freshly squeezed lemon juice in small bowlStained teeth can be embarrassing. A discolored smile tells the people around you that you don’t take proper care of your teeth, and might not care about how you look. Yellowing teeth are also associated with illness and aging. There are many things that can cause stains to appear on your teeth, including coffee, acidic salad dressings, wine, and tea. With these favorite foods and drinks working against you, the temptation to find easy tooth whitening solutions is strong. And there are many of them out there, posted all over the internet. DIY tooth whitening is growing in popularity, but many of the tricks to a Hollywood Smile do great harm to your teeth and only remove surface stains. They may not be a good replacement for professional cosmetic dentistry from a reputable cosmetic dentist.

Baking Soda

A common household item, baking soda is one of the most popular methods of at-home whitening. There are dozens of suggested concoctions to scrub your teeth with, ranging from the basic solution of baking soda and water to more elaborate mixtures using strawberry juice. Baking soda is an abrasive material, which helps to scrub away surface stains. Although it will not damage your teeth right away, extended use of baking soda can wear down your enamel because of its abrasive quality. People using baking soda on their teeth may also experience gum irritation.

Lemon Juice

Some people claim that lemon juice is a good way to remove surface stains from your teeth. The idea behind this method is that the natural acidity of the lemon will lift surface stains from the tooth quickly. People posting about this method warn against leaving the juice on for longer than a minute because it can strip the enamel from your teeth. Unfortunately, repeated exposure to lemon juice will weaken and strip away your enamel no matter how short of a time you leave it on for each use. If it’s long enough to remove stains, it’s long enough to remove enamel.

Powdered Vitamin C

Another whitening trick is crushing up vitamin C tablets and brushing it on your teeth like a paste. As with lemons, the idea is that the acidity of the vitamin C will remove staining. Chewing vitamin C can help boost your immune system, but it will damage your teeth if you brush your teeth with it. The acidity of this vitamin will leave you with the same enamel-damaging results as lemons.

Activated Charcoal

Many people do not readily have a supply of activated charcoal in their home, but it is still touted as a DIY whitening tool. Activated charcoal is used as a purifier in many situations because of its ability to trap organic compounds, including toxins. This purifier has also been found to be able to absorb the staining molecules from teas and coffees known as tannins. Although it is not acidic and thus does not damage your teeth directly, activated charcoal often causes damage and irritation to the gums that can lead to receding gums.

Avoid The Risk By Choosing Professional Tooth Whitening

With so many damaging alternatives to whitening, it is a good idea to get professional cosmetic dentistry rather than tying risky at-home methods that only remove surface staining, if any at all. Professional whitening will give you longer lasting results more quickly than over-the-counter strips or DIY remedies because it reaches down to remove deep staining. The materials used in cosmetic dentistry are carefully regulated to ensure quality care that does not damage the teeth. Your dentist will also take care to protect your gums from potential irritation before your treatment begins.

A whiter smile can give your confidence the boost you need. For more information about tooth whitening or to schedule an appointment, please call 845-627-7645 for an appointment at B & D Dental Excellence in West Nyack.