Monday, February 15th, 2010

Natural Teeth Whitening – What Are The Options?

There are many ways to whiten your teeth naturally at home.  All of them have their own pros and cons and it is important to be aware of both.  Not all natural methods of whitening your teeth are safe to use.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the most common ways of natural teeth whitening at home.  It is a common ingredient usually found in most household pantries.  It is generally used by forming a paste that is comprised of baking soda and water, or baking soda and glycerin.  This paste is then brushed onto the teeth as you would regular toothpaste.  The problem with this method of whitening your teeth is that if you use baking soda too often or brush your teeth to vigorously you can actually cause the enamel to be brushed away from your teeth.  In short baking soda is safe to use on your teeth but you must not overuse it.  It may whiten your teeth slightly by brushing away shallow surface stains.

Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide is another common way to whiten your teeth at home.  However it too is generally misused.  The common hydrogen peroxide that you may buy from a drugstore or supermarket is usually a 3% dilation which is fine for internal use however it does contain extra chemicals which can be bad for your teeth.  If you would like to try to whiten your teeth with hydrogen peroxide you should use pure hydrogen peroxide and dilute that down to a 3% mix.  Any makes higher than 3% is very damaging to your tooth enamel and the soft tissue in your mouth.  Pure hydrogen peroxide may be hard to find and can be a little pricey. Hydrogen peroxide if used every day can cause a heightened sensitivity in your teeth.

Lemons
Lemon juice and lemon peel have been used to whiten your teeth.  Generally, using lemon juice will  just cause a slight lessening of yellowed teeth.  Using lemon juice on everyday basic can be very damaging to your tooth enamel.  This is because lemon is highly acidic and will irritate your soft tissue and break down tooth enamel. It is not advised to use lemon juice to whiten your teeth.

Strawberries
Strawberries are also highly acidic and they are also high in sugar.  Because of their abrasive nature they can also be damaging to tooth enamel if used too frequently.  Most people will find strawberries too irritating to their teeth and gums and it is not suggested to use this method often.  If you do choose to use this method make sure you do not leave the strawberries on your teeth for too long because of their high sugar content.  Strawberries may also be expensive and hard to obtain in some areas.

Wood Ash
Some people use wood ash for natural teeth whitening.  This is because it contains potassium hydroxide which has been shown to whiten teeth.  However you do not want to use this method more than once a month as wood ash can be very abrasive and will wear down your tooth enamel.  Wood ash can be obtained for free.

Overall most of the natural teeth whitening methods known are quite damaging to your teeth and gums.  You must make sure you know exactly how to use these methods to obtain good results.  Because most of these methods cannot be used very often they do not tend to give good results.  Good results can only come from consistent application of a teeth whitening method and all of the above are too damaging to use often enough to create whiter, brighter teeth.

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