Most people want a whiter smile, and a quick online search will show you dozens of natural, at-home methods that claim to deliver that. But do they work? DIY whitening methods are appealing because they are affordable and can be used at home. On top of that, you reduce your exposure to chemicals.
However, the reality is that most natural teeth whitening methods don’t make your teeth whiter. Some can even harm your teeth. Your best option for teeth whitening will always be a visit to a dentist like Dr. Dhiraj Sharma. That said, here’s a list of the various natural remedies and why we don’t suggest them.
Acidic Foods Damages Your Teeth
There’s a common rumor that acidic foods can whiten your teeth. Examples of such foods include apple cider vinegar, oranges, and lemons.
Yes, eating fruit is good for you. But fruits and apple cider vinegar also contain acids that can wear down your tooth enamel. That’s why you need to brush your teeth after enjoying them. Tooth enamel is a protective coating that prevents cavities and sensitive teeth. So enjoy a normal intake of acidic fruits and remember to brush your teeth after. Using them to whiten your teeth may be more harmful than helpful.
Foods With Digestive Enzymes Don’t Work Either
Since you now know that acidic foods don’t help, you may wonder if food with digestive enzymes, like pineapple, papaya, or mango, would work for whitening.
There’s no scientific evidence that these digestive enzymes will whiten your teeth either. Simply enjoy those fruits because you want to eat them, not with expectations of whiter teeth.
Homemade Scrubs Can Be Abrasive and Don’t Work
Another common suggestion for natural whitening is a homemade scrub, such as one with baking soda and hydrogen peroxide or activated charcoal.
To start, the Journal of American Dental Association found no evidence that these methods are effective, let alone safe, for your teeth. And there’s a risk with using any abrasive material, as these can yellow your teeth because you wear down the enamel. As mentioned, worn enamel puts you at risk of tooth sensitivity and cavities. It also exposes your dentin, which is the soft, yellow tissue underneath.
Even more, hydrogen peroxide comes with its risks if not used properly. If you use it too often or in high concentration, this chemical can erode your enamel, irritate your gums, and lead to tooth sensitivity.
Oils and Spices Don’t Work Either
Another common suggestion for tooth whitening is to use spices like turmeric. You may hear of suggestions to use oil pulling, which is when you swish oil in your mouth.
The good news is that these won’t necessarily damage your teeth like some of the other methods on this list. But still, there is no evidence suggesting that they can whiten your teeth.
Natural Methods That Work Include Basic Hygiene
The only natural and effective method for teeth whitening is a healthy oral hygiene routine. For example, avoid foods and drinks that cause stains, brush and floss every day, quit smoking, and get regular dental cleanings.
Don’t rely on DIY natural remedies to whiten your teeth. They won’t work and may even damage your tooth enamel, putting your oral health at risk. Instead, get whiter teeth with professional whitening, and follow it up with good oral hygiene practices like regular cleanings with your general dentist in Lincoln Park.