If you want to brighten your smile, you might be tempted to try home remedies. While some natural or home remedies can safely help your teeth to look whiter, some can actually harm your teeth and gums. Here are three at-home tooth whitening techniques you should avoid:
While many tooth whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide, it can wreak havoc with your gum tissue and teeth if used straight from the bottle. Hydrogen peroxide does have bleaching properties as well as antiseptic properties, and it is for these reasons that it is often added to dental products. It can be an effective oral rinse for dental or gum infections, and may even promote healing of certain mouth ulcers when used under the supervision of your dentist.
If you use hydrogen peroxide, especially without first diluting it with water to whiten your teeth, your gums may become discolored and your tooth enamel may get damaged. Peroxide can be harsh to the delicate oral tissues in your mouth, and in addition to hurting your teeth and gums, it may cause the skin on the lining of your cheeks to slough off.
Although there is really nothing inherently dangerous about rubbing a halved strawberry over your teeth for its whitening properties, you should avoid it. It is true that certain substances in strawberries can help your teeth look whiter, but unless you meticulously brush and floss your teeth after using them, you may end up with gum disease.
Strawberries are high in natural sugars, and if not removed from the surfaces of your teeth, bacteria in your mouth will feed upon the sugar and heighten your risk for gingivitis and cavities. If you want to try whitening your teeth with strawberries, make sure to swish your mouth out afterwards, and then brush and floss.
Lemons might also help remove dental stains, however, you should never rub a half of lemon over your teeth and gums. Lemons are very high in acid, and if used frequently, acid erosion of your dental enamel may occur. In addition, lemon juice may also irritate your gums and other oral tissues, and may even lead to mouth ulcers or canker sores. Lemon juice is sometimes used to lighten freckles and to bring out natural highlights in the hair, however, it should not be used as a method of tooth whitening.
If you want to whiten your teeth, make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist. He or she will examine your teeth and gums, and recommend the best bleaching technique so that you will enjoy the best results.