Social Media isn’t the most credible source of factual information. A lot of what’s out there for “natural” teeth whitening can actually do significant damage to your enamel.
Another problem with a lot of these practices is they’re not approved by the American Dental Association. We recommend any of our cosmetic dentists if you want to whiten your teeth in a safe and effective way. You can schedule an appointment with them today.
Continue reading to learn what 4 myths the Bander Dental Group wants you to know about natural teeth whitening.
Myth #1: You Can 100% Trust Activated Charcoal
Activated charcoal is a black powder made of peat, olive pits, coconut shells, slowly burned wood and other natural ingredients. However, it’s important to remember that “natural” doesn’t always mean healthy.
For example, tobacco is natural and known to cause lung cancer. Activated charcoal hasn’t been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or the American Dental Association for teeth whitening.
There’s no scientific evidence proving activated charcoal is safe or effective for teeth whitening. In fact, using abrasive scrubs can actually wear away the protective outer layer of your teeth (enamel) and reveal the yellow dentin beneath.
Once this happens, your teeth will actually look yellower, not whiter. You want to whiten your tooth enamel, not scrub it away.
Myth #2: Baking Soda and Lemon Juice are Safe for Whitening Your Teeth
While eating fruit is good for your health, you should never allow acidic fruit juice to sit on your teeth for prolonged periods of time. The acid in lemons and other fruits can wear away the outer layer of your teeth (enamel).
Enamel not only makes your teeth appear white but protects the sensitive layer of dentin underneath. Once you wear away the enamel, you’re more vulnerable to tooth sensitivity and decay.
It’s a myth that you can safely whiten teeth with lemon juice and baking soda. Unlike toothpaste, baking soda is abrasive and will wear away your tooth enamel over time.
Likewise, lemon juice is too acidic to sit on the surface of your teeth. You’re much better off using fluoridated toothpaste approved by the American Dental Association to strengthen enamel and whiten teeth.
Since lemons are highly acidic, it’s difficult to know how much baking soda is needed to cancel out the acidity of the lemon juice. Rather than risking your oral health, we highly recommend scheduling an appointment with one of our dentists to learn how to safely whiten teeth.
Myth #3: A Proven Teeth Whitening Practice is Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is the practice of swishing a teaspoon of edible oil (typically coconut) around your mouth to achieve white teeth. While proponents claim that oil pulling helps remove the bacteria responsible for plaque and tartar, there’s currently no solid evidence to support this theory.
It’s important to understand that many factors affect teeth whitening, such as smoking, eating staining foods, and neglecting oral health. While it may appear that oil pulling helps whiten teeth, the difference could be due to something simpler like reducing how much coffee you drink.
Myth #4: If You Have Sensitive Teeth, Do Not Whiten Them
This one goes out to everyone with sensitive teeth. Maybe you’re thinking, “I want to whiten my teeth but they’re really sensitive. What should I do?” Don’t worry, you too can have your teeth whitened.
First, we recommend that you schedule an appointment so we can figure out what options are best for you. There are a lot of different options so the sensitivity level of your whitening treatment depends on how sensitive your teeth are.
Your dentist may lean more towards a peroxide, a fluoride, or potassium nitrate (an active ingredient in Sensodyne) based treatment, but these aren’t the only options.
Hydrogen peroxide is a common ingredient in whitening treatments used for its oxidizing ability. However, peroxide is the main suspect in whitening sensitivity making it an unlikely candidate for sensitive teeth whitening.
Safe Teeth Whitening Practices
It’s much easier than you think to maintain healthy white teeth. The American Dental Association recommends you brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily.
You should also see our dentists for teeth cleanings and oral examinations at least every 6 months. Following these recommendations will help remove plaque and tartar from the surface of your teeth, which helps you keep a white smile.
Limit coffee, tea, and other staining foods that could dull your smile. You should also avoid using tobacco products to avoid staining your teeth over time. In the end, good oral hygiene habits make the best home remedies for whitening teeth.
We often recommend custom teeth whitening trays because we understand the appeal of whitening your teeth from the comfort of your own home. Custom whitening trays are proven and effective teeth whiteners that don’t destroy your enamel, unlike those harsh scrubs you can brew at home.
Zoom teeth whitening is another option we offer that provides a visibly white smile in a single appointment. For more information on Zoom whitening, check out our article: What is the Process for Zoom Teeth Whitening?
Schedule an Appointment
Our teeth whitening dentists in Grand Rapids, MI are accepting new patients! To request an appointment and learn if you’re a candidate for teeth whitening, call the Bander Dental Group at (616) 949-5980.
This blog post has been updated.