It can be easy to get caught up in the latest social media trends and crazes, but not everything is always how it seems online. You can quickly end up spending hundreds of dollars on products and tricks that don’t actually work, especially when it comes to your teeth! While some teeth whitening methods may produce results, some can be harmful and even dangerous for your smile in the process.
When it comes to whitening your teeth, always trust a professional opinion and make the safety of your smile a priority.
Influencers Aren’t Always Truthful
The latest TikTok trends show DIY hacks for saving money on cosmetic teeth whitening by using things like hydrogen peroxide, charcoal, or other toxic liquids. Not only are these trends highly toxic and dangerous, but they can result in severe pain and damage to both teeth and gums. If you wish to achieve a whiter, brighter smile, it’s always recommended to see a dental professional first. Your dentist can ensure that you are using a safe and FDA-approved product to whiten your teeth.
DIY Teeth Whitening Isn’t Always Safe
It’s easy to find an entire section dedicated to teeth whitening products at your local drug store; however, not all products are created equal. Not only is the application of the product critical, but the current state of your dental health is also a crucial piece. Many things can go wrong with DIY whitening, including an uneven application that can leave your teeth looking spotty.
Additionally, not thoroughly following the directions can lead to damage to your teeth. For example, leaving a whitening product on for too long in the hopes of enhancing your results can lead to sensitivity or erosion. Charcoal for whitening your teeth works because it’s abrasive and can remove surface stains. However, the abrasion is so effective that it also removes protective layers of enamel in the process. Always consult with your trusted dentist before attempting any DIY whitening.
Stains Are Different From Discoloration
The most common reason why people are disappointed with their at-home teeth whitening results is because their teeth are discolored and not stained. While stains can be effectively removed with whitening products, discoloration can not. Surface stains are caused by exposure to things like coffee, wine, and smoking, while discoloration is caused by other issues like tooth trauma, medications, or aging. Talking with your dentist first can determine what type of whitening treatments are best for your concerns.
Whitening Isn’t Safe For Every Smile
At-home whitening shouldn’t be used by everyone. Those who should avoid whitening treatments include:
Patients With Dental Work
Crowns, veneers, or bonding will not alter the color of these products. If you use whitening products, you will find that your natural teeth whiten and your dental work remains the original color.
Those With Tooth Sensitivity
The peroxide in teeth whitening kids can be extremely painful for anyone suffering from sensitivity. If you already have sensitive teeth, teeth whitening can make the discomfort worse.
People With Outstanding Dental Work
Tooth decay, gum disease, or receding gums should be addressed before proceeding with any teeth whitening treatments.
Pregnant or Breastfeeding Mothers
Whitening products should be avoided during pregnancy and while nursing.
Beware of “Natural” Teeth Whitening Tricks
As with many social media crazes, natural whitening tips can prove to be just as risky. Some natural whitening tips to avoid include:
Strawberries can help whiten teeth, as they contain malic acid, an ingredient used in toothpaste to help increase saliva production. Unfortunately, the natural bleaching properties in strawberries that can whiten teeth also erode enamel, much like charcoal products.
Lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits are highly acidic. While they can help to remove stains on teeth, the acid is so strong that it too can do more harm than you may realize.
Rinsing with coconut oil is rumored to “pull” stains from teeth, but this is not an effective whitening solution.
When In Doubt, Trust a Professional
When used correctly, at-home teeth whitening kits can be an effective way to whiten and brighten your smile. Additionally, if you’re looking to see faster, more noticeable results, professional teeth whitening treatments are more affordable than you may think! To learn more about safe ways to whiten, contact Elite Dental & Denture PC today.