We can’t imagine anyone in Hendricks County who doesn’t want whiter, brighter teeth. That’s probably why people search the web for teeth whitening methods. However, at Danville Family Dentistry, we know there’s a lot of misinformation and just plain, old wives’ tales about natural teeth whitening methods out there. That’s why we want to share the truth with you about the credibility and effectiveness of three “natural” methods.
Strawberries (With or Without Baking Soda)
Many natural health websites claim munching on strawberries is a great way to get sparking teeth. They say the malic acid found in strawberries helps to remove stains, while the vitamin C in berries removes plaque. Even Dr. Oz has touted the benefits of brushing with a baking soda and strawberry mixture on his TV show.
However, research has shown that strawberries (with or without baking soda) only create an illusion of a whiter smile by removing plaque and surface debris from the teeth. But this method doesn’t have the same long-lasting effect as bleaching. Another downside is, the citric acid in strawberries can erode your teeth’s enamel, reducing their surface hardness.
Another trendy tooth whitening method is brushing with activated charcoal. Now, we’re not talking about the type of charcoal you use in your barbeque grill. We’re talking about the charcoal you can buy in pill or powder form from a natural food store. Hospitals use this type of activated charcoal to treat food and other types of poisoning. When you brush your teeth with activated charcoal, it supposedly helps remove plaque, food particles and surface stains. However, it won’t whiten teeth that are deeply stained or yellowed.
Plus, if you’ve seen the online videos, brushing your teeth with activated charcoal can look downright scary. We can’t think of any Hendricks County patients who would want to look in the mirror and see their teeth turn black. Not to mention, activated charcoal can be messy to use. And it will stain your clothes, sink, tile, and anything else it lands on.
As of today, the American Dental Association (ADA) hasn’t studied charcoal’s safety and effectiveness. We just don’t know how abrasive activated charcoal can be for your teeth. But it may cause your tooth enamel to become more susceptible to deterioration and erosion. Once tooth enamel loss occurs, you’re more likely to get cavities.
Oil pulling is an ancient teeth whitening method that’s been around for thousands of years. With this method, you swish a tablespoon of coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes a day. As you swish the oil around in your mouth, it becomes thicker and creamier as it mixes with your saliva. After your time is up, you spit it out and brush your teeth with toothpaste.
Oil pulling is said to whiten your teeth, remove bacteria and fight gum disease. However, no reliable studies have been done to support these claims. While you may notice a slight brightening of your teeth, it likely won’t be long-lasting effect.
Whiten Your Teeth at Danville Family Dentistry
If you want to have a whiter, brighter smile, schedule an appointment at the Hendricks County office of Danville Family Dentistry. Routine, professional teeth cleaning can help make your teeth shine while preventing the buildup of stains. Additionally, Dr. Jon Erickson can talk with you about over-the-counter teeth whitening products or an in-office, teeth whitening treatment if you have badly stained teeth. Dr. Erickson will recommend the best treatment solution for the results you want.
If you’re dreaming of having shiny, pearly white teeth, call us today at (317) 745-4400. A dazzling smile is possible without risking the health of your teeth to old wives’ tales.
Disclaimer: The information included in this article is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.