When it comes to whitening your teeth, you should always trust your Raleigh dentist over any DIY teeth whitening hacks that you may run across on TikTok, Pinterest or otherwise. Your dentist knows you and your specific dental care needs, and can best recommend a professional teeth-whitening system that will work for your teeth, with your budget and your timeline. Whether it’s an in-office professional whitening treatment, a dentist-approved home kit, or a change to your diet, your Raleigh dentist can monitor your progress to help you get the bright, white smile that you’ve always dreamed of. As such, before you jump onto the latest whitening craze, today we’ll discuss six teeth-whitening hacks that could ruin your teeth.
1. Activated Charcoal
This teeth whitening hack suggests that you mix coconut oil, baking soda and activated charcoal together in a bowl, then use this paste to brush your teeth for up to two minutes like normal. After brushing, you rinse your mouth out and voilà!
While this particular “hack” won’t necessarily ruin your teeth, we’re not confident that it does you any favors either. In fact, this charcoal treatment can cause irritation and inflammation of your gums, which can ultimately lead to receding gum lines. As such, we don’t recommend using activated charcoal for an extended period of time as it really could damage your enamel.
Rather, if you’re seriously looking to whiten your teeth, it’s best to contact your Raleigh dentist.
2. Lemons and Baking Soda
We recently came across a TikTok video in which a girl scrubbed a lemon across her teeth. Apparently this teeth whitening hack works, but at what cost? Other variations of this approach suggest that you should mix baking soda and lemon water together (rather than using an entire lemon), and then rub it against your teeth. However, it also suggests that you should rinse and brush your teeth after 10 minutes.
Either way, acidic foods such as lemons are known to erode your enamel, which can make your teeth more susceptible to decay. By further adding a mildly abrasive ingredient such as baking soda, you’re only accelerating that process. While your Raleigh dentist (and the American Dental Association) may recommend a toothpaste with a small amount of baking soda, to put baking soda directly on your teeth is a bad idea with or without lemons.
3. Oil Pulling
Oil pulling is the process of swishing coconut oil in your mouth for 15 minutes in the morning. It is said to heal cavities, freshen your breath, prevent gingivitis and whiten your teeth. However, it’s not recommended by the ADA because there is no evidence that it actually works. In fact, some have even reported experiencing diarrhea or an upset stomach after using this “teeth whitening hack.” We’ve also known some “oil pulling experts” to later require teeth extractions and dentures.
Rather than take the risk, it’s best to trust your Raleigh dentist with any teeth whitening procedures.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Much like the previous teeth whitening hacks we’ve already mentioned, this approach would have you rubbing apple cider vinegar directly on your teeth with a cloth, rinsing and then brushing your teeth as you normally would. Apparently, over time, your teeth will gradually get whiter.
Unfortunately, apple cider vinegar is incredibly acidic which can erode your teeth’s enamel. To coat your teeth in apple cider vinegar weakens your teeth, then brushing creates further damage that can literally ruin your teeth. If you’re even thinking about using this method, we beg you to stop!
Here’s another awful teeth whitening hack. This one suggests that you blend tumeric powder and melted coconut oil into a paste that you then use to brush your teeth. Once you’ve thoroughly brushed your entire mouth, you’re supposed to leave the concoction on your teeth for five minutes, and then rinse. Sources say that this will instantly whiten your teeth.
The problem we have with this approach is that we recognize that dark-colored food can stain your teeth over time. This is one of the biggest reasons people even want to whiten their teeth. However, since we also know that tumeric is often used as a natural food coloring, it doesn’t make sense to use it as a whitening agent. In fact, repeat usage would actually cause your teeth to yellow even more rather than to whiten them.
6. Salt Wraps
Finally, this last teeth whitening hack will have you mixing baking soda, salt and water together to make a paste. You then apply this paste to a small sheet of aluminum foil and cover your teeth with the foil like you might apply a teeth whitening strip. After an hour of application, you are to remove the foil to see the results.
There are so many issues with this “hack.” For one, biting down on a piece of aluminum foil sounds painful. Have you ever tried it? When you bite down a foil, that contact sends an electrical current through the nerve endings of your teeth which can cause quite a bit of pain, especially if you have any fillings or crowns. Furthermore, there’s really no evidence that the treatment works.
Specifically, putting your teeth in direct contact with abrasive ingredients such as baking soda and salt can erode your enamel (which is honestly our “beef” with all of these teeth whitening hacks). If you don’t believe us, we’re happy to discuss further.
For more information about oral health and how you can make sure you’re making all the proper steps towards white and healthy teeth, visit back with our Raleigh cosmetic dentist, soon! In the meantime, contact our dental office to make your next appointment for a routine cleaning and checkup! Our Raleigh cosmetic dentist is ready to help you help your teeth!