannot grow back.

Activated charcoal might be able to absorb stains and toxins, but charcoal is very abrasive to the teeth – so it could be scraping away precious enamel. Hold off on buying that tube of charcoal toothpaste until you see the ADA (American Dental Association) Seal of Acceptance, and definitely don’t mix up your own. 

What About Peroxide and Baking Soda? 

Another recent home-bleaching trend is using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. The rationale behind this is that hydrogen peroxide is used in professional whitening and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is an ingredient in many whitening toothpastes.

While it is true that peroxide and sodium bicarbonate are used in certain teeth-whitening products, that doesn’t mean these are safe chemicals to apply to our teeth however we want. Here at Marion Smile Center, we have the knowledge, training, and materials needed to whiten your teeth without causing damage to your enamel and gums.

Does Teeth Whitening Work?

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Your teeth will thank you if you put your trust in Marion Smile Center for your whitening needs rather than trying something risky at home, so bring your teeth-whitening questions with you to your next appointment. We will talk to you about what methods may be best to make your teeth look amazing.

In the meantime, you can always keep your smile healthy and bright by brushing and flossing your teeth every day. Use an ADA-approved mouthwash to rinse out the harmful bacteria from your mouth, and avoid foods and drinks that can stain your teeth. And, as always, don’t smoke. Complete oral health helps sustain a healthy body. 

If you’d like to try a new teeth-whitening method or if you’re seeking a great dentist in Pittsburgh, call us today at (724) 452-4300 or fill out our easy-to-use appointment request form now. We’re here to help you get the smile of your dreams!