Baking Soda, Hydrogen Peroxide and Lemon Juice – Methods You Should Not Use To Whiten Your Teeth!
Our Swadlincote and Ashby cosmetic dentists discuss why DIY teeth whitening is never a good idea.
The internet is a fantastic thing. It allows us to keep up to date with the latest news, minute by minute. It also allows us to contact someone across the other side of the world in just a few seconds. It does have its drawbacks though, and the fact that anyone can post on the internet also allows people to do just that. The rise of ‘fake news’ shows that this approach can lead to outright lies being accepted as facts in some cases.
Even dental care can suffer from this fake news, or perhaps, being more generous, misguided information. There is a lot of good information available about how to look after your teeth and gums, but also a lot of information that could prove to be positively harmful.
Don’t look for ‘shortcuts’
Patients will usually contact Alexandra Dental Care for an appointment when they are in pain, or have done something such as broken a tooth, as they know that these problems are best left to a qualified dentist. Few people would try to remove decay and fill a tooth themselves, for example. The story isn’t always the same though when it comes to cosmetic appearance.
Perhaps the name ‘cosmetic’ makes it seem as though any treatment carried out with this intention would be harmless; but of course this is not the case when done incorrectly. Our teeth are not just a solid block of enamel and contain living cells and nerves, and even treatments intended to improve the appearance of your teeth can have an adverse effect if done incorrectly and by the unskilled.
DIY cosmetic dentistry
Whilst there are even online suggestions for ways to straighten your teeth at home, using a series of elastic bands (tip .. do NOT attempt to do this), the most common one is for teeth whitening. This is probably not surprising as it is seen as a non invasive way of providing your teeth with a real boost with a whiter smile. Unfortunately, although some of these suggestions seem pretty innocuous on the surface of things, they can cause some serious damage to your teeth, even if carried out as suggested.
Below, we take a look at some of the more common suggestions for home teeth whitening that can be harmful to your teeth.
Some toothpastes do contain baking soda, and it is an ingredient that can give a fresh feeling to your mouth after brushing, but can it really whiten your teeth too? The fact is that it can work to remove some surface staining, but it does have to be used cautiously. Mixed with water, baking soda creates an abrasive paste that can help to remove surface staining. It won’t however, remove any stains that are more deeply ingrained, and will have zero effect on the discolouration that often occurs deeper within our teeth as we grow older.
If used too often, baking soda can also cause damage to the enamel on your teeth which helps to prevent tooth decay etc. It is not an exact science, and using this method could lead to enamel damage, along with sensitive teeth. It is also worth noting that it won’t contain fluoride, and using this alone means that you are putting the health of your teeth at risk.
Peroxide is a well known bleaching agent that has been used to ‘bleach’ hair for the ‘peroxide blonde’ look. It can also be used on teeth too, and, unlike baking soda, it will access the deeper parts of a tooth. There are significant risks to doing this at home though; the instability of the ingredient being just one case in point.
Side effects of using peroxide to whiten teeth are not uncommon. Tooth sensitivity and irritated gums are two of the most often noted. In our view, it doesn’t make sense to risk discomfort by using this product yourself, please don’t!
We couldn’t let this blog pass without mentioning this common method for home teeth whitening. Lemons are obviously easily accessible and it is, therefore, perhaps the most likely one to be used. After all, it can’t harm your teeth as it’s natural .. or can it?
The answer is simply, yes. Lemon juice is highly acidic and should not be used on your teeth. If you use this method, you are asking for trouble, with damaged enamel and highly sensitive teeth being a likely result.
Let us help you
Although we understand the temptation to use these DIY methods to have nicer looking teeth, we recommend that you don’t do so. Your teeth are very important, and, if you imagine what it would be like living with teeth that were sensitive to both hot and cold, we think that you would agree with us.
Alexandra Dental Care provide a professional teeth whitening service that not only makes a significant and speedy difference to the whiteness of your teeth, but also does so safely. Why risk the health of your teeth when you can have it done by people who really know what they are doing and will ensure that any possible risks are minimised.
If you would like to discover more about our safe, effective teeth whitening procedure and live in the Swadlincote and Ashby area, please call us today on 01283 216347.Google+