Baking Soda. Chewing Gum. Mouthwash. Bleach. Strips.
There are so many options out there for trying to get whiter teeth that it can all get a bit confusing learning what works and what doesn’t. If you’ve been wondering whether brushing your teeth with baking soda every second day is best or if you should be buying bleach strips you can put on in the evening when you’re on the sofa, I’ve decided to debunk some of the myths surrounding the most well-known methods to achieving a perfect smile.
Myth 1: Baking Soda Works
Dip your brush in to some baking soda every few days and give your teeth a liberal brush with the weir tasting powder? You’ll read on so many blogs how its the magical secret for whiter teeth, but the truth is that baking soda has no real effect on enamel and only serves to interact with bacteria in the mouth. Some people even argue that brushing with baking soda is a terrible idea because it can disrupt the amount of “good” bacteria in your mouth and leave you susceptible to gum problems.
Myth 2: Hydrogen Peroxide Works
Liberally throwing ACID around in your mouth isn’t something you’d usually do, and the same can be said for hydrogen peroxide. A lot of homemade toothpastes will tell you to mix baking soda and hydrogen peroxide together and then use it on teeth. The big problem with this is that your gums can’t handle intense reactions very well (just think of when you drink something very cold and the sensation that causes)
When something like an intense peroxide comes in contact with open tissue like this, it can cause artifical damage and disruption.
Myth 3: Strips Work Best
It’s one of the easiest ways to try to whiten your teeth: you stick a strip on there, let it sit for a while and then wipe away. Strips are good if you want a short term fix to get brighter teeth for a short period, but it will leave you with little spots on the teeth where a strip doesn’t stick to properly. This mean you can end up smiling with a few notable yellow dots in the middle of a tooth.
Myth 4: At Home Kits Are Just As Good
You might see the large kits at a chemist that contain seemingly everything you’d ever need for white teeth. The big problem with these is the products inside aren’t the same as you get in a clinic. A shop on the high street can’t sell gels with the same concentration of peroxide as a dental surgeon can. That’s why its probably best to get a professional to look at your teeth rather than just rubbing a chemical on yourself when you don’t know what its made of.
Myth 5: Lasers damage enamel
Even if you tap your tooth and it feels hard, the enamel that surrounds your teeth has thousands of tiny pores. This is how when we drink or some that they can end up discoloured. A professional laser whitening treatment might seem dangerous when pointed at that enamel, but its helping to blast and lift out any of those pockets of yellow and brown that won’t shift with a million brushes from a tooth whitening paste.
It is also important to remember that when a laser is pointed at teeth, peroxide needs to be applied to help accentuate how well it can work. Think of it as an accelerant.
Myth 6: Strawberry Toothpaste Works Naturally
So this is one myth that is very troublesome and seen a lot from YouTube vloggers. Make at home strawberry (or any fruit really) toothpaste involves mushing up strawberries, mixing it with baking powder and then brushing it on your teeth. People believe this works because of the naturally occurring acids in fruit. While it is true that acid can be beneficial at improving the shade of teeth when used correctly a fruit cocktail like this is a terrible idea. Why is it so bad? Because the natural acid won’t protect enamel but wear it down in a fashion similar to simply dipping a toothbrush in a can of cola and rubbing it on your tooth.