DIY Teeth Whitening: What Not to Do

As consumers, most of us are always looking to save a buck. And in the “Pinterest era,” many are often on the hunt for not only cheap, but easy DIY solutions to some of life’s biggest battles. Can’t get that red wine stain out of your shirt? There’s a Pinterest hack for that. Looking for budget-friendly, quick weeknight meals? Pinterest has thousands of em. Want to detail your car, but don’t want to spend the dough for a professional job? Pinterest has a slew of potions to get out the ground in goldfish. The same can be said for teeth whitening. There are a ton of different methods floating around the web, some involving oils, turmeric, and even charcoal. It’s really not surprising, considering just how important a bright, white smile can be. But all whitening methods aren’t created equal.

Here’s a look at several DIY whitening methods that have gained some traction online, as reported by MouthHealthy.com. Keep in mind though that just because a method is all natural doesn’t mean it’s healthy (or safe) for your teeth.

Homemade “Fruity” Whiteners

This approach claims that you can make a teeth whiter at home by combining naturally acidic household staples, like lemons, oranges or apple cider vinegar, with something that is abrasive, like baking soda. While when eaten alone, fruit is a great choice, but keep in mind that you put your teeth at risk when you prolong exposure to any acid. Scrubbing your teeth with such a concoction can wear away the protective coating on your teeth, or enamel. This can actually cause tooth sensitivity and cavities.


Some methods involve scrubbing your teeth white with ingredients such as activated charcoal or a baking sode-hydrogen peroxide paste. But using materials that are too abrasive, such as these, can actually make them look more yellow. When teeth are whitened, it’s the enamel that is actually targeted. By scrubbing with a material that is too rough, you once again risk removal of said enamel. When this occurs, the next layer of your teeth is exposed. This next layer is called dentin, and it’s a tissue that is softer and YELLOW.

If a scrub is what you’re after, choose a whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, which lets you know that it is safe and effective.

Spices and Oils

Have you heard of oil pulling? This involves swishing oils, like coconut oil, in your mouth for a period of time. Turmeric is also often cited as a substance that can help whiten your teeth. Be aware, there is zero reliable scientific evidence showing that either of these methods actually work.

While these methods are not recommended, there are several natural ways to keep your teeth as white as possible.

  • Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes using a whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance.
  • Clean between your teeth once a day.
  • Limit foods that stain your teeth, like coffee, tea and red wine.
  • Steer clear from smoking or using tobacco.
  • Visit your dentist for checkups and cleanings.

If you are interested in whitening your teeth, we urge you to talk with your dentist before you begin. At Miami Dental Sedation Spa, we offer a plethora of services, ranging from office treatments to at-home products. Contact us today to find out how we can help you achieve the smile of your dreams.

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or Call us at 305-445-4646