Do DIY teeth whitening methods really work?

Can you get a whiter smile at home?

If you believe what you read on the internet, many common household products can help polish your smile to a brilliant white. However, are any of these promises true?

We take a look at popular DIY teeth whitening methods and whether or not they really work. 

Lemon juice is highly acidic and erodes your teeth.

1. Lemon and baking soda

A quick Google search will tell you that you can whiten your teeth by brushing with a lemon juice and baking soda paste. 

However, rather than being a recipe for whiter teeth, this could be a recipe for disaster. Lemon juice is highly acidic and erodes your teeth, as shown in a study published in General Dentistry. Brushing your teeth with lemon juice exposes them to the harmful acid for a prolonged length of time and could do extensive damage, leading to tooth sensitivity and cavities

On top of that, baking soda is known to be abrasive, meaning continual use could also damage your enamel. It can remove some surface stains and debris, making your teeth appear whiter, but the potential damage outweighs the benefits. 

2. Activated charcoal

Charcoal acts as a purifying scrub for your teeth, which some people believe will whiten your smile. However, brushing your teeth with activated charcoal could have the opposite of a whitening effect, as the abrasiveness can wear away the enamel.

The enamel on your teeth is what makes them look white, so when you rub it away your teeth end up looking more yellow. Adding to that, as an abrasive substance, charcoal can also irritate your gums and cause tooth sensitivity

Brushing your teeth with baking soda might make them slightly whiter, but at a cost. Brushing your teeth with baking soda might make them slightly whiter, but at a cost.

3. Oil pulling

Oil pulling has its roots in Ayurvedic medicine and has been around for roughly 3,000 years. The practice involves swishing oil around your mouth for about 20 minutes before spitting it out. It is touted as a way to maintain a healthy mouth and some people claim it can whiten teeth. 

However, so far there have been no scientific studies backing up claims that oil pulling whitens teeth, reduces the risk of dental caries or improves your oral wellbeing in any significant way. 

The safest, fastest and most effective way to whiten your teeth is to make an appointment with the professionals. Here at City Dentists we offer teeth whitening procedures that will return your teeth to their natural whiteness without harming your teeth or gums. If you're interested in a brighter smile, come in to see us