Smiling. We do this at least a couple of times a day. And it is important to keep our smile attractive. In fact, plenty of studies justify that people who smile are far more sexually attractive than serious-looking people.
But in order to keep smiling without any worries, we should take care of our oral health and hygiene. And that inevitably includes maintaining the whiteness of our teeth, as well as to keep them spotless and shiny.
There are many ways to whiten or maintain the shade of your teeth, from professional whitening sessions to at-home “remedies” using natural ingredients from your kitchen.
Nonetheless, as the internet has become a place full of fake life hacks, many people attempt to whiten their teeth at home using DIY recipes and methods. Unfortunately, from a scientific point of view, many of those “hacks” are not effective simply because they promise quick and long-lasting effect, not taking into account the cause for the teeth staining.
In this article, you will find the truth about all those “teeth whitening ingredient myths,” and you will learn about the possible realistic effects that you can expect to get.
Let`s reveal the myths!
Toothpaste, strips, and powders with activated charcoal have become extremely popular in the past year. Because of its property to absorb harmful bacteria, this ingredient is thought to capture the tooth stain molecules and polish the teeth white. Like a miracle.
In fact, according to various medical studies, charcoal indeed has tooth whitening characteristics. However, it’s effect is far less visible than the effect of using whitening strips or professional treatment, and it works only on extrinsic stains. Even a large percentage of the people that have used charcoal for whitening share that they saw very little or no effect at the end of the treatment period.
On the other hand, the fine charcoal powder enters the tooth margins and cracks and may damage the enamel in long-term use.
Just like charcoal, strawberries have a whitening effect on extrinsic tooth stains. However, if you want to see the effect you have to be extremely stubborn and persistent, especially if you use crashed strawberries as “teeth mask” (like it’s shown in the life-hacks videos).
According to a medical study, strawberries contain a certain amount of acid, which can have a positive effect on whitening stains. But the amount of this acid in one strawberry is very little, and you would need at least a few months of consistent treatments to achieve a visible result.
The same study examined different cases in using strawberry extract as teeth whitener and concluded that the concentration of the extract has a reverse relationship with the frequency of treatments (taking into account the fact that strawberry extract was found to damage the tooth enamel): if the concentration is high, the whitening process should be less frequent; if the concentration is low, frequent treatments can be applied.
However, in order to maintain your oral health, you should be very careful when using strawberry extract because it has the potential to dangerously harm your teeth enamel and barrier.
Studies show that baking soda does not have the properties to fade tooth stains, however, as it’s abrasive, it is able to scrub away any external staining.
An in short-term use that may be great, and you may see a whitening effect. However, be aware: Baking soda can cause severe damage to the tooth enamel (damaging also the nerve and the gums) and may cause hypersensitivity. That will eventually limit you to eat foods that are hot, cold, or very acid: coffee, tea, ice cream, lemon, vinegar, others.
But that is not all! When the enamel is damaged, its “natural repair” causes the teeth to become more yellow than normal. And until the enamel heals, there is no way you can make your teeth whiter.
Oil pulling (coconut oil)
Basically, this method does not involve any pulling: you just swoosh the coconut oil in your mouth.
This is an Indian method, which has a great effect on gum health! It strengthens the gums and relieves any inflammations and infections. It is also great for maintaining perfect oral health: eliminating all bad bacteria and dental plaque.
But in terms of whitening, there is no scientific proof that oil pulling is really effective. Many people claim that it works because it removes the plaque (which usually has slight coloring). But the oil doesn’t penetrate in the enamel to get rid of stains that are deep in the tooth.
This spice is often buffed into the teeth with the purpose of whitening them. It is moderately abrasive and gets rid of external, food, and drink stains. It is less harsh than baking soda, but in any case, you should be careful when using it for a long time: it may harm your enamel, and it can make your teeth very brittle and sensitive.
On the other hand, turmeric is beneficial for maintaining excellent oral hygiene. It kills the harmful bacteria, keeps the gums healthy, and prevents bad breath and accumulation of dental plaque.