Everyone wants a bright, white, healthy smile. Look online and you’ll see a variety of natural remedies purported to whiten your teeth. But how many of them actually work? Do they compare to professional teeth whitening services?
It’s tempting to think ingredients in our own kitchens could hold the key to a brighter smile. But just because a method is natural, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy or even harmless. In fact, many home remedies for teeth whitening can do more harm than good to your teeth.
Lemon and Baking Soda
This approach argues that you can make your teeth whiter and brighter using household staples that are naturally acidic (like lemons, oranges, apple cider vinegar), contain digestive enzymes (such as pineapple or mango) and something that is abrasive (like baking soda).
Fruit is a great healthy choice when eaten as usual. However, you put your pearly whites at risk when you prolong the contact of acids in fruits and vinegar with your teeth or use them to scrub your teeth because acid can wear away your enamel. Enamel is the thin outer coating of your teeth that protects you from tooth sensitivity and cavities.
Activated Charcoal Scrubs
These methods claim that scrubbing your teeth with ingredients like activated charcoal or a baking soda-hydrogen peroxide paste will bring a shine back to your smile. Charcoal is a common ingredient in many toothpastes today for this reason. Unfortunately, there is no evidence that shows dental products with charcoal are particularly effective at whitening your teeth.
Also, using materials that are too abrasive on your teeth can actually make them look more yellow. Enamel is what you’re looking to whiten, but if you’re using a scrub that is too rough, you can actually wear it away. When that happens, the next layer of your tooth can become exposed; a softer, yellow tissue called dentin.
Spices and Oils
Another claim is that swishing oils like coconut oil in your mouth (oil pulling) or using spices like turmeric can help whiten your teeth. However, there is once again no reliable scientific evidence to show oil pulling or turmeric whitens teeth. Save the oil and spices for making healthy meals instead.
Best At-Home Teeth Whitening Remedies
The truth is that the majority of home remedies tend not to work. The most effective natural ways to whiten teeth are through maintaining everyday healthy habits, including:
- Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes
- Cleaning between your teeth once a day
- Limiting foods that stain your teeth, like coffee, tea and red wine
- Not smoking or using tobacco
- Regular visits to your dentist for check-ups and cleanings
If you want to try a specific whitening product or service, ask your dentist. They can provide the best at-home teeth whitening options that have been tested to be safe and effective for your teeth. Consult with our Templestowe dentist to determine the best teeth whitening option for you.
Professional Teeth Whitening in Melbourne
At King Street Dental, we offer in-chair and at-home professional teeth whitening services. These procedures are backed by evidence and provide amazing results, with patients’ teeth becoming eight shades whiter in a single visit.