The internet can be a funny place. If you do a search for something like “teeth whitening method,” you are likely to get some answers that can actually cause more harm than good.
It’s understandable why anyone would want whiter teeth. Removing stains makes your smile look nicer. There’s a reason it’s one of the most popular cosmetic services at our Midlothian, VA dentist office and across the country.
Today, we want you to learn a little about the so-called DIY whitening options and why you are much better off visiting us if you want a brighter smile.
Professional Whitening is the Best Option
We want you to know up front that you will not see better results than you will at a teeth whitening dentist office.
First and foremost, we will examine your teeth for any potential issues that could interfere with your whitening. If we determine that you are a good candidate for whitening, we will be happy to discuss your whitening options. (Likewise, if you aren’t a good candidate for whitening, we can discuss dental veneers, which is another way to create the bright, white smile you are seeking.)
With professional whitening, you will receive a more potent product than you will find on any grocery store shelf (or any DIY method). Professional products contain higher concentrations of bleaching agents, which are used with custom-molded trays. We make these tray for you in our office.
With our gel and trays, you can see massive improvements in the color of your smile in a matter of a few weeks.
Just as important, you will receive our expert advice on how to use the products safely and correctly.
The Trouble With DIY Whitening
Like we noted above, the internet is full of incorrect advice when it comes to teeth whitening. Let’s look at some of the common misguided techniques that we have seen online.
➤ Using fruit is a bad idea.
Multiple websites have mentioned used fruits or berries of some kind to “naturally” whiten teeth. Often these suggestions mention make note of something in the fruit, such as citric acid, and rubbing it on your teeth and leaving it there for a specified amount of time.
Here’s the problem with that. Citric acid eats away at the enamel on your teeth. The weakens your teeth. It also can increase your tooth sensitivity and your risk of cavities.
Eating fruit can be healthy because they are packed with vitamins and minerals. Plus when you eat fruit, you only have it in your mouth for a brief time, which means the acid doesn’t have as much time to affect your teeth.
➤ You don’t want scrubs.
The kind of scrubs seem to change, and recently charcoal scrubs have received a lot of publicity.
The idea behind this — whether it’s charcoal, baking soda, or something else — is to make a kind of paste to scrub on your teeth and then clean away. The Journal of the American Dental Association has reported on the charcoal trend, and their conclusion is that there is no evidence that this is either safe or effective.
In fact, rough scrubs are like to wear down your enamel and can expose the softer dentin underneath. Again, this can increase tooth sensitivity.
➤ This is not a time to spice things up.
Another common whitening suggestion has been to use spices or some kind of oil (such as coconut). While this may be the tastier than rubbing charcoal on your teeth, there’s still no evidence that adding spices will improve your smile.
Whiten Your Smile in a Safe Way
You should keep in mind that your teeth don’t have to be sparklingly white to be healthy. Having a whiter smile does look nicer. If you want to whiten your smile, you should do it safely as well.
This is why the American Dental Association recommends talking to a dentist before you attempt teeth whitening of any kind. It’s also why Dr. Biggers would be happy to discuss your whitening options if you are interested in a brighter smile.