Teeth whitening DIYs Do's and Don'ts
2 weeks ago
Tooth whitening is a common way to combat the tooth discoloration caused by smoking, drinking coffee, and eating certain foods. It is also common to whiten your teeth during the aging process. According to a 2015 survey by the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, research showed that teeth whitening ranked as one of the highest demand and most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures performed, reported by 351 dental professionals.
While this is usually safe, if you use the wrong method with a teeth whitening kit or undergo a procedure done improperly, you could end up with problems like:
- Increased sensitivity.
- Short-term gum irritation.
- Stains or discoloration.
- Increased stain absorption.
- Increased fracturing tendencies.
- Long-term loss of enamel.
Here are the DIY dos and don'ts to safely whiten your teeth at home. You might even be amazed at some of these points.
If you’re going this route, know that there are many home remedies for whitening teeth. While all work, some of them are more effective than others. The safest include:
- Baking soda, and only baking soda: It is not true that baking soda is too abrasive for oral hygiene. Dental researchers discovered it is rated a seven on the Relative Dentin Abrasivity (RDA) scale of 0 to 269, which is relatively safe.
The RDA level indicates how hard (or abrasive) a substance is on your teeth. Therefore, as long as you brush softly, baking soda can help lighten stains on the surface of your teeth.
- Healthy foods and diets: Did you know that certain foods and beverages can also maintain your teeth’s natural whiteness?
- Broccoli, cauliflower, and other tough-textured vegetables are high in fiber and require chewing. Therefore, the longer you chew, the more saliva you will produce to sanitize your teeth. Fiber-rich produce can also loosen stains on your teeth as they rub against them while chewing.
- Pineapple is an exotic food that contains an enzyme called bromelain, which has anti-inflammatory and cleansing characteristics per a study published in the International Journal of Surgery. The enzyme is especially effective in removing surface stains from teeth and even tongue coatings!
- Dairy products like cheese contain lactic acid to help remove superficial stains that have begun to build upon your teeth. Cheese also creates saliva, which breaks down other food particles that get stuck in your teeth and cause surface stains.
- Nuts and seeds aren’t just stable sources of protein. They can also polish your teeth. Their abrasive texture helps remove deposits on your teeth while you eat, eventually building up into stains.
- Onions contain sulfur compounds that help prevent the buildup of dental plaque. Plaque is made out of bacteria, which sticks to tooth enamel and causes discoloration. If plaque is left to rot, it can also cause gum disease.
- Celery and carrots contain high water content, removing other food particles between your teeth instead of letting them stick to the surfaces.
- Whitening toothpaste: Since they contain low concentrations of carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, whitening toothpaste can lighten tooth shades, but typically only about one shade. Whitening toothpaste can be abrasive to reduce tough stains, resulting in enamel erosion and dentin exposure over time. Whitening toothpaste typically does not contain bleach.
- Whitening rinses: Like whitening toothpaste, whitening mouth rinses can improve tooth color by up to one shade; it may take up to six weeks to show results and involve rinsing your mouth twice a day for 60 seconds each.
- Whitening strips: These home tooth-bleaching products mold your teeth' shape; they're typically worn for 30 minutes per day, requiring no overnight wear. Crest 3D White Whitestrips Glamorous White strips were awarded the American Dental Association's (ADA) seal of approval in June 2017, proving the product’s safety and efficacy in the natural whitening of teeth. It’s the first in this category to receive ADA approval.
Note: Manufacturers usually package the last three DIY options as an at-home teeth whitening kit, which we highly recommend.
- Avoid activated charcoal: The ADA says that activated charcoal is not safe or effective for whitening teeth. The organization says this substance is abrasive enough to damage teeth enamel, and it has not yet been found safe or practical to whiten teeth. It is also highly absorbent, but when it's applied frequently, it can wear away your enamel, and that causes the yellowish color of your teeth to be exposed.
If you still want to try activated charcoal after hearing this, apply it as a paste. Do not scrub your teeth with the paste; instead, leave it on your teeth without moving it around. Try using activated charcoal for no more than a week or two to see if it works, then discontinue use. It's not a recommended at-home teeth whitening method.
- Don’t drink these beverages: Tea, red wine, coffee, and even white wine don’t help whiten teeth! These drinks contain high amounts of tannins that stain and damage your pearly whites. Unflavored teas and coffee turn your teeth a pale yellow, while green tea and red wine render them gray.
Most shocking, while white wine doesn’t stain, it creates tiny holes on the enamel that lead to the previous beverages seeping in and discoloring your pearly whites!
- Never use acidic solutions: First, let’s look at mixing baking soda with anything else, particularly lemon. Lemon is a highly acidic fruit that damages your enamel. So even if you get immediate results, you’re slowly eroding tooth structure.
Don’t use a mixture of sea salt and vinegar, too! This combination not only destroys the enamel but increases tooth sensitivity as well!
The same goes for strawberries. Like lemons, this fruit is highly acidic and will erode your enamel. So while these fruits are essential for physical health, they do quite the opposite regarding oral health.
- Withdraw your wood ash ambitions: A common folk remedy for whitening your teeth is rubbing them with wood ash from a fireplace. This method stems from wood ash containing potassium hydroxide or lye. It is unpleasant; however, rubbing your teeth with wood ash can damage them due to the hardness of the lye in the ash.
Here’s a Safe Teeth Whitening Kit for DIY Purposes
Tl;dr: don’t put any acidic solution in your oral health routine. It’s better to use something neutral, like baking soda or a teeth whitening kit with potent, safe ingredients to get the job done. Remember, you need to preserve your teeth’s natural color and protection, so do it right for your bright pearly whites!
Order your safe teeth whitening kit from Singapore at MooiTeeth today! Ours is a 16-minute treatment made with vegan and halal ingredients that give beautiful, protected white teeth in just seven days! Visit our website to get yours now!