DIY Whitening: What Works, and What Doesn’t

When it comes to whitening your teeth, no stone has been left unturned. Everyone is developing new do-it-yourself methods of bleaching their pearly whites, and we’re here to set the record straight. Tempting as it may be to attempt some home whitening with ingredients found in your own kitchen, a “natural” remedy doesn’t always mean a “healthy” one.

We want to debunk common whitening myths and instead give you healthy alternatives to make your teeth sparkle for summer. Remember, healthy teeth are glowing teeth!

MYTH: Homemade or Store-Bought Charcoal Scrubsa lady brushing her teeth with charcoal

Lately, we’ve been seeing tons of advertisements for charcoal whitening pastes and scrubs. These scrubs and toothpastes have not been scientifically proven to have any whitening benefits. In fact, scrubs that are too abrasive can have the opposite effect and wear down the enamel (the hard, white outer layer of the tooth), which exposes the softer yellow surface underneath, called dentin. This can also cause increased tooth sensitivity.

INSTEAD: Try Approved Whitening Toothpastes

A whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance used twice daily will yield better results than a store-bought charcoal toothpaste or a homemade paste. The seal ensures that the product has been tested for safety and will not damage your teeth.

MYTH: Lemon and Baking Soda

This homemade remedy can be downright dangerous for your teeth. Highly acidic fruits such as lemons can wear down the enamel of your teeth with prolonged exposure. Adding the abrasive effects of baking soda can even accelerate the destruction of enamel.

INSTEAD: Eat Fruit as Usual

Fruit, when eaten regularly, provides great health benefits. Just remember that any sugar, even the natural sugar found in fruits, should be moderated and never eaten in excess. After eating fruits, particularly fruits that are acidic, you should always brush your teeth to remove extra sugar and acid. Remember to floss if you’re eating fruits with tiny seeds (such as strawberries) that can get stuck between your teeth.

MYTH: Oil Pulling to Whiten Teeth

Many folks believe that swishing healthy oils such as coconut oil in your mouth will help to whiten your teeth. Like most other home remedies, there is no scientific proof that this achieves anything at all for your teeth, but many people see good results with improving gum health using oil pulling along with brushing and flossing daily.

INSTEAD: Call Susquehanna Dental Artsbefore & after teeth whitening photos of a smile

When it comes to whitening teeth, we’re the experts. Our professional whitening service is fast, easy, and painless – and you’ll leave our office after just over an hour with teeth several shades whiter! For a limited time, save up to $80 on your treatment when you call our office at 717-684-3943. We look forward to hearing from you soon!