There are many people who are concerned with whitening their teeth. One of the reasons for this is that stained teeth make you look unhealthy and old, but there are many of the good things in life that stain teeth including coffee, chocolate, beer and red wine. While teeth whitening at a dental office is proven to be effective and safe, there are many people looking at ways to whiten their teeth at home. When you do this you need to be aware that some home whitening methods could actually damage your teeth.
The Good Home Remedies
There are several at-home whitening methods that you can use which are good for you. There is no concrete proof that they whiten your teeth, but they often have additional benefits that you should consider.
The first is rinsing your mouth with coconut oil for approximately 20 minutes, which might sound like a hard task, but has evidence of helping with teeth whitening. Doing this can also help protect your teeth from decay, gum disease, and bad breath. It is unclear if the coconut oil has something to do with this or if it is the rinsing of your mouth for 20 minutes that provides the benefits. Sesame oil has shown promise for this in studies, but there are no studies looking at coconut oil.
Another option that you can look at is rinsing your mouth with peroxide after you have brushed your teeth. You can use the bottle of peroxide that you have for cuts, but make sure it is a 3% solution and mix it with water at a ratio of 50:50. You can then use it to rinse and this is almost the same as the solution used in dental offices for whitening, but it is much weaker and safe for your gums. The results from this will take a while to show, but they are real and they do last.
The Bad Home Remedies
While there are good home remedies, there are others that will cause damage to your teeth and you need to know about them. It is important that you avoid these remedies at all costs and if you know someone who is using them you should advise them to stop.
There is an online recipe that states that you should brush your teeth with a homemade toothpaste made with baking soda and strawberries 3 times a day for 10 days. The problem with this is that studies done have shown that it does not work and will damage your teeth. The acid found in strawberries will overpower the baking soda and contributes to the erosion of the enamel of your teeth.
Another dangerous home remedy is to rinse your mouth with apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is an acid and cider vinegar has a pH of 3 which is comparable to soda and white wine. Any substance with a pH of 5 or less will start to erode your tooth enamel. Apple cider vinegar may actually whiten your teeth, but this is due to the acid dissolving the organic stains on the enamel as well as the enamel itself. This acid attack will also make your teeth more vulnerable to staining and after a while, the enamel will be so thin the dentin will show and make your teeth look yellow.
The Ugly Home Remedies
There are some teeth whitening home remedies that do not work at all. Some of these remedies will also be very messy and you will want to avoid them where possible.
A teeth whitening technique which has gained popularity is activated charcoal. The theory behind this remedy is that the charcoal includes tiny voids that trap organic materials to neutralize the poisons. The belief is that this will trap the organic material causing stains on your teeth, but the truth is that it does not work.
It is possible to get an activated charcoal powder that you mix with water to create a paste that can be used to brush your teeth. The problem is that you will need to rinse your mouth very thoroughly to ensure that all the unattractive black particles are gone. Charcoal is actually soft and will not damage the enamel of your teeth, but the particles can irritate the gums if you are not careful and this could cause damage if you do not pay enough attention.