(And Why You Should Avoid Them)
These days you don’t need to be a skilled expert to achieve anything. With the help of a Google search and some YouTube videos, you can master any task. You can learn how to tie a half Windsor knot for your wedding day. You can pan sear chicken breast like Gordon Ramsey. You can learn the ins and outs of Photoshop in under an hour. Whatever you want to do, there’s an online shortcut to get you there. Teeth whitening is no different. While it’s better to trust the experts, some people are willing to trust YouTube novices for DIY teeth whitening tricks. Made from common household items, these treatments seem ideal on the surface. They can save you time and money, and you can get the job done in your own home. But do they really work? Are these treatments legit replacements for professional teeth whitening?
Let’s start by covering some of the creative ways people are whitening their teeth at home.
The Banana Rub
Yes, you read that correctly. There’s a teeth whitening method called the banana rub, and the meaning is quite literal. After you brush and floss, you take the peel of a ripe banana and rub the inside on your teeth for two minutes. It’s believed that the peel’s mineral-rich contents will naturally whiten your teeth. Call us crazy, but that seems counterintuitive. Why would you rub food on your teeth after you’ve brushed?
Coconut oil is one of the most versatile oils around. Fitness enthusiasts cook with it while grooming experts use it to moisturize their hair. Some people even use it on their skin. Now, it seems coconut oil has one additional purpose—teeth whitening. There’s a DIY trend that involves mixing coconut oil with baking soda and spearmint essential oil to create a whitening paste. The oil breaks down into teeth whitening enzymes when it comes in contact with your saliva. Aren’t there more pleasant ways to do this?
We all have a box of baking soda in our homes. It helps add fluff to baked goods and erases odors in the fridge. But now, it’s also doubling as the key ingredient in a homemade whitening toothpaste. Combined with hydrogen peroxide, it makes a paste that many are using in place of their favorite toothpaste. This doesn’t seem like the safest alternative without some type of professional guidance. The paste is so harmful to your mouth that you can only use this for a maximum of 5 days before stopping. Then you need to wait 3 months before using it a second time.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Diluted apple cider vinegar is being used as a rinse. Its intensity is calmed by water, and it’s mixed with toothpaste. Apple cider vinegar is believed to be a major agent against staining. But vinegar has a foul smell. We’re not sure putting this in your mouth every night is the best way to get pearly white teeth.
Who knew that combining mashed strawberries with baking soda could whiten your teeth? Apparently, rubbing this mixture over your teeth for 5 minutes can leave you with a whiter smile. The acid in the berries helps break down stains caused by dark liquids like tea and red wine. But like the banana peel method, this one doesn’t seem all that helpful or clean. If it’s used too often, the berries’ acid can actually leave you more vulnerable to stains and even erode your teeth. Seems like a risk that isn’t worth taking.
The beauty community is going crazy over charcoal right now. It’s in face scrubs and body washes. It’s in toothpaste. It’s the magic ingredient that the grooming industry is obsessed with. In the hands of a trusted manufacturer, charcoal can work wonders. But if you’re grabbing some charcoal from a bag in your backyard, it might not have the same effect. Some people are mixing charcoal with water to make their own concoctions. They’re then rubbing this on their teeth. This too, like all the previous DIY tricks, seems a bit unsavory and unpleasant.
These DIY methods have a couple things in common. One, they’re awfully creative. Who would have ever imagined our kitchen cabinets contained so many products with versatile uses? However, the second thing they have in common is safety—or a lack thereof. Many of these methods can cause tooth damage if used incorrectly or over prolonged periods of time. DIY is great for making wedding invitations or decorations for your apartment, but when it comes to your dental health, leave it to the professionals.
A safe, easy way to whiten your teeth at home is to use a NICNAS approved, dental quality at home whitening kit such as the ones from Pearly Whites Australia. Using dental grade ingredients, these kits are the same as the ones offered by dentists for in chair treatments. Getting one of these DIY dental bleaching products gives you the flexibility of choosing when and where you whiten, saves you money and is actually effective as well as safe. Don’t put your dental and oral health at risk, use a dental grade, NICNAS approved professional teeth whitening system.