From “farm to table” cooking to organic skin care products, “natural” has become all the rage. A quick Google search will turn up innumerable natural methods for teeth whitening. Just because it is natural, though, doesn’t mean it’s the best choice. Even if your teeth become noticeably whiter, you could be causing damage. Here’s what you should know.
As the theory goes, the natural acids in citrus fruits such as lemons or oranges can remove stains, whitening the teeth. Some people prefer fruits such as pineapple or mango, which contain digestive enzymes, and some mix the fruit with an abrasive agent such as baking soda.
In reality, eating fruit as part of your normal diet can help to minimize tooth staining. Using it to scrub your teeth, though, is a very bad choice. Prolonged contact with the acids or enzymes will wear away the tooth enamel. Not only does this put you at risk for tooth decay, but it also defeats the purpose, since the dentin layer below the enamel is naturally yellow in color.
Proponents of this whitening method use either an activated charcoal and water paste, or a paste made of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. The claim is that these scrubs will make your smile shine.
The truth is that, like fruit acids, these products can actually damage your teeth. There is no solid evidence that they bring about whitening, and they are likely to reveal the yellow dentin layer of the teeth.
Spices and Oils
Coconut oil, turmeric, and numerous other spices and oils have been claimed to whiten teeth. While these methods are unlikely to damage your teeth, there is no reliable scientific data showing that they work. It is far better to save your spices and oils for cooking, and use a whitening toothpaste that is approved by the ADA (American Dental Association) instead.
Better Ways to Whiten
The best ways to whiten your teeth are those with solid scientific proof that they work:
- Brush your teeth for two minutes twice per day
- Use a whitening toothpaste with an ADA seal
- Floss once per day
- Limit tooth-staining foods and beverages like dark berries and coffee
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco
- Visit your dentist for a professional cleaning twice per year
- Talk to your dentist about specific whitening products and services that are approved by the ADA
Many people want a whiter smile, but how you go about achieving it is important. Stick to products and methods that are known to be safe and effective rather than raiding your pantry in search of the latest fad.
Ready to Get Started?
If you are ready to get started with a trustworthy and experienced dentist, contact Smile Shack today at 631-928-7500 to make an appointment.