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  • Writer's pictureUlrich Orthodontics

Dont' Fall for Teeth-Whitening Trends!

A beautiful, bright white smile is something most of us undoubtedly want. In fact The American Dental Association revealed that "whiter teeth" is the most popular response received as to what people would improve about their smiles. Getting that bright smile is something that should be consulted on by a dental professional, not one of the popular word-of-mouth trends found on the internet, social media, or amongst friends.

Some popular trends to avoid:

  1. Charcoal toothpaste with/without baking soda: Evidence has not been found charcoal toothpaste is actually safe for teeth. It is natural, has been used throughout history as a paste, and can quickly remove surface stains. But this is where the benefit stops. Charcoal toothpaste is abrasive, provides little to no protection against future surface stains and as it damages the enamel, it can actually stain teeth as it accumulates in cracks and crevices. Without strong enamel, your teeth will be more prone to future staining. If not properly rinsed, it can also travel to the digestive track and not allow medications to absorb properly as it's one of the ingredients used in treating drug overdoses.

  2. Oil Pulling: This method involves using various oils, like coconut oil as a mouthwash for 15-20 minutes, followed up by rubbing tumeric on the teeth. This method may increase saliva production, which does not allow bacteria and plaque to reside on the surface of the tooth, however it doesn't necessarily prevent staining or promote whitening. Little is known about how using oils breaks down tooth enamel which can be difficult to repair. A better alternative is still brushing teeth and using a mouth wash.

  3. Using citrus fruit/acids to scrub teeth: Citrus and other acidic foods can strip teeth of their enamel. This includes methods like adding lemon juice to baking soda and mixing into a paste. Once enamel is damaged, it can be very challenging to repair. Damaged enamel cannot protect teeth from staining.

  4. Magic Erasers: These abrasive sponges are loaded with chemicals. The packaging clearly states to not ingest. The product when exposed to liquid, hardens like sandpaper. It is recommended to wear gloves when handling this product, so avoiding usage in your mouth seems like common sense.

Best Teeth Whitening Strategies for safe, gradual whitening of the teeth:

  1. Whitening Toothpaste

  2. Whitening strips (Crest or generic)

  3. Custom tooth whitening trays (may be ordered through your dentist or orthodontist)

  4. Baking soda toothpaste

  5. Good oral hygiene! (i.e. brush frequently, especially after consuming stain-prone foods and beverages like red wine, coffee, tea, etc.)

Any questions? Feel free to call, text or email any of us at Ulrich Orthodontics!

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