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Lady looking into a mirror cleaning her teeth thinking about the options available for teeth whitening
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Gosford Family Dentists

Are DIY whitening trends safe?

Over time, our teeth can gradually 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 improve the appearance of your teeth is to visit your dentist. Here they will provide in-chair or at-home teeth whitening treatments. But with the increase of DIY approaches to dentistry, there are an abundance of whitening products available that claim to achieve the same results as professional treatments. What’s worse is these products are unregulated, and therefore aren’t proven to be safe or effective. So, are DIY whitening trends safe? Let’s reveal some teeth whitening approaches to avoid at all costs.

Activated charcoal

Here’s what we know about activated charcoal: people use it to treat poisonings, high cholesterol, hangovers, or an upset stomach. But when it comes to whitening teeth, it can 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.

Over-the-counter whitening kits

Although take-home teeth whitening kits from your local supermarket are cheap and convenient, 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.

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, it 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.

Book an appointment with Gosford Family Dentist

We only have one set of adult teeth in a lifetime so it’s worth knowing the risks of DIY whitening trends before making a decision. 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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