3 Myths About Natural Teeth Whitening

Natural Teeth Whitening Dentist Grand Rapids MI

Natural teeth whitening may sound like a safe and effective alternative to in-office treatments. However, our cosmetic dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, wants you to know all the facts before you make a decision that could jeopardize your oral health. The truth is that a lot of “natural” teeth whitening methods are highly abrasive and/or acidic, which can wear away the enamel on your teeth.

Once you lose enamel, it’s gone for good. That’s why we recommend seeing our cosmetic dentist if you’re interested in improving the whiteness of your smile.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the top three myths about natural teeth whitening. Your smile will thank you!

Myth #1: Activated Charcoal Won’t Wear Away Enamel

Activated charcoal is a black powder containing peat, olive pits, coconut shells, and slowly burned wood. While these are all natural ingredients, that doesn’t mean that they’re safe for whitening your teeth. In fact, neither the American Dental Association nor the US Food and Drug Administration have approved activated charcoal for teeth whitening.

Abrasive scrubs tend to wear away your enamel, which is the white outer layer of your teeth. When this happens, your teeth will start to look yellower and will feel more sensitive to heat and cold.

The bottom line is that there is no evidence showing that activated charcoal or other scrubs are safe or effective to use on your teeth.

Myth #2: Lemon Juice and Baking Soda are Safe for Teeth

Eating fresh fruits can help improve your diet and overall health. However, we don’t recommend that you let acidic fruit juice sit on your teeth for an extended period of time. Acid will wear away the enamel with prolonged exposure. Once you lose enamel, you may notice more tooth sensitivity to heat and cold. You’ll also have a higher risk of cavities.

Lemon juice has a pH of about 2, which makes it very acidic. Baking soda, on the other hand, is very basic with a pH of about 9. However, this doesn’t mean that baking soda completely neutralizes lemon juice in a DIY whitening paste. It’s very difficult to calculate the correct ratio of acid to base. The result is often permanent damage to the enamel.

Our advice is to avoid using baking soda and lemon juice for teeth whitening.

Myth #3: Oil Pulling is Effective for Whitening Teeth

There is no evidence that shows that swishing oil around in your mouth is effective for teeth whitening. For this practice, people generally use sunflower oil, sesame seed oil, or coconut oil. However, regardless of the type of oil you use, you’re not likely to experience any improvement in the whiteness of your smile. For the best results, we recommend scheduling an appointment with our cosmetic dentist.

Request an Appointment with Dr. Nichols

Dr. Michael Nichols is an experienced cosmetic dentist in Grand Rapids, MI. He’s also accepting new patients and would be more than happy to welcome you to our practice. To schedule an appointment and learn if you’re a candidate for professional teeth whitening, please call Nichols Family Dentistry at (616) 333-8496. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.

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