Teeth whitening myths explained

Everyone is looking for that perfect set of sparkling white teeth and a healthy smile. With so many remedies and suggestions on how to get that whiten your teeth, it can be tough to know what to believe and what not. Just because someone claims something works, does not mean that it does in fact work or that you should try it.

Will brushing with charcoal work, or coconut pulling for gums? Maybe brushing with bicarb will yield the desired results. We look at the facts and discuss some of these myths to find out what really works when it comes to teeth whitening myths.

Does coconut oil whiten your teeth? 

Coconut oil pulling for gums is an ancient Ayurvedic tradition that involves swishing coconut oil around your mouth once a day. The idea is that the oil sticks to the oil in bacteria that is in your mouth, when you spit out the oil, the idea is that the bacteria is removed. Sounds simple enough but this is, in fact, incorrect. There is no scientific proof that this method will clean your mouth or whiten your teeth. While you may remove some bacteria while swishing the oil in your mouth, you will in no way whiten your teeth. Using only coconut oil to brush your teeth and/or clean your mouth could result in bad breath as it does not remove all the bacteria in your mouth properly.

Does turmeric whiten your teeth?

This bright yellow powder has become a popular cure for many things over the years. Whitening your teeth is not one of these. Turmeric is used to dye clothing, it will without a doubt stain your teeth! If your teeth are already stained, it will only make it worse, achieving the opposite of whitening your teeth.

active charcoal teeth whitening myths

Does charcoal whiten teeth? 

Another product on the list of teeth whitening myths is charcoal. There are currently many kinds of toothpaste and related products that contain activated charcoal claiming they will whiten your teeth and even remove stains. Activated charcoal can bind to toxins and remove them from the body, making it a popular choice for those looking for more natural remedies. While it does have many benefits, whitening your teeth is not one of these benefits. The claims that activated charcoal is safe to use as a teeth whitener are unsupported and have no data backing them. Some experts have warned against using activated charcoal to clean your teeth as it is abrasive and can cause damage to your teeth. It is also important to note that this is not the same charcoal used to start your barbeque with.

Does baking soda whiten teeth?

Have you tried brushing your teeth with baking soda before? Has it whitened your teeth? Chances are it has not. There is little evidence to support one of the teeth whitening myths that baking soda can whiten your teeth. In fact, baking soda can do damage to your teeth and gums if not used correctly. Baking soda is not able to fight plaque or kill bacteria if you rely solely on baking soda to clean your teeth with you could end up with plaque build-up and cavities. It might be an inexpensive way to clean your teeth, but it is messy and is abrasive.

Does whitening toothpaste work?

Many people choose over-the-counter whitening toothpaste to brighten up their smile. Whilst whitening toothpaste can help to remove surface stains from your teeth, it does not actually change the natural tooth colour. This means, it may help your natural colour to come through but it won’t make your teeth any whiter. Whitening toothpaste also can’t lighten stains that go deeper than the tooth’s surface. Compared to take-home whitening or whitening treatment, the toothpaste contains a low concentration of bleach. This helps to lighten your tooth colour through abrasives in polishing stains from your teeth. 

In general, it is natural for teeth to discolour over the years and while some standby these methods of teeth whitening, there is little scientific support for them. If you do want to brighten up your teeth, we recommend that you get in touch with an expert in the field who has research and data to back their teeth whitening treatments. 

In-chair teeth whitening

One of the safer methods of teeth whitening is doing the procedure under the supervision of a dentist. At Coastal Dental Care, all our practices offer Philips Zoom in-chair teeth whitening. The one to one and a half hour appointment achieves instant results lightening your tooth colour to up to 8 shades. It uses a high concentrate bleach and UV light (laser whitening) to break down stains on the tooth’s surface and below. You can find out more about how in-chair teeth whitening works in our blog.

Are you looking to achieve a whiter smile? Ask your Coastal Dental Care dentist at your next visit about our whitening options. Alternatively, you can book a consultation appointment online 24/7.