“Hacking” Your Way To A Whiter Smile: Is It Realistic?

As we age our bodies change – there’s no denying that. One of the most cosmetically noticeable changes is the shade of your teeth. No matter what you do it seems they just get duller and duller as time goes on, until you’re left with a yellowed smile that you can’t stand to look at.

Teeth whitening has become a massive industry for that very reason. Because it’s not always cheap to get a great looking smile a whole DIY whitening industry has sprung up as well. But do these alternative whitening solutions even work?

We hear about a lot of different “whitening hacks” at our Rochester office, and today we want to talk about a few of the most common ones. In most cases you’ll find that the results simply aren’t there, while in others you could find yourself with damaged teeth!

Baking Soda And Peroxide: The Most Probable Solution?

It seems like it should work at first glance: make a solution of baking soda and peroxide in order to melt away the stains and clean your teeth. It’s not that simple, unfortunately. While baking soda can clean your teeth and peroxide is the choice whitening ingredient they aren’t going to combine into a magic elixir.

First off, the peroxide in teeth whitening products is far stronger than the peroxide liquid sitting under your bathroom counter. Not only that, but peroxide is incredibly unstable – it even breaks down in the presence of saliva! When you whiten your teeth professionally (or with an over-the-counter product) you’re wearing trays that should seal the peroxide off from your mouth. If not it will break down almost instantly – the same with a peroxide liquid.

Using baking soda to clean your teeth isn’t the best of ideas either. It can do the job in a pinch, but over time it can damage the enamel that protects your teeth. Don’t tempt fate by trying to whiten your teeth using this combination. All you’ll get is a nasty paste in your mouth and damaged enamel.

Fruit Peels: The Cheapest Solution?

One of the methods that seems to be blowing up the internet lately is the use of fruit peels to whiten teeth. The idea is that substances on the inside of fruit peels – specifically bananas and citrus – are ideal for scrubbing away stains. The reality of the situation is a bit different.

Bananas contain magnesium and potassium, which are supposed to be the active agents in removing stains. While these two elements can polish your teeth they won’t lift stains. You’ll notice a temporary improvement in the shade of your teeth due to a layer of polish, but it will quickly wear away.

Citrus fruit is just downright dangerous. The acids in citrus peels are supposed to be what makes the whitening happen, but there’s something far more serious that happens when you rub citrus peels on your teeth: the acid softens your enamel. Over time this can lead to damaged tooth surfaces and an increased risk of cavities – not exactly the results you’re looking for when you try to whiten your teeth!

Oil Pulling: Is There Something To This Ancient Technique?

An ancient Indian technique called oil pulling has also received some increased attention over the past few years. It involves swishing oil around in your mouth for ten to twenty minutes, which is supposed to pull bacteria away and whiten your teeth too.

The reality of oil pulling is a bit less impressive. While it can definitely remove some bacteria from your teeth it won’t remove any stains. It’s bacteria-removing properties aren’t that impressive either – you’ll get much better results from brushing and flossing. Take our advice: stay away from oil pulling and stick with what works.

Is Real Whitening Possible?

The take-home whitening treatments we offer at Northwest Dental Group have been creating great results for years. With a strong peroxide gel and a custom-made whitening tray you’ll be enjoying a brighter smile in just a few weeks. That’s more than we can say for these DIY tricks!

If you want to get a really white smile that truly rejuvenates your teeth there’s only one thing to do: get a professional treatment at our Rochester office. Call us today at 507-315-2932 or request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!