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When you ask people what they would like to change about their smile, the answer you hear most often is, “whiter teeth.” And of course, it is also in the realm of possibility. But there are also ideas out there for ways to whiten your teeth yourself. Let’s take a look at some of them, many of them you may have read about online or in popular magazines.


Idea: You can whiten your teeth using natural sources like lemons and apple cider vinegar, or pineapples that have digestive enzymes.


Result: While fruit is healthy for your body, the acids in citrus fruits and vinegar can erode precious tooth enamel, the very enamel that keeps you from experiencing tooth decay and tooth sensitivity.


Idea: Scrubbing your pearly whites with a baking soda/hydrogen peroxide paste or activated charcoal can whiten your teeth.


Result: According to the American Dental Association, there is no evidence that charcoal dental products are either safe or effective to use on your teeth, and if you scrub too much of your enamel away, your teeth will actually appear yellower than whiter. This is because as you wear down enamel, the dentin layer below will show through. It is actually safer to use a whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which means it has been thoroughly tested to be safe and effective.


Idea: A popular activity is oil pulling, where you rinse your mouth with coconut oil in your mouth to whiten teeth. The spice turmeric powder has also reached popularity for whitening.

Result: Neither method has been proven scientifically reliable in whitening teeth.

The best way to whiten your teeth is too brush and floss every day, to keep your smile healthy, and see your dentist for cleanings. You can use a whitening toothpaste or strips, or speak to your dentist about tooth whitening kits, whether in-office or at-home. Your dentist can evaluate your teeth and gums to determine what would best serve your smile.


If you have any questions about whitening your teeth, please reach out to our Scott A. Smith DDS team at 209-205-4657. Our dentist, Dr. Smith in Merced, California is here for your smile!