For many patients, having a healthy smile means sparkling, white teeth. In the quest for gentle teeth whitening treatments that won’t damage your enamel, you may have heard of natural teeth whitening methods. Here is a list of common natural teeth whitening methods and some information about their effectiveness.
Hydrogen peroxide is a first aid product found in the medicine cabinets of many. It is a bleaching agent found in many commercially prepared teeth whitening products. Some patients have made their own DIY tooth whitening paste using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda and it can be effective at whitening teeth. However, many people have injured themselves using hydrogen peroxide to whiten their teeth by using too much of it. Hydrogen peroxide can irritate your stomach and cause tissue burns that need to be treated at the hospital.
Baking soda is one of the more common teeth whitening methods people use at home. It is a safe product to consume used in many baked goods. It works by using abrasiveness to remove surface stains, in much the same way as a thorough brushing. However, baking soda does not remove stains found deeper in the teeth.
Coconut oil is a trendy oil with many uses, from moisturizing your hair to relieving diaper rash. Some people use coconut oil for oil pulling, where a teaspoon or so of edible oil is swished around in your mouth and “pulled” between your teeth for around 20 minutes. It’s an Ayurvedic practice that has been used for 3,000 years. However, there is not a lot of scientific research to support the practice, and many people do not have 20 minutes a day to devote to oil pulling.
Some people use strawberries or a mixture of strawberries and baking soda to whiten their teeth. In studies, strawberries only removed plaque, which made the teeth look whiter. However, strawberries cannot bleach your teeth. If you want to eat more strawberries, it is a good way to incorporate more fruit into your diet, but it probably won’t make your teeth any whiter.
Turmeric is a spice with known anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. It can even be used to naturally dye fabric a bright shade of yellow. It is also sometimes used in DIY teeth whitening pastes made with baking soda, which some experts claim offers the whitening effect some patients see. Turmeric can stain your toothbrush, clothes, and mouth.
Natural teeth whitening methods range from the edible to the toxic. Be careful with any natural teeth whitening method and use appropriate safety precautions. For many patients, it is just easier and safer to opt for professional teeth whitening at a dentist’s office.
If you are ready for whiter teeth, contact Jennifer Stachel Orthodontics today at (212) 877-7177 to schedule a professional teeth whitening appointment that’s both safe and effective.