What Are the Dangers of DIY Whitening for Your Teeth?

February 4, 2022

Filed under: Uncategorized — drkoch @ 10:47 pm
Woman brushing her teeth with charcoal

Everyone wants to have a bright white smile, but discoloration happens naturally over time, especially if you enjoy items like coffee, tea, and red wine. It is something many people are self-conscious about. No wonder you see so many techniques online for DIY teeth whitening. Unfortunately, a lot of these “hacks” can put your oral health at risk. Continue reading to learn about the dangers of DIY whitening, plus safe alternatives, from your cosmetic dentist in Cary.

Charcoal Toothpaste/Products

One of the biggest recent trends has been using activated charcoal to whiten teeth. The idea is that charcoal draws out impurities and surface stains, leaving your teeth whiter. Even though there may be some truth behind this DIY hack, people who do this are putting themselves at risk for enamel erosion. Ultimately, dentists have not deemed this safe for teeth, as enamel does not grow back once it’s lost.

Baking Soda Toothpaste

Toothpaste that contains baking soda is very common. You can even make your own at home. It does naturally whiten teeth, so many people see short-term results. The issue is that baking soda is mildly abrasive. When you use it on your teeth regularly, it can weaken your enamel over time. Instead, you should choose toothpaste that is free of sodium bicarbonate.

Over-the-Counter Bleaching Kits

You see countless over-the-counter bleaching kits when you go to the supermarket, but there is a reason why the American Dental Association hasn’t approved any of these products. When you have professional whitening done, a consultation is completed beforehand to ensure you don’t have preexisting issues that could worsen in the process. If you have a cavity, crack, or damaged filling, using a bleaching kit could leave you with serious problems and extreme pain.

DIY Lemon Juice Whitening

Some DIY whitening trends use lemon juice. Just because it’s all-natural doesn’t mean it is a great option for your smile. Lemon juice is very acidic, so you are basically just applying acid to the front surface of your teeth. Ultimately, the top layer of your enamel can be worn away, making it more likely that you develop tooth decay and sensitivity.

You shouldn’t settle for teeth discoloration, but don’t let these DIY whitening hacks fool you. They could be doing more harm than good. Instead, your Cary dentist could provide you with a beautiful, gleaming grin that you are proud to show off!

About the Author

Dr. Darren Koch strives to offer patients of all ages in the Cary area a wide selection of general and cosmetic dental services. He earned his dental doctorate from The University of Buffalo and then studied at UNC-Chapel Hill to attain his Advanced Education in General Dentistry certificate. If you are interested in teeth whitening, he offers professional take-home kits that can make your teeth several shades whiter in just two weeks. You can schedule an appointment on his website or by calling (919) 859-6633.

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