There are good reasons why everyone wants whiter teeth. Whiter teeth make you look younger, healthier, more successful, and more attractive. Having whiter teeth can help you get a date, get a job, or get a raise. So who wouldn’t want a whiter smile?

The only question is: how to get it? Unfortunately, many people are trying so-called “natural” teeth whitening methods that can damage teeth. And that’s got many dentists in California worried.

There are some do-it-yourself (DIY) whitening techniques that can be effective and safe, but many are potentially harmful and damaging.

Beautiful Young Woman Showing Off Her Smile

Damaging DIY Whitening Techniques

There are two main approaches to removing stains from your teeth: chemicals that can break down the stains or abrasives that can scratch away the stains. The problem is that many DIY techniques just aren’t specific enough to remove the stains and leave your tooth enamel. Instead, they remove tooth enamel. And once tooth enamel is gone, there is no way to replace it. This isn’t just unhealthy, it’s counterproductive: the enamel is what makes your teeth white. When the enamel is gone, your teeth will be yellow, brown, or gray.

Let’s consider the DIY chemical whitening techniques. These include brushing with strawberries or rinsing with apple cider vinegar. The acid in these solutions may remove stains (although research shows they don’t), but they will also remove tooth enamel.

Abrasive teeth whitening techniques include bentonite clay, charcoal, and commercial whitening toothpastes. All of these can be very damaging to tooth enamel. Bentonite clay toothpaste can be very abrasive, and most toothpastes with the word “whitening” in their name are also very abrasive. Activated charcoal is not inherently abrasive, but many toothpaste formulations include other ingredients that make them damaging for teeth.

Relatively Safe DIY Teeth Whitening

But not all DIY techniques are damaging to your teeth. There are many ways you can safely try to whiten your teeth. Umbrian Clay is relatively nonabrasive, less abrasive than most commercial toothpastes.

Oil pulling is unlikely to make much difference, but it’s also unlikely to do much harm. Daily rinsing with a weak peroxide solution (50:50 with water) may also help.

And then there are the simple things you can do every day to keep from staining your teeth: consuming fewer staining foods and beverages, rinsing your teeth with water after consumption, and using a straw to reduce tooth exposure. Plus regular toothbrushing and dental cleaning visits can all help keep your teeth white.

Professional Teeth Whitening Is Safe and Effective

Although there are ways that you can whiten your teeth safely at home, the best way to safely whiten your teeth is with professional teeth whitening. These techniques are designed to target stains in your teeth while protecting your tooth enamel. That way your teeth get bright, stay bright, and also stay healthy.

If you want to learn more about the best ways to get a beautifully white smile, please call (949) 551-5902 today for an appointment with an Orange County cosmetic dentist at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.