However harmless they seem, some ‘wonder’ solutions to dental problems can be harmful!
If you are at all concerned about the appearance of your teeth, there is a very good chance that you have may have used that well known search engine to try to find an easy solution to the problem.
Whilst very few people will search for how to extract their own teeth, preferring instead the professionalism of an experienced dentist, less invasive treatments are quite widely searched. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the most common of these is ‘how to whiten your teeth at home’.
The results tend to throw up a mixture of solutions, from common long standing ones, such as using lemon juice to bleach your teeth (we’ll come to that later), to celebrity endorsed ones which range from the bizarre to the downright harmful.
Below, we take a look at why you should generally be very cautious about these methods and should always consult one of our Surrey based cosmetic dentists if you want to whiten your teeth. We focus on two of the most popular results, but you should beware of others too.
Lemon juice teeth whitening
The theory behind this method is that lemon juice acts as a natural and harmless form of bleach that will whiten your teeth. Whilst it is true that it is obviously much less harmful if you accidentally swallow lemon juice than if you do so with bleach, it can still do serious damage to your teeth.
‘Natural’ does not always mean harmless, and using lemon juice to brush your teeth may possibly lighten the colour of your teeth a little, but will do so by removing not only some of the surface staining, but by removing some of the enamel too. This is important as it is the hard enamel exterior that protects the softer dentin area from bacteria and acids. As you erode the outer enamel, the risk of decay and root canal infections rise. In addition to this, the thinner enamel will start to show the darker colour from the inner part of the tooth, negating any whitening benefits from any stain removal. In short, don’t do it!
This is a classic example of celebrity endorsed products which can make people believe that a) they work, and b) they are safe. The reality is that most celebrities white teeth come from either simply being naturally young and beautiful, or, in many cases, through professional teeth whitening treatments.
The problem with most charcoal toothpaste is that it removes any surface staining through the use of additional abrasive elements in the toothpaste. Like lemon juice, this will have the effect of damaging the enamel, with exactly the same problems as before.
Additionally, as it is often advertised as a ‘natural’ product, it is quite possible that some of the charcoal toothpastes on sale may not contain fluoride. Fluoride is important for strong and healthy teeth and using fluoride free toothpaste will increase the chances of decay and other problems.
If you are unhappy about the colour of your teeth, we recommend that you don’t take a DIY approach to teeth whitening or any other dental procedure. Instead, consult one of the experienced dentists here at the Clock Tower Dental Clinic in Epsom for sound advice on 01372 720136.