Teeth whitening is one of the easiest and most wallet-friendly ways to give your smile a pick-me-up. If you’re looking to remove years of stains and brighten your smile, you may be tempted by DIY treatments circulating the internet. After all, they’re natural! But is natural teeth whitening too good to be true?

Well, there’s no evidence that these treatments are effective. And the worst part is, some of these “remedies” can even damage your teeth.

So, what’s the safest and most effective way to whiten your smile? Professional whitening treatments performed by a highly skilled dentist will help ensure you’re getting the results you’re looking for.

At Houston Uptown Dentists, we can safely whiten your teeth in just minutes with the help of our state-of-the-art TouchWhite laser. We also offer Zoom! in-office whitening and custom at-home treatments!

Call our Houston, TX office at 832-463-1021 to schedule an appointment. In the meantime, read on to learn how some popular DIY, “natural” teeth whitening treatments affect your teeth.

Lemon And Baking Soda

The claim stands that a little bit of baking soda mixed with freshly squeezed lemon creates a bubbly concoction that brightens your smile when used every other day,

But lemon juice is extremely acidic and can eat away at your enamel, which is the tough outer layer of your teeth. Your enamel is important because it prevents tooth decay. When the strength of your enamel is compromised, it can make your teeth sensitive and more prone to cavities.

Strawberry Paste

So lemons are a no-go when it comes to teeth whitening, but what about strawberries? According to one beauty hack, you can mash up strawberries with baking soda for a more brilliant smile.

A researcher at the University of Iowa put this to the test and found that it’s not an effective way to whiten your teeth. Even worse, it “reduced the surface hardness of teeth … by up to 10 percent” because the citric acid in the strawberries eroded enamel, according to a University of Iowa news release.

So why don’t strawberries and other fruits work as natural teeth whitening agents? The answer lies in their chemistry. They lack the active ingredients in products clinically proven to whiten teeth: hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, according to the American Dental Association.

In conclusion, it’s better to enjoy the strawberries as a healthy snack than to mash them up and smear them on your teeth.

Charcoal Scrubs

You’ve probably seen the videos circulating social media, where girls scoop charcoal paste out of a small container and apply it to their teeth with a toothbrush. These products claim to be made of “activated charcoal” or “all-natural bamboo charcoal” that “bind to toxins and instantly remove stains.”

According to the Journal of the American Dental Association, there’s not enough data to show that charcoal teeth whitening products are safe or effective. The article notes that these internet advertisements touted “unsubstantiated therapeutic claims — such as antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and oral detoxification, as well as potentially misleading product assertions.”

What’s more, any sort of scrub that is too abrasive for your teeth can wear away at the enamel, which can actually make your teeth appear more yellow.

So, what should you do with this information? Proceed with caution when it comes to charcoal scrubs. If you’d really like to try it out, consult with a trusted dental professional, like the ones at Houston Uptown Dentists.

Oil Pulling

The practice of swishing coconut or sesame oil in your mouth isn’t a new one. Oil pulling has its roots in ancient India and southern Asia. But in recent years, oil pulling has seen a resurgence, thanks to the mainstream media and the internet.

Some websites claim that oil pulling is an easy and natural way to improve your dental health. Some even say it can whiten your teeth over time. But, there hasn’t been any reliable scientific studies showing that it has any of those benefits. So, the practice is not recommended by the American Dental Society.

Transform Your Smile Safely And Effectively

At Houston Uptown Dentists, we’re passionate about smile transformations. If you’re looking to remove years of dental stains, partner with us to ensure you’re getting the results you dream of!

Plus, it’s important to note that teeth bleaching treatments aren’t effective at addressing intrinsic discoloration, which can be caused by trauma or certain medications. Our knowledgeable staff can help you determine what has caused your teeth to take on a yellow, gray, or dull appearance. Then, we can recommend a treatment that’s right for you!

Call us today at 832-463-1021 to schedule an appointment! You can also fill out our convenient online form.