By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert
Do-it-yourself teeth whitening remedies are often championed as cheap, all-natural ways to get your pearly whites as bright as possible. But are DIY methods using ingredients from your medicine cabinet or kitchen pantry really effective alternatives to professional teeth whitening at Eggert Family Dentistry? Here are three of the top teeth whitening myths we’ve heard at the office, busted.
Turmeric and coconut oil can whiten my smile.
Nope. Turmeric may be delicious in Middle Eastern dishes and coconut oil is a healthy fat, but neither are effective at whitening your smile. There is no scientific evidence that turmeric, coconut oil, or other spices or oils can whiten your teeth.
Citrus fruits can whiten teeth.
Citrus fruits can brighten your countertops, so why not your teeth? Lemons, oranges, and apple cider vinegar add fresh odors to your kitchen, but they have no ability to whiten your smile, and can actually do damage to your pearly whites. Vinegars and citrus fruits contain acids that wear away tooth enamel, leaving your teeth more sensitive and at risk for tooth decay.
I can whiten my teeth by giving them a scrub.
This one makes us cringe a little. Scrubs made of abrasive material such as baking soda and activated charcoal are much too abrasive to use on your teeth and do nothing to whiten your smile. In fact, when you scrub your teeth with very abrasive materials, you can make your teeth even more yellow. That’s because the scrubs wear away your teeth’s tough white enamel, exposing the softer, yellow dentin below.
Effective alternatives to these bogus teeth whitening tactics.
Fortunately, there are effective ways to whiten your teeth that won’t harm your enamel, and some of them are completely free. Limit foods that cause stains in the first place, including coffee, tea, and red wine. Don’t start smoking or chewing tobacco, and if you do, quit.
Brushing your teeth twice a day with an ADA-approved whitening toothpaste and flossing daily can keep stains at bay, too. In addition, visit us regularly for recare visits. At Eggert Family Dentistry, we offer several effective and safe teeth whitening treatments right in our office. Contact us to schedule your FREE whitening consultation today.