4 Teeth Whitening Fads to Avoid

two blond women hug and smile to show off their professional teeth whitening results

Want a whiter smile? At Three Creek Dentistry in Derwood, MD, we are proud to offer our patients with teeth whitening options so they can get the smile of their dreams. However, some people may be swayed by whitening remedies they see online. It’s important to stay away from these treatments and only seek advice from a dental professional to get a brighter smile so we’re sharing four teeth whitening fads you need to avoid.

1. Rinsing with Hydrogen Peroxide

A popular teeth whitening fad is using hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse. While hydrogen peroxide is used in many teeth whitening products, that does not mean it’s safe to use on its own as a teeth whitening agent. When ADA-approved teeth whitening products use hydrogen peroxide, they are using a controlled amount. When you rinse with hydrogen peroxide, you are most likely using way too much, which could cause the irritation of your gums and even damage your teeth.

2. Oil Pulling

An ancient practice, oil pulling is when you swish oil (usually coconut, sunflower, or sesame) around your mouth for 20 minutes. This practice is supposed to whiten your teeth and banish bad breath. While it may be an ancient practice, there is no evidence that it works. It does not remove stains on your teeth or any bad bacteria or leftover food particles to treat bad breath and it doesn’t clean your teeth and gums.Oil pulling was used in ancient times because people had no other way to clean their teeth. If you are looking for a whiter smile, oil pulling should be avoided at all costs and it should definitely not be used as a replacement for regular brushing and flossing.

3. Brushing Your Teeth with Charcoal

There is a theory that activated charcoal cleans and whitens teeth so people have been brushing their teeth with charcoal as a way to get a brighter smile. The idea is that charcoal pulls toxins out of materials so it could do the same with stains from your teeth. However, that has not been proven to be true. In fact, charcoal is an abrasive material and can harm your enamel. If you brush with charcoal you could actually make your teeth look yellower as your enamel wears away and the dentin layer, which is naturally yellow in color, will show through.

4. Brushing Your Teeth with Lemon Juice

Another bad whitening fad is brushing your teeth with lemon juice. To create an at-home teeth whitening agent, people mix lemon juice with baking soda. This is not only ineffective, but it’s dangerous for your oral health. Lemons are incredibly acidic and baking soda, like charcoal, is abrasive so if you are brushing with a homemade mixture of the two you are going to aggressively wear away at your enamel and end up with yellower teeth than before.

Contact our Derwood office today for more information.


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