It is believed that the charcoal can remove stains from your teeth because it is highly absorbent. However, according to Weerakoon, its effectiveness has yet to be proven. A study in the British Dental Journal published in early 2019 found that charcoal has little to offer No protection against tooth decay.
Lemon juice has been a popular home whitening agent for many years because of its acidity. However, Weerakoon says that while lemon juice can initially dissolve stains on the surface of your teeth, over time it could actually erode the outer enamel coating on your teeth – and the enamel erosion is often irreversible. Read more about tooth enamel Here.
Lemons have been used as a home remedy for teeth whitening for years. Source: Getty.
Weerakoon says using baking soda to whiten teeth is another bad idea. She says that unless you have super obvious coffee, tea, and wine stains, using baking soda will actually grind away tooth enamel and texture as opposed to eroding it. “Over time, it will actually make your teeth look yellow,” she adds.
Oil pulling has been around for a while, but Weerakoon says it’s not clear how effective this method is. The practice is to swirl oil around your mouth and then spit it out. People usually use coconut oil, sunflower oil, or sesame oil.
“As far as I know, this will actually reduce the amount of plaque (bacteria) and can help with gum disease,” Weerakoon says. However, she says the practice may not necessarily be effective against stain removal.
Coconut oil is one of the many oils that people use for this practice. Source: Getty.
So what’s the best way to whiten teeth?
“To be honest, there’s nothing quite like professional whitening,” she says. “It’s faster, safer, and better managed.”
Weerakoon went on to say that she was nervous about recommending home remedies to her patients, stating that people frequently use products like bicarb and lemon juice, but doing so irreparably harms their teeth.
There are two ways in which you can professionally whiten your teeth: a whitening treatment like a laser in your dental office or having a whitening kit delivered to you at home. Ultimately, the decision is yours. It is best to check with your dentist first.
Alternatively, according to Weerakoon, there are also some good teeth whitening toothpastes on the market. However, she cautions against online purchases and recommends going to your local pharmacist instead.
“All the dental products you buy from Australian pharmacies and dental offices are strictly regulated to keep people safe,” she said.
Weerakoon adds that it is important to note that some teeth will not go white no matter what you do with them. These include denture teeth, some root-filled teeth, crowns, bridges, and teeth that have been filled or veneered. Bleaching teeth with open cavities or leaky fillings can also lead to tooth sensitivity. In addition, whitening your teeth is not a good idea if your teeth are already sensitive. If in doubt, talk to your dentist about your options.
IMPORTANT LEGAL INFORMATION This article is of a general nature and is for your information only as it does not take into account your personal health requirements or existing medical conditions. That said, it’s not about personalized health advice that shouldn’t be relied on as if it were. Before making any health-related decision, you should determine whether the information is appropriate for your situation and seek professional medical advice.