The internet is chock full of “natural” and holistic solutions for whitening teeth. Unfortunately, many of these acclaimed home remedies simply don’t work, or work in ways that will harm your enamel. Read on to read about these common tooth whitening myths.
Some claim that swishing a teaspoon of coconut oil in your mouth offers benefits like healthier gums, plaque removal, and even whiter teeth. It is thought that as the oil is swished and pulled through your mouth, it removes the bacteria that cause plaque and gingivitis. However, this is most likely a myth; the American Dental Association (ADA) states that there is not enough scientific evidence to prove that oil pulling is beneficial to your oral health at all.
As we have noted in our blog, there is very little evidence that charcoal toothpaste “absorbs” the bacteria in your mouth that cause bad breath and gum disease. It does make the teeth whiter, but in an unsafe way: as the extremely abrasive material rubs against the enamel, it strips it away. In the short-term, you will experience brighter teeth as your surface enamel erodes, but over time, the yellow dentin will be exposed, leaving your teeth more stained-looking than before.
Just like activated charcoal toothpaste, baking soda does work temporarily, for the same reason. Just as baking soda scours a pan clean, it will scour your enamel until your sensitive dentin is left exposed and unprotected. Not only will this create a yellowish look that can’t be corrected, it will also make eating very painful.
Lemon or Strawberries
Again, this “works” in the short-term as the acid strips away the surface enamel. But using fruit to whiten your teeth will have a harmful, painful effect on your smile over time. (This is the same reason why dentists suggest avoiding acidic foods like coffee, soda, and tomatoes).
Whitening Toothpaste and Gums
To truly whiten teeth, a peroxide-based whitening element needs to be in contact with the teeth for at least 30 minutes. Since whitening toothpastes and gums are only in contact with the teeth for a few minutes or seconds, they have a limited effect on whitening the teeth.
Get Professional Tooth Whitening with a Charleston Cosmetic Dentist
The only way to get true, safe, long-lasting tooth whitening is to bleach the teeth with a peroxide-based substance, preferably at a dentist’s office where your sensitivity can be monitored and helped. If you are looking for a Charleston cosmetic dentist, be sure to schedule an appointment with Lowcountry Dental Arts. We can’t wait to help you achieve your perfect smile!