• June 20, 2019
Mythbusters on DIY teeth whitening hacks

A white, bright smile looks great on everyone. In the pursuit of pearly whites, folks are willing to try a number of methods claiming to be the best teeth whitener. An effective teeth whitener can remove stains from teeth caused by coffee, tea, smoking and certain foods. A number of supposedly frugal teeth whitening hacks have popped up on the Internet lately. While these methods may produce some whitening results, it is important to be aware of harmful side effects.

Strawberries & Baking Soda

Strawberries mixed with baking soda is heralded as a more organic way to whiten teeth. The idea is to apply the mixture to teeth with a toothbrush and let it sit for 3 to 4 minutes before rinsing away. In 2015, Dr. So Ran Kwon, an associate professor and dental researcher at the University of Iowa, put the method to the test. The results of her study published in Operative Dentistry found that the mixture did help remove some plaque and surface debris from teeth, which created a short-lived appearance of a whiter smile. The slight improvement isn’t worth the risk of exposure to the sugar from the mixture sitting on the surface of your teeth, potentially causing decay.

Activated Charcoal Powder

Brushing with activated charcoal powder is supposed to absorb stains from the surface of teeth. There is no research to back up the claim. More worrisome is the abrasiveness of the charcoal, which can damage the enamel of teeth during the brushing process.

Oil Pulling

The idea behind oil pulling is to swish a teaspoon of edible oil – usually coconut or sunflower oil – around your mouth to remove plaque and whiten teeth. Again, there is no reliable scientific evidence this method works. The risk is people will forgo proven dental hygiene practices such as regular brushing and flossing and suffer the consequences later.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a bleaching agent and is the whitening ingredient in many over-the-counter products. Some people advocate rinsing your mouth with a 3% concentration of hydrogen peroxide after brushing to whiten teeth. The amount of time the liquid is on the teeth is not long enough to be effective. Plus, hydrogen peroxide is unstable and breaks down over time, especially when exposed to light. Direct application of the concentrated liquid may also irritate sensitive gums or teeth.

Avoid the Ineffective Teeth Whitening Hacks

To get a permanently whiter smile requires a substance that penetrates the teeth to break down the stains from the inside. That’s how you get long-lasting results.

If you’re looking for a dentist that specializes in teeth whitening near Crest Hill, Illinois than you should come to Shorewood Family Dental Care! We offer several teeth whitening options that produce proven results without harming your teeth. Let us know if you would like more information about how to achieve a brighter smile.