We often get questions about “Natural Teeth Whitening”. Let’s face it, natural sounds better. Healthier. Plus, it’s free. And we all love a bargain. There are two methods which get brought up consistently, which can do severe damage to your teeth. So, I thought I’d address them here.
Whitening Your Teeth with Lemons
Lemons are great for cleaning things. They have a dual ability to cut through stains and kill bacteria. Because of this, it will brighten your teeth. But, it will do so at a cost. Its power is derived from citric acid. This is a powerful cleanser. In fact, it can be used to cut through grease and grime on a stovetop. But, that power will also eat through your tooth enamel.
This weakens your teeth and makes them much more vulnerable to decay. You’ll have whiter teeth, but you’ll also have quite a bit more fillings than you’re used to.
In fact, citrus is so powerful that we recommend not brushing your teeth for 30 minutes after drinking a beverage with lemons in it so you don’t grind the acid into your teeth. If you must brush your teeth right away, take a second to swish some water around your mouth to neutralize the acid.
The same is recommended for any citrus drink, including orange juice. Do the same with apple cider vinegar as well, which contains acetic acid.
Whitening Your Teeth with Charcoal
This method is gaining in popularity because of a number of internet celebrities touting its benefits. You should know right up front this isn’t referring to the type of charcoal you use when you light up for your 4th of July cookout. Instead, they’re talking about activated charcoal.
This is brushed onto your teeth and the absorbent qualities of the charcoal will remove some surface stains. But (you knew there’d be a but), activated charcoal has a very high abrasiveness level. This will scratch your tooth enamel, which won’t heal. Again, you’re talking about added decay from missing enamel and vulnerable teeth.
Safely Whitening Your Teeth
There may very well be a safe, natural teeth whitening method. Unfortunately, we haven’t yet discovered it. Until then, the safest way to whiten your teeth while still keeping them safe and healthy is through a dental professional.
You have options on the method though. You can do it gradually, with at-home trays which are custom fitted to your teeth. This allows you to control the level of whitening you get.
A second option would be for you to do in-office teeth whitening. Many dentists prefer Zoom Whitening. This allows you to get your teeth as white as possible in just one appointment. It’s fast and convenient. Though, they will get very white. If that isn’t what you’re after, go with the at-home method.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.