If you are looking for ways to whiten your teeth naturally, there are a few things you can do at home to achieve this goal. When it comes to teeth whitening, you may see many different methods featured online and in magazines from oil pulling to charcoal and turmeric. So it's no surprise that DIY whitening is top of mind, either. For example, when the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry asked people what they'd most like to improve their smile, the most common response was whiter teeth.
Healthy smiles come in many shades, though it's tempting to think ingredients in our kitchens could hold the key to a brighter smile. Still, just because a method is natural doesn't mean it's healthy. DIY whitening can do more harm than good to your teeth.
The approach maintains that you can make your teeth whiter and brighter using household staples that are naturally acidic (like lemons, oranges, apple cider vinegar) and contain digestive enzymes (such as pineapple or mango) and something abrasive (like baking soda).
These methods claim that scrubbing your teeth with ingredients like activated charcoal or a baking soda-hydrogen peroxide paste will bring a shine back to your smile.
Swishing oils like coconut oil in your mouth (oil pulling) or using spices like turmeric can help whiten your teeth.
The best natural ways to keep your teeth white are everyday healthy habits, including:
Talk to your dentist before you begin if you want to try a specific whitening product or service. At-home bleaching options have earned the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which means they've been tested to be safe and effective for your teeth. However, whitening may not work on all teeth, and if you are a candidate, some methods—whether at home or in the dental office—may be better for your teeth than others.
Teeth whitening is a simple process. Whitening products contain one of two tooth bleaches (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide). These bleaches break stains into smaller pieces, which makes the color less concentrated and your teeth brighter.
No, it's essential to talk to your dentist before whitening your teeth, as whiteners may not correct all types of discoloration. For example, yellow teeth will probably bleach well, brown teeth may not respond well, and teeth with gray tones may not whiten. In addition, whitening will not work on caps, veneers, crowns, or fillings. It also won't be effective if medications or a tooth injury causes your tooth discoloration.
Some people who use teeth whiteners may experience tooth sensitivity. What happens when the peroxide in the whitener gets through the enamel to the soft layer of dentin and irritates the nerve of your tooth. In most cases, the sensitivity is temporary. You can delay treatment, then try again.
Your dentist can talk to you about the pros and cons of each method and help you choose the best one for your smile. And, as always, follow the product directions carefully to avoid tooth sensitivity or damage to your gums. Or, if you are more concerned about how to whiten your teeth, you can visit us at River District Smiles Dentistry to learn more about your dental health.