Whitening Your Teeth: Risks And Alternative Methods

Everyone wants a brighter, whiter smile and many products on the market today claim they help whiten your teeth. Some of these products are affordable and easy to use, so it's no wonder more people than ever are purchasing teeth whitening products. But how do you know these products are not harmful to your teeth? Here are some things to consider before you decide to whiten your teeth.

Risks To Teeth

Most whitening products contain bleach, which is designed to lighten the tooth's color. But bleaching can also be very harmful to your gums, causing severe pain and redness. It can also wear down the enamel on your teeth, the protective barrier that keeps your teeth strong. If the enamel is worn down, it cannot come back. Teeth with worn enamel are more prone to cavities and decay. Less enamel also softens the teeth, making them more prone to breakage or cracking.

Other reasons many teeth whitening products can cause pain is because the user does not apply them correctly. If you push whitening strips directly into or onto the gums, it will almost certainly cause inflammation and pain. Overuse will also cause some issues. If you only use whitening products occasionally, the risks to teeth and gums is not as severe. But many people like the results they see and opt to use the products more frequently than recommended. This can speed up the breakdown of gums and enamel, creating more problems than benefits.

Natural Teeth Whitening Alternatives

You can whiten your teeth naturally without the use of harsh chemicals. Here are some safe ways you can brighten your smile without causing harm to your mouth:

  • Make a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide and use it to brush with. Most people who use this method begin to see whitening results after a few uses.
  • Brush your teeth after eating and drinking. Many adults do not brush after eating, which can cause the teeth to become stained.
  • Coconut oil has been shown to assist in whitening teeth. Add a dab to your toothbrush or swish some around in your mouth, like a mouthwash.
  • Some claim that natural foods like strawberries, lemon and orange peels and apple cider vinegar can all contribute to whiter teeth with consistent use.
  • Activated charcoal has been used for centuries as a natural form of dental care and to whiten teeth. Just be sure not to swallow it and avoid getting it on the gums too often when possible.