Arguably the fastest growing trend in dentistry today is teeth whitening, yet it has actually been around for a while. The growing demand for whiter teeth – fueled by social media influencers, celebrities, and TV actors – have patients searching for cheap and easy ways to get the same results, with potentially disastrous results.
Almost all social media trends related to teeth whitening (activated charcoal, kaolin clay, baking soda, fruit peels, and apple cider vinegar) can result in short- and long-term teeth problems. To learn why specific do-it-yourself (DIY) whitening methods may damage your teeth, let’s dive in.
Why should I whiten my teeth and how does it work?
Every day our teeth are stained by a variety of foods and drinks that may not be removable by scaling or polishing treatments alone (depending on the type of stain). As a result, professional teeth whitening/bleaching is an excellent solution to remove outer stains, bleach the tooth from the inside, or enhance the tooth’s initial structure. Professional teeth whitening solutions use stronger materials than anything available to the public and can improve your digestive health as well. While professional teeth whitening can improve your oral health and strengthen your enamel, DIY whitening methods can do the exact opposite. To learn how to whiten your teeth like a dentist check out this video!
1. They can cause teeth erosion
The erosion of teeth occurs due to the acids and chemicals in these DIY whitening solutions, leading to the destruction of the tooth’s structure and sensitive teeth. Fruit peels from citrus fruits or vinegar solutions contribute to the erosion of teeth enamel the most. The application of these acids can injure your teeth due to the increased growth of toxins that cause pain and increase sensitivity. Do not use baking soda on your teeth either.
2. They can cause abrasion of your teeth
Abrasion of your teeth can be a good thing with certain kinds of toothpaste or when used by a dentist to remove discolouration, but can prove to be unsafe when done at home. For example, the use of activated charcoal has been shown to be abrasive to your tooth’s surfaces causing tooth damage that will be potentially irreversible.
3. They may affect your dental health worse than others
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for teeth whitening, even if these solutions may make you think that they are based on sound science for everyone’s benefit. Your teeth have different needs, and depending on your current dental needs, these methods can cause sensitive teeth to become even more sensitive. Teeth with cavities may suffer additional trauma and become even more painful.
Some of the chemicals in DIY teeth whitening methods can cause teeth sensitivity, gum swelling, tooth erosion/abrasion, and mouth ulcers. If you have any pre-existing gum problems like gingivitis or periodontitis, the chemicals can further injure and even delay treatment for these conditions. Studies have shown that none of these methods can guarantee the whitening or bleaching of your teeth and the risk of damage to your teeth is far greater than any unlikely benefit.
4. Prolonged use can cause soft-tissue damage
Have you ever heard the expression practice makes perfect? Unfortunately, this is a very dangerous mentality when it comes to teeth whitening DIY methods. These methods often result in poor results and increasing the duration or amount of these products will only lead to increased levels of pain and teeth damage. If you have already tried any of these DIY teeth whitening methods, please contact our office and we can help you access and/or potentially reverse any damage that may have been done to your teeth.
Conclusion (more pain, more damage, and more expensive)
As of today, there is no substantial evidence supporting the effectiveness of these DIY teeth whitening trends. Therefore, it is best to avoid using them so you don’t cause irreversible damage to your teeth. When factoring in the amount of time, pain, and frustration you’ll likely face exploring various teeth whitening trends, it is far more worthwhile to have this aesthetic smile enhancement done at Sbenati Dentistry.
If you want to learn more about professional teeth whitening in London Ontario vs. DIY methods check out this blog post and our other blogs. If you want to enhance and brighten your smile or have tried these methods in the past and are worried about the impact they have on your teeth we’d love to help you.
If you would like to ask us any questions or schedule an appointment at our dental clinic in London Ontario you can use our “Request An Appointment” form, email us at Info@sbenatidentistry.ca, or give us a call at (519)-474-0220 we’d love to meet you.