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Are DIY whitening trends safe?

Do your teeth need a smile makeover? Over time, our teeth can start to appear discoloured or dull. And not just from eating certain foods or drinking beverages such as coffee or red wine – age-related structural changes in our teeth can also cause discolouration. A great way to transform your smile is to visit your dentist for in-chair or at-home teeth whitening treatments. With the increase of DIY approaches to dentistry, there are plenty of whitening products on the market that claim to achieve the same results as professional treatments. These products are often unregulated, and therefore not proven to be safe or effective. So, let’s reveal some DIY teeth whitening trends to avoid at all costs.

Over-the-counter whitening kits

Take-home teeth whitening kits from your local supermarket may seem cheap and convenient, but there are risks involved in this DIY method. From whitening powders and whitening kits, to pens and gels, they can all leave you with uneven and disappointing results. Streaks, spots and increased sensitivity are the most common side effects. But if the product contains a strong bleaching agent, it can also cause gum irritation and burning sensations. 

Household products baking soda or lemon juice

These kitchen staples may seem harmless enough but, again, they’re not the safest when it comes to enhancing the appearance of your teeth. Mixed with water, baking soda is commonly used like toothpaste but due to its abrasive nature can be too harsh on your teeth. When overused it can damage tooth enamel and increase your risk for tooth sensitivity, decay, and cavities. 


Applying lemon juice to your teeth isn’t much better. Even though it’s natural, lemon juice is an acid that can wear away your top layer of enamel and cause sensitivity and pain.

Activated charcoal 

Did you know that activated charcoal is often used to treat poisonings, high cholesterol, hangovers or an upset stomach? And when it comes to whitening teeth it may cause more harm than good. Charcoal is mildly abrasive and whilst it can absorb some surface stains on your teeth, there’s no evidence that it has any effect on stains below your enamel. Additionally, The Australian Dental Association states that charcoal particles can build up in openings surrounding your teeth under the gum line which can result in periodontal disease and tissue discolouration in your mouth. 

Leave it to the professionals. Book an appointment with Gosford Family Dentist for your teeth whitening needs

Don’t risk your smile. At Gosford Family Dentist, we offer a range of safe, fast and effective teeth whitening options. During a consultation, we can determine the most effective teeth whitening treatment for you. Contact our friendly team to book your appointment. 

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