Everyone is looking for ways to save money with DIY projects. You can find a plethora of guides for just about everything, including teeth whitening. You’ve likely seen several trending remedies to treat stains and discoloration, but are they safe for your teeth? Despite the reviews and results you’ve seen online, your dentist recommends skipping many popular DIY whitening methods to avoid damaging your smile.
1. Charcoal Toothpastes and Other Products
Activated charcoal provides many benefits for your health, so it’s normal to assume using it to whiten your teeth is harmless, but this isn’t true. Charcoal toothpastes and similar products are abrasive, which means they can erode your enamel. Once your enamel is gone, it won’t grow back. Your teeth can be left permanently vulnerable to sensitivity, decay, and discoloration.
2. Baking Soda Toothpaste
Baking soda can be found in just about every kitchen across the country, making it a convenient solution to reveal whiter teeth. Although it will naturally make your teeth whiter, your results won’t last. As with charcoal, it is also abrasive, so it will wear away your enamel. It’s best to avoid any over-the-counter or homemade toothpastes containing bicarbonate of soda.
3. OTC Whitening Kits
OTC whitening kits are affordable and convenient; however, they don’t contain professional-grade whitening agents. They aren’t likely to produce noticeable or lasting results. Not to mention, not everyone is a candidate for teeth whitening. Using these products with untreated dental issues, like decay, can lead to serious complications down the road. Misusing or overusing these products can also lead to lasting damage or pain. It’s best to have a consultation with your dentist before using any whitening product or treatment.
4. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice and other citrus-based solutions are found in many natural remedies for tooth discoloration. Unfortunately, citrus fruits are acidic, so they can do a number on your teeth. They will erode the hard outer layer that protects the underlying dentin and pulp. Although lemons and other acidic fruits are safe to eat, you don’t want to apply them directly to your teeth for any amount of time.
Peroxide is the foundation of professional whitening treatments, so you might assume it is safe. Whitening systems from your dentist contain a high concentration of hydrogen peroxide to resolve stubborn stains. The gels are specially formulated to prevent enamel loss and soft tissue irritation.
Give Your Smile a Makeover
Don’t waste money on OTC whitening products or risky DIY methods to treat stains and discoloration. Choose a safe and effective solution by visiting your cosmetic dentist. They can get your teeth as much as 8 shades brighter with results that can last.
About Dr. John A. Carollo
Dr. Carollo earned his dental degree at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. He has over 30 years of experience in many aspects of dental care, including cosmetic services. As a life-long learner, he provides the latest treatments and techniques to create healthy, beautiful smiles. Contact our office today to schedule your consultation for teeth whitening.