ICYMI: The American Dental Association and Centers for Disease Control have asked all dental offices to pause on checkups and nonessential visits during this pandemic. Because of this, now more than ever, people are looking for safe ways they can brighten their smile at home. But with so many options out there, how do you know which one is the most effective and the safest? Here’s the 4-1-1 on some of the most popular at-home teeth whiteners.
One of the oldest and most popular methods to whiten your smile at-home is to brush your teeth using baking soda. In fact, many toothpaste companies have begun incorporating baking soda into their formula, promising to give you the pearly whites you’ve always wanted. Baking soda acts as an abrasive, helping to remove plaque and other build-up off of your teeth. However, because baking soda is so abrasive, it can actually erode the enamel on your teeth over time. Once your enamel has worn down, you unfortunately can never get it back. This can lead to tooth damage, cavities, and much more. Coupled with this, frequent use of baking soda has lead to teeth sensitivity as well.
Relatively new, charcoal toothpaste is the latest craze in at-home teeth whitening. To use charcoal for teeth whitening, users either mash up a charcoal tablet with water and apply the paste to their teeth, or they use a charcoal toothpaste. However, like baking soda, charcoal is also very abrasive and can lead to tooth damage over time. Equally, charcoal has yet to be approved by the FDA so we are uncertain whether or not it is actually safe to use.
At-Home Whitening Strips
If you are going to whiten your teeth at home, using ADA-approved whitening strips, like Crest 3D White Strips, is the safest way to go. You can even opt for an ADA-approved whitening toothpaste to slowly brighten your teeth over time.
While there are many fads out there for whitening your teeth, the bottom line is this – prioritize your oral health over aesthetics. Even excessive use of ADA-approved whitening products can cause enamel damage, leading to more dental problems later on down the road. And before you begin any whitening treatment, be sure to consult with your dentist.