Trends in DIY Teeth Whitening: Fact or Fiction?

Daily events are affected by trends, the new slang, up-and-coming fashion, which toys will become collectible, and newest fad diet that everyone’s friend is trying...

With an ever-evolving society, trends are inevitable.  Many are harmless, but when they affect our health, they can become serious. Mall kiosks have emerged for teeth whitening, but do-it-yourself home whitening has become "trendy," so here's a look at some of the more popular methods.

Brushing teeth with Charcoal 

Charcoal is porous and absorbent.  It has even been used in hospitals to neutralize toxins.  In theory, it could do the same for your teeth.  However, charcoal is also very abrasive.

Even as it is absorbs harmful materials from your mouth and disturbs bacterial growth, it could also be removing your enamel, causing more harm than good. Until researchers learn more about the effects of charcoal on the teeth, it’s safer to pass on that home remedy.

Lemon Juice for Stain Removal

The hardest substance in your body is the enamel on your teeth, however it is extremely vulnerable to erosion from acids found in food or drinks. Saliva helps to keep the pH level balanced in your mouth to protect enamel.  But, any time you eat or drink something acidic, the pH level is disrupted and your teeth are susceptible. Using lemon juice on your teeth in hopes of whitening them is, therefore, likely to cause enamel erosion, and once the enamel is gone, it’s gone for good!

The Ancient Remedy of Oil Pulling

Oil pulling involves swishing some type of oil (typically coconut, sunflower, sesame, or olive oil) in the mouth for up to twenty minutes. Supporters of oil pulling claim it has a number of health benefits, including teeth whitening. However, the American Dental Association does not recommend it because there is no scientific evidence to back up the claims.

Bananas and Strawberries 

Bananas are a good source of potassium, magnesium and manganese, all of which promote healthier teeth and can help remove surface stains.  Strawberries contain some citric acid, but they also contain malic acid (particularly when ripe) which actually CAN give your teeth a whiter appearance. So, both of these do-it-yourself teeth whiteners may actually provide some benefit! Both fruits do contain sugar, so you should still brush your teeth with dentist approved toothpaste after eating them.

Curious about those whitening mouthpieces that emit blue light you see all over social media? Watch the video below to learn whether or not they’re really effective:

Stick To The Science behind Teeth Whitening

Trends like charcoal toothpaste and lemon juice mouthwash will come and (hopefully) go, and occasionally we’ll discover remedies that do have benefits, like strawberries and bananas, but the best benefits to our teeth will always come from dentist-approved methods. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and floss once a day, avoid sugary drinks and snacks, and schedule regular dental appointments.

If all of these good habits aren’t keeping your teeth white enough, talk to our teamat Burman Dental LLC about safe, professional whitening options.

Healthy smiles are beautiful smiles!

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions. Top image used under CC0 Public Domain license. Image cropped and modified from original.

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