Do you ever feel self-conscious about your teeth? If you don't like your teeth, you can do something to change them. In some cases, that can mean looking into DIY teeth whitening solutions.
Unfortunately, whitening your teeth at home isn't always the safest option. Not only are some remedies dangerous, but user error can cause problems with otherwise safe ingredients.
Before you buy those whitening strips or try oil pulling, consider the dangers of some common DIY teeth whitening options.
Activated charcoal is a common DIY teeth whitening option, and it can absorb stains on your teeth to whiten them. The charcoal may also absorb toxins that may contribute to discolored teeth.
In some cases, activated charcoal can have medical uses. However, whitening teeth shouldn't be one of them. When you use activated charcoal on your teeth, it can scrape away the enamel, which protects your teeth.
When you lose your enamel, it won't come back. Because of that, it can make your teeth more sensitive, so you may need to be careful with what you eat or drink.
While activated charcoal may be fine to use occasionally, you shouldn't use it all of the time.
It can be tempting to use baking soda since many people have it already. However, it can also be abrasive like activated charcoal, so it can damage your enamel.
If you use baking soda on your teeth a lot, your teeth can get sensitive, and you may increase your risk of cavities. When you get more cavities, that can cause other issues for your teeth and gums.
Another easily accessible ingredient that can do some enamel damage is lemon juice. While the acid in the juice may whiten your teeth, it is acid. Over time, the acid can cause your enamel to wear away.
Whether you use lemon juice or another home remedy, the enamel won't come back. Now, that doesn't mean you can't have food with lemon juice or drink lemonade.
However, you shouldn't use plain lemon juice to whiten your teeth at home. The acid can be even worse for your teeth than activated charcoal or baking soda.
Don't risk your dental health just to whiten your teeth. You may see some results, but if you keep using lemon juice, you'll only hurt your teeth more.
People have used oil pulling as a home remedy for years, but that doesn't make it safe. For some people, it may not be a problem to do it occasionally.
However, it can lead to adverse effects, like headaches, a sore jaw, and tooth sensitivity. Oil pulling involves swishing oil around your mouth, and you typically do it on an empty stomach.
Proponents say it can get rid of bacteria in your mouth, and it can stimulate your saliva. You can also use any oil you like, such as coconut oil or sunflower oil.
Unfortunately, oil pulling can be dangerous if you rely on it instead of brushing your teeth. It can also be harmful if you swallow the oil, so it can damage more than your teeth.
While your dentist can use hydrogen peroxide during your professional teeth whitening or teeth cleaning, you shouldn't use it at home. A dentist knows how to deal with whitening and how to use it so that it can be safe.
However, most people don't know how to use hydrogen peroxide for DIY teeth whitening. Your dentist knows how to use profession whitening products to give you the whitening results you want. But they won't use too much to the point where it will damage your teeth.
It can be hard to find the right amount because you want it to be safe and effective. Focusing too much on safety means it won't change your teeth much. Meanwhile, focusing too much on effectiveness can cause enamel damage and harm the soft tissues in your mouth.
Whitening Strips and Gels
You can buy DIY Teeth whitening strips and gels, many of which contain peroxide. Now, these gels and strips may have a specific amount of peroxide, so you won't have to measure it out.
However, they can lead to other problems for your teeth. For example, a whitening strip won't always get in between your teeth, so you could miss parts of your teeth when whitening them.
Even if you use a gel, it can be hard to reach every part of every tooth when teeth whitening at home. You may make your teeth look worse if there's a big discrepancy between the fronts and the edges of your teeth. And like any other DIY teeth whitening remedy, it can damage your teeth and irritate your gums.
Perhaps you don't want to use a strip or gel, but you find a bleach kit at your local store or pharmacy. Unfortunately, these can be problematic despite using the same ingredients as your dentist uses.
For one, a bleach kit may not have the right amount of bleach for your teeth. A dentist can consult with you and plan the right amount of bleach to whiten your teeth enough.
Also, bleaching your teeth at home can be dangerous if your mouth isn't healthy. If you have a cavity, that leaves the door open for bleach to get into your tooth and to your nerves. Then, you could experience severe pain from teeth whitening at home.
The Alternative to DIY Teeth Whitening
Before you consider DIY teeth whitening remedies, you should consider the risks. In most cases, the risks aren't worth being able to whiten your teeth at home.
While you may save money, you may end up in pain or with sensitive teeth that won't get better. Fortunately, a dentist can help whiten your teeth without as many risks.
Do you want to whiten your teeth safely? Contact us to schedule an appointment.
Upland Dental Implant and Orthodontics