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Teeth Whitening… not everything you read on the internet is a good idea!

By: Dr. Elizabeth Craig | June 1, 2015

I love Pinterest as much as the next person…  I have found some great recipes and wonderful decorating ideas!  What drives me to write this blog is the homemade tooth whitening remedies I have been seeing.  I have heard of rubbing anything from activated charcoal to lemon juice and baking soda concoctions on teeth in hopes of whitening them.  Please do not use any homemade remedies to whiten your teeth!

The enamel on teeth is susceptible to stain, both on the surface and also deep stains.  These stains can be lightened or removed through a process called oxidation.  Several of the ingredients listed in the Pinterest Pins that I read would indeed be able to cause an oxidation reaction, but that doesn’t make them safe to put in your mouth!  Lemon Juice, for instance, is highly acidic and can erode your enamel away.  Yes, it might make the tooth whiter, but you cannot grow the lost enamel back and can harm your tooth irreversibly!

The best way to whiten your teeth is start with a teeth cleaning and an exam by a dentist.  Ask them about whitening options making sure you are a candidate.   Usually the active ingredient in professional teeth whitening gels is Carbamide Peroxide in varying percentages supplemented with fluoride to decrease sensitivity.  There are several safe over the counter options as well.  Whitening the teeth as recommended does not harm the teeth, but please be safe and do not attempt these things you’ve seen on Pinterest.