Why You Should Avoid DIY Teeth Whitening

DIY teeth whitening
03 Aug 2020

Everyone wants a white smile! However, a lot of things we eat or drink, like red wine and coffee, can stain your teeth. This can happen even if you are diligent about brushing and flossing on a regular basis.

In recent years, DIY teeth whitening has become quite popular. People are looking for a quick and easy fix, and there are many products out there promising it. Unfortunately, most of them don’t work, and they can even cause harm to your teeth and gums.

Here are some of the most popular options for DIY teeth whitening:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Oil pulling
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Whitening strips

We’ll talk about why each of these methods is less than ideal, as well as how Guelph Family Dental can help you obtain a perfect white smile with in-office teeth whitening.

Activated Charcoal

One of the most popular at-home teeth-whitening treatments is brushing your teeth with activated charcoal. It provides such a strong visual: people with big smiles whose teeth and mouth are covered in black foam. They then spit it out and, supposedly, reveal whiter teeth.

The problem with activated charcoal is that it can only temporarily remove stains at best and that it’s also very abrasive. If you constantly brush your teeth with something abrasive, you will start damaging the enamel on your teeth; this can make your teeth more sensitive and put you at a higher risk for tooth decay and cavities.

Oil Pulling

Another popular DIY teeth-whitening option is oil pulling. This involves swishing coconut oil around your mouth and teeth for up to 20 minutes, with the supposed benefits that you kill bacteria, improve your gum health, and whiten your teeth.

The good news is that oil pulling doesn’t seem to damage your teeth or gums. The bad news is that it doesn’t seem to improve gum health or whiten your teeth at all.

Baking Soda

Brushing with baking soda to whiten your teeth has been popular for a while. It used to be just a DIY method of teeth whitening, but now there are several kinds of toothpaste that contain it.

Baking soda is a natural teeth whitener that can help whiten your teeth in the short term. Like activated charcoal, though, baking soda is abrasive and can rub away at the enamel on your teeth, making it easier for cavities to form.

Lemon Juice

Another popular DIY teeth-whitening method is either brushing with lemon juice or swishing it around in your mouth. This does not work to whiten your teeth and can, in fact, seriously damage them!

Lemon juice is very acidic. If you’re putting acid directly onto your teeth, then you can quickly damage your enamel. You won’t have nice white teeth, and you may end up with some really bad cavities.

Whitening Strips

Teeth-whitening strips are easily available, and they can brighten up your teeth temporarily. If you apply them too often or don’t apply them correctly, you can damage your gums and teeth.

In addition, the strips do not actually get into the crevices between your teeth so that you may end up with an uneven colour. If you put them on your gums by accident, you may see white spots on them!

Guelph Family Dentistry Can Help You Get the Perfect White Smile

We do all of our dental work in-house, and when you choose to get whitening services with us, we will give you professional care using the most up-to-date technology. We’ll work with you to give you the smile of your dreams.

DIY methods are generally ineffective and can end up damaging your teeth. However, there are so many benefits to professional teeth-whitening services:

  • A whiter, healthier smile. At-home tooth whitening kits can be effective; however, whitening strips and liquids are difficult to control, meaning you may end up with uneven results. For consistent whiteness across your entire smile, a professional dentist is your best bet. We know how to properly treat your natural teeth, as well as veneers, fillings, and caps.

  • Decreased long-term tooth sensitivity. You can damage your teeth with several DIY methods, including whitening strips, if you don’t apply them properly. You can even aggravate a cavity or other dental issues with DIY methods. If you use professional whitening services, you can achieve exceptional results that also help desensitize your teeth.

  • Combat long-term stains and discolouration. Modern in-office whitening procedures are designed for long-lasting effects. This means that your bright new smile will last longer than if you use DIY whitening. In addition to being more effective than DIY methods, professional teeth whitening is better at combating long-term stains. We’re always available if you find yourself needing a touch-up between regularly scheduled appointments.

  • Protect your gums and cheeks. By choosing to have professional teeth whitening, you can be assured your gums and cheeks won’t be damaged. Since professional whitening services are more precise than DIY methods, you don’t have to worry about accidentally injuring your gums or cheeks with peroxide or other materials. You can leave our office with your new sparkly smile feeling clean and refreshed, not sensitive and irritated.

We’re Ready to Give You the Perfect Smile!

You’ve learned about the following popular DIY teeth-whitening methods:

  • Activated charcoal
  • Oil pulling
  • Baking soda
  • Lemon juice
  • Whitening strips

You’ve also learned they don’t work very well and that if done too often, they can seriously damage your teeth and gums. Instead of ending up with the bright smile that you’d hoped for, you could have damaged teeth that are just as stained as before.

By coming to Guelph Family Dentistry for your teeth whitening, you are assured of a lovely white smile, with no worries about hurting your teeth or gums. For more information about our teeth-whitening services or to book an appointment, call one of our dental professionals at 888-588-1691 or contact us here.

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Dr. Omar Al-Azzawi
Dr. Omar Al-Azzawi

Dr. Omar got his BDS degree in 2002 from the University of Baghdad. He has also completed a master degree in Prosthetic Dentistry from the University of Malaya, Malaysia in 2009. Dr. Omar got his DDS in 2013 in Canada after passing the National Dental Examination Board of Canada (NDEB) exams. Read More

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