The Dangers of Teeth-Whitening Fads

By Dr. Anthony Hill
‹ Back to Dental Health
Posted in on January 14th, 2018

When a study asked people what they most wanted to improve about their smile, most said they want to have whiter teeth. It is no surprise that a large number of prevalent celebrity fads, internet trends, and home-remedies are taking center stage for do-it-yourself teeth-whitening. Unfortunately, many of these fads are completely ineffective, and some are even very harmful to your smile.

Charcoal Toothpaste:

One new dental fad that is gaining popularity on the internet is Charcoal Toothpaste. Many online companies claim that charcoal helps whiten teeth and improves oral health. According to the American Dental Association, there is no scientific evidence that charcoal toothpaste is beneficial in any way, or even safe for your body.

In fact, studies show that charcoal toothpaste may actually be very harmful to your dental health. Prolonged use can wear down the white enamel layer on your teeth and actually make them more yellow. Charcoal can even become embedded in the gums, causing an unsightly bluish tint that is extremely difficult to remove. The ADA strongly advises against the use of any charcoal toothpaste.

Oil Pulling:

Mainstream media is currently advocating the “new fad” of Oil Pulling, which is actually an ancient Asian practice that dates back nearly 3,000 years. It involves swishing or pulling oil through the teeth for 5-20 minutes in attempt to clean and whiten teeth. According to the American Dental Association, while this may not directly harm your teeth, there is no conclusive evidence that it does anything to whiten your smile.

Home Remedies:

There are many home remedies for whitening teeth such as lemon juice, vinegar, or baking soda. While these are widely accepted as natural ways to whiten kitchen floors, they can actually cause damage to the enamel of your teeth. This can lead to cavities and may cause teeth to become more yellow.

Proven Ways to Whiten Teeth:

The ADA does recommend several scientifically proven methods for whitening your smile. The first and most important is to floss and brush your teeth with ADA approved toothpaste every day. Many brands of ADA approved toothpaste are proven to help whiten your smile and protect against damage to your enamel.

Your dentist can also recommend very effective procedures to whiten your teeth. During the month of January, if you visit the Hill Dental Group for a New Patient Exam & Cleaning, you will also get a FREE teeth-whitening (a $380 value). We are always happy to help you brighten your smile. You can contact us at 281-376-0911 or schedule an appointment online.


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