There are many suggestions out there on home remedies for tooth whitening. They range from mixing a half a teaspoon of baking soda together with a teaspoon of lemon juice and brushing with it, to adding salt to your toothpaste, to rubbing a banana peel on your teeth, to apple cider vinegar, to hydrogen peroxide. The efficacy of these methods is very doubtful, and the risk of permanent damage to your teeth far outweighs the benefit.
In this blog post we will comment on a few of these methods.
1. Lemon juice: Lemon juice, fresh or not, will not whiten teeth. Lemon juice is actually citric acid and has a very low pH of 2.3 (which is very acidic). It will erode the outer enamel covering of a tooth. This can cause sensitivity and rapid tooth decay.
2. Baking Soda: The abrasive properties of baking soda can cause excessive wear and damage to the enamel of your teeth. This results in sensitivity and increased risk for developing cavities.
3. Brushing with Strawberries: This is another “home remedy” purported to help whiten teeth, but can be dangerous. Strawberries get their power to brighten teeth from ascorbic acid — and acids are harmful to teeth. It doesn’t take long for acids to erode dental enamel and cause sensitivity and decay.
4. Oil Pulling : The Ayurvedic practice of swishing oil in your mouth—may not be bad for you, but there’s little evidence that it cleans teeth and none that it can cure anything else. The practice itself is pretty safe and not likely to cause harm, but hard evidence of the benefits and risks is hard to come by.
5. Brushing teeth with salt: Brushing with salt will not whiten teeth. It will cut the gums and rub away the outer layer of the tooth because it is so abrasive. Your teeth may look whiter, but they will be damaged and are likely to need repair
6. Food Grade Hydrogen Peroxide: You should never rinse with hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth! This will not only not whiten your teeth, but you can do significant damage to your gums and lining of your mouth. You can also disrupt the normal flora of bacteria in your mouth. The effectiveness of using over the counter hydrogen peroxide as a mouth rinse to bleach your teeth is very ineffective.
CONCULSION: There are many other home remedies out there and while some home remedies MAY appear to whiten your teeth, there’s a real risk of severe and permanent tooth or gum damage when using any of them. If you erode the enamel on your teeth, you are not only at risk for increased sensitivity and decay, but the underlying dentin (which is a darker colour) can show through and actually make the tooth look darker, not whiter! The safest option and most effective option is to choose a teeth whitening method that requires dental supervision so the dentist can evaluate your dental health before proceeding, adding a second level of care and caution to prevent damage or discomfort.