What Not to Do in Pursuit of Whiter Teeth

Many people desire a bright, white smile. With so many teeth whitening products and procedures available on the market, it’s no wonder that this has become a popular trend. However, in pursuit of whiter teeth, some individuals may unknowingly be doing more harm than good.

Whiteness does not equate to healthiness when it comes to our teeth. It’s important to understand the potential dangers and drawbacks of certain methods for teeth whitening.

The Dangers of Over-the-Counter Whitening Products

Over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products, such as strips, gels, and tubes of toothpaste, are readily available in most drugstores. These products often claim to brighten your smile in just a few uses, but what many people don’t realize is that these products can cause serious damage to their teeth.

One of the main dangers of OTC whitening products is their high concentration of hydrogen peroxide. While this ingredient is effective at lightening teeth, it can also lead to tooth sensitivity and enamel erosion. In fact, studies have shown that using OTC whitening products can cause a significant decrease in enamel hardness, making teeth more susceptible to decay and damage.

The Risks of DIY Whitening Methods

In addition to OTC products, there are countless DIY teeth whitening methods that people turn to in their quest for a brighter smile. From charcoal toothpaste to lemon juice and baking soda concoctions, these at-home remedies may seem like a cheap and easy solution, but they can actually do more harm than good.

Charcoal toothpaste, for example, is highly abrasive and can wear down the enamel on your teeth. Lemon juice and baking soda mixtures, on the other hand, are extremely acidic and can cause damage to both your teeth and gums.

Professional Teeth Whitening: Is it Safe?

In an attempt to avoid the potential dangers of OTC and DIY methods, many people turn to professional teeth whitening done by a dentist. While this may seem like the safest option, there are still risks involved.

One of the main concerns with professional teeth whitening is the use of high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide. While dentists are trained to use these products safely, they can still cause tooth sensitivity and damage if not used properly. Additionally, professional teeth whitening treatments are often expensive and may require multiple sessions to achieve desired results.

A Safer Alternative: Natural Teeth Whitening

Instead of turning to potentially harmful methods for whiter teeth, it’s important to consider natural alternatives that are gentler on your teeth and gums. One option is oil pulling, which involves swishing coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for 10-20 minutes. This can help remove surface stains and promote healthy gums.

Another natural option is to incorporate into your diet certain foods that are known for their teeth-whitening properties. Strawberries, apples, and carrots contain malic acid, which helps break down stains on the surface of teeth. Cheese, milk, and yogurt contain lactic acid, which can also help whiten teeth.


The pursuit of whiter teeth should not come at the cost of our oral health. OTC products, DIY methods, and even professional treatments can all have their drawbacks and potential risks. Instead, it’s important to consider natural alternatives and consult with a dentist before trying any teeth whitening method.

At Kidz & Family Dental Center, we understand the desire for a bright and white smile. That’s why we offer safe and effective teeth whitening treatments that are tailored to your specific needs. Our trained staff will guide you through the process and ensure your oral health remains a top priority. Say goodbye to potential risks and hello to a beautiful, healthy smile. Contact us today to schedule your teeth whitening session!


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