Everyone wants a healthy smile and gorgeous teeth. If you're one to keep up with the latest and greatest in natural remedies for whiter teeth, you may be in for a surprise. Unfortunately, some of them may not be all they're cracked up to be. Here are some natural whitening remedies to avoid and what you should be doing instead.
On a popular talk show, a well known physician recently recommended mixing one tablespoon of baking soda with two crushed strawberries and letting them sit on the teeth for several minutes, proclaiming malic acid as an effective teeth whitener.
In order to see whether or not there was any proof to this claim, So Ran Kwon, an actual tooth-whitening researcher, performed her own experiment. She took the initiative to make her own strawberry-baking soda concoction. Then, three times daily for ten days, she rubbed the mixture on 20 different molars for five minutes before rinsing.
When measured with a spectrophotometer, the teeth were no whiter than before. What she did find was that the mixture removed debris and plaque from the surface of the teeth, thereby making them temporarily appear whiter.
So what's wrong with that, you ask? Well, it doesn't really remove the stains that appear on the teeth. And there's one other downfall. The citric acid in this particular homemade recipe can ruin the surface of the teeth, even decreasing the hardness by 10 percent.
Don't worry. You can eat your strawberries. Just don't convert them into toothpaste.
The next time you tell someone to go suck a lemon, you could be advocating tooth decay. It used to be recommended as an all-natural teeth whitener. And depending on whom you talk with, some still recommend it, either alone or mixed with baking soda.
But it's not the best thing to use and here's why.
Lemons contain citric acid, which wears away at the enamel and makes your teeth more susceptible to staining and cavities. It also removes the calcium from your teeth. If you want to know just how destructive lemon juice is, consider that it's powerful enough to dissolve bone.
So twist the lemon in your water, squeeze it on your fish, but keep it off your teeth.
This amazing stuff has long been touted to do a number of great things such as remove bad odors, work as a facial scrub, soothe insect bites and sore feet, and yes, even whiten your teeth. Many toothpastes now contain small amounts of baking soda although it has yet to be approved by the ADA as an effective alternative to toothpaste.
The truth is, many people swear that baking soda makes their teeth whiter, and perhaps it does. But it may do so at a cost.
You see, brushing with baking soda and water can remove plaque, but those same abrasive qualities that make it great for whitening and removing plaque can also erode the enamel on your teeth, at least when used in excess.
The real danger comes when people use only baking soda to brush their teeth. It simply does not kill cavity-causing bacteria nor does it contain fluoride, the ingredient needed to rebuild lost enamel on the teeth.
The Right Way To Whiten Teeth
The best way to achieve whiter teeth and better overall oral health is to consult with your dentist. There are several procedures that are perfectly safe and effective for getting those pearly whites white! According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, a lot of in-office procedures can whiten your teeth by 10 whole shades.
If you prefer to do it yourself, a dentist like Kevin J Owoc can recommend the best over-the-counter products, as some of them are not going to be effective for everyone. Also, some patients have purchased them to discover that the trays don't fit in their mouth. Or, you may not be a good candidate for OTC teeth whitening products, especially if your teeth are sensitive, you have a lot of fillings, or if you're allergic to the ingredients.
If you really want to dig through the pantry, here are some great foods that might help to keep your teeth white by stimulating overall oral health.
1. Milk and cheese help to lower the acids and raise the pH in your mouth, which works wonderfully as a cavity fighter.
2. Are you a red meat fan? Steak contains phosphorus, which shields the enamel on your teeth.
3. If you haven't heard of polyphenols, they're not just a tongue twister. They're also abundant in cranberries and help in the prevention of plaque formation. Just be sure to buy the sugar-free kind.