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One of the most common cosmetic concerns we hear from our patients is that they wish they had whiter teeth, especially after reading about teeth whitening naturally online or in magazines or from talking to their friends. While some of them may appear to be safe, are they though? Let’s take a look at some of the more popular trends out there.

— Lemon juice and apple cider vinegar have been touted to whiten teeth for some time now. The problem is, they are actually damaging to tooth enamel. Over time, their acidic nature will expose you to tooth sensitivity and cavities from weakened enamel.

— Scrubbing your pearly whites with activated charcoal or a baking soda/hydrogen peroxide paste can also erode tooth enamel with their abrasiveness. When this happens, your teeth are also yellower because the darker layer of dentin layer under the enamel is exposed. As for charcoal dental products, there is no scientific evidence that they are safe to use on teeth, according to the American Dental Association.

— Oil pulling and turmeric “swishing”: chances are you have heard about “oil pulling” and turmeric powder for teeth whitening. The problem is, there’s no scientific evidence to prove they can actually whiten teeth.

To keep tooth stains from taking hold of your smile, it’s best to brush and floss every day and have routine professional dental cleanings. Using over-the-counter whitening products such as toothpaste or strips carrying the ADA Seal of Acceptance have been proven both safe and effective for use on your teeth. Our dentist can also speak with you about in-office or at-home teeth whitening.

Yes, you can whiten your smile with hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, but at a great cost to your tooth enamel. To help you find a safe, effective tooth whitening system for your smile, come in for an evaluation with our dentist. Just call our Lighthouse Dental & Orthodontics team at 801-871-3499. Our dentist, Dr. Samuel Richey in Riverton, Utah looks forward to working with you to create the smile of your dreams!