Everyone loves a white smile, which might be why natural health websites are full of home remedies for whiter teeth. Many people assume these all-natural tooth whitening solutions are gentler than commercial products and professional teeth whitening treatments, but in fact the opposite is true. Here are three reasons why you should steer clear of them.
1. Natural Tooth Whitening Weakens Enamel
Many natural recipes for a whiter smile advise using fruit to remove dental stains. For example, they might recommend smearing strawberry paste over the teeth or brushing with lemon juice. These fruit-based whitening solutions are dangerous because the acids in the fruit soften tooth enamel, leaving teeth more vulnerable to decay.
2. Natural Tooth Whitening Is Overly Abrasive
Many home remedies for a whiter smile use baking soda or some other abrasive material to scrub away stains. Unfortunately, these abrasive ingredients can also scratch tooth enamel. As enamel is the protective coating that keeps harmful bacteria from attacking the sensitive inner parts of your teeth, brushing your teeth with something that damages it is a really bad idea.
3. Natural Tooth Whitening Does Not Work
Not only are natural tooth whitening methods bad for your dental health, but they are also likely to be ineffective at removing stains. In a study carried out by researchers at the University of Iowa, results showed that teeth treated with a mixture of crushed strawberries and baking soda did not get any whiter as a result of the treatment. However, their surface hardness reduced by as much as 10 percent.
According to the researchers, fruit-based methods of tooth whitening do not work because fruit does not contain any hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which are the whitening agents dentists use to get rid of stains. They do, however, contain high levels of citric and malic acid, which can damage dental enamel.
How to Whiten Teeth Safely
If you are desperate for a whiter smile, the safest and quickest way to get one is to schedule a professional tooth whitening session with a cosmetic dentist. They will use strictly regulated chemicals to remove stains from your teeth while leaving the enamel intact.
If you have a little more patience, you can try using a whitening toothpaste or whitening strips. These home treatments usually take a little longer to work than professional whitening, which produces visible results in a single session, but they can be an effective method of removing stains.