Teeth Whitening Trends
Author: Michele Rolla
It’s that time of year, you want to brighten up your smile for the new year, but funds are low. The holidays may have left you with a few bills, or maybe the pandemic has left you with little disposable income. Whitening treatments provided by a dentist can be costly, often ranging from several hundred dollars and upwards with some treatments exceeding thousands, so a professional teeth whitening may not be in the cards right now.
There are many suggestions floating around as quick teeth whitening fixes. Are they worth it?
Let’s start in the kitchen. You may have some of these popular teeth whitening staples in your food pantry.
Claim: High levels of potassium, magnesium and manganese in bananas can help remove stains from teeth.
Simply peel a ripe banana and rub your teeth with the insides of the peel for about two minutes. After three weeks, your teeth will have whitened.
Verdict: True. If you rub the skin it can act as a gentle exfoliator and will remove some surface stains, but the banana will not reach inside the pores on the surface of your enamel - so no true 'deep' cleaning will take place.” (1)
“Apples, celery and carrots
These healthy fruits and veggies act like natural stain removers by increasing saliva production, which serves as the mouth's self-cleaning agent. They also may kill bacteria that causes bad breath, and their crunch factor works to scrub teeth clean.
Oranges and pineapples
Eating tart fruits such as oranges and pineapples may cause the mouth to produce more saliva, which washes teeth clean naturally. Beware of using lemons directly on teeth, because too much acidity can potentially damage teeth.” (2)
That sounds fairly promising. Here are some additional facts to consider before getting too excited. “Just because a method is natural doesn’t mean it’s healthy. In fact, DIY whitening can do more harm than good to your teeth.
Fruits contain acid, and you put your pearly whites at risk when you prolong their contact with your teeth or use them to scrub your teeth because acid can wear away your enamel.” (3)
Do you have any turmeric in your spice carousel? Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory properties as well as its natural whitening effects. There are cautions written to use sparingly and to be aware of its staining effects on bathroom sinks, vanities and your clothing.
Back to Basics
Good oral hygiene will go a long way in keeping your smile at its best. Daily healthy habits promote healthier and whiter teeth.
Brush your teeth twice a day for about two minutes each time. Toothpastes help to clean stains from the surface and some toothpastes contain whiteners.
Floss your teeth daily, helping to remove food debris. Without proper flossing, food and bacteria can build up and turn to plaque and leave your teeth less than bright.
Rinse with a mouthwash. Many dentists recommend using one with the ADA seal of acceptance.
Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleaning. Your dental professional is skilled at removing plaque and tartar build up and then polishing your teeth. Though not a whitening treatment, you will likely leave the office with a brighter smile.