Teeth whitening at home: avoiding the risks of DIY remedies and exploring safe alternatives

23 March · 5 minutes

Achieving a bright, white smile has become a fundamental aspect of contemporary beauty standards, resulting in the surge of demand for teeth whitening as a cosmetic dental procedure. While teeth whitening can be performed professionally in a clinic, it's also possible to do it at home. However, it's crucial to be aware of the potential risks associated with using the wrong products, as outlined in this article, and to prioritize how to safely whiten teeth at home. This article will provide guidance on the best and safest ways to whiten your teeth at home.

Are home remedies equivalent to at-home teeth whitening kits? Let’s find out…

The simple answer is "no." The fundamental distinction between at-home teeth whitening and home remedies is that the former can be professional, meaning that it employs tools and products recommended by a dentist and deemed safe. In contrast, home remedies for teeth whitening are typically done in a basic manner using items that are easily found at home, and thus, they are not as safe or effective for oral health.

While there is a wide range of professional at-home teeth whitening treatments that whiten teeth without damaging the enamel, DIY teeth whitening products and home remedies also exist. In this article, we'll begin by discussing the latter.

Smiling woman holding a toothbrush with activated charcoal on it.

Exploring at-home remedies for teeth whitening: types and methods

Let’s dive into how to whiten your teeth at home. If you plan to whiten your teeth with an at home remedy or use homemade teeth whitener, it's important to note that there are several remedies available that are of questionable effectiveness and can potentially damage your tooth enamel. Although these DIY home remedies for teeth whitening may have gained popularity on the internet, they're not recommended from a professional standpoint.

Different varieties of DIY teeth whitening remedies

When it comes to at-home and homemade teeth whitening, there are numerous theories and products. Still, some of the most popular ones include baking soda, activated charcoal, lemon, hydrogen peroxide, coconut oil, and turmeric. In the following sections, we'll delve into each of these remedies and debunk some of the myths surrounding them.

Baking soda for teeth whitening

Baking soda has emerged as one of the most widely used home remedies for teeth whitening in recent years. Acting as a gentle abrasive, it can eliminate certain stains on the external surface of teeth. However, baking soda also erodes the enamel that safeguards the teeth, making them vulnerable to decay. Therefore, while baking soda can be effective in whitening the surface layers of teeth, excessive use or misuse can cause long-term damage.

Activated charcoal for teeth whitening

Activated charcoal is another homemade (DIY) remedy for teeth whitening that has gained popularity. While it does possess abrasive properties that can temporarily make teeth look whiter, the erosion it causes to the outer layers of teeth can pose a long-term risk to dental health. Activated charcoal use for teeth whitening can result in enamel wear, gum recesssion, and heightened tooth sensitivity.

How to whiten teeth with lemon

Lemon juice or lemon peel is yet another popular at home DIY remedy for teeth whitening. Wondering how do people use lemon to whiten their teeth? Here are two ways people use lemon: use the lemon peel to rub onto teeth or squirt the lemon juice on the teeth. However, lemon is a highly acidic product that can cause erosion of the enamel. While some use it to bleach their teeth at home, it can also cause irreparable damage, such as an increased likelihood of tooth sensitivity and tooth decay.

How to whiten teeth at home with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is another product that is often misused for homemade teeth whitener. It's important to note that hydrogen peroxide is not effective for bleaching teeth at home and can actually be very harmful to oral health. Its aggressive properties can damage the enamel and soft tissues of the mouth, causing burns or irritation. It is not a best practice to whiten teeth at home with hydrogen peroxide.

Using coconut oil to whiten teeth

Coconut oil rinsing is also gaining popularity as a remedy to teeth whitening. However, there is no scientific evidence to support its effectiveness as a homemade teeth whitener.

Turmeric powder in a wooden bowl surrounded by several rhizomes.

Using turmeric to whiten teeth

The last at-home teeth whitening remedy to cover is turmeric. While turmeric can be beneficial for oral health due to its anti-inflammatory properties, there is no scientific evidence to support its use as a teeth whitening remedy.

The risks of DIY teeth whitening

As previously mentioned, DIY teeth whitening remedies can potentially risks to one's oral health, and their effectiveness is often dubious. The following are the most prevalent hazards associated with how to whiten teeth at home:

  • Abrasion of the tooth enamel or dentin
  • Burns to the gums or oral mucous membranes
  • Teeth hypersensitivity
  • Staining of the teeth over time
  • Erosion of the teeth

It is recommended to stay away from the risks of DIY teeth whitening by using doctor approved whitening kits.

How to safely whiten your teeth at home: the best way to do it with professional teeth whitening kits

While we discourage the use of homemade remedies to whiten teeth, it's worth noting that professional teeth whitening can still be carried out safely at home. Dentists recommend various professional teeth whitening kits that are both safe and effective, and there are at-home teeth whitening treatments available in pharmacies and dental clinics. Wondering how can you make your teeth white at home? These are some of the best ways to whiten teeth at home without damaging enamel. One of the most common professional at-home teeth whitening kits involves using splints. A whitening gel is applied to the splints, which are then worn for a set period of time recommended by the dentist. While professional teeth whitening kits at home with splints may have a more limited effect than in-clinic whitening, it still works. In some cases, treatment with splints may be combined with whitening sessions in the clinic to enhance the whitening effect.

What criteria do we use to determine which at-home teeth whitening kits are most recommended?

To ensure a safe and effective professional teeth whitening treatment at home, the first step is to consult a dental expert who can recommend the most suitable teeth whitening kit for your specific case. Dentists will consider the recommended hydrogen peroxide concentration of less than 6%. This is aligned with the maximum legal limit in the US.

In contrast, at-home teeth whitening kits available over-the-counter at pharmacies or without professional recommendation will have a lower concentration of less than 0.1%. This concentration amount is also aligned with the legal limit in the US. While these kits have a less potent whitening effect compared to those carried out in a dental clinic or recommended after a clinical examination, they are equally safe for use.

Woman undergoing teeth whitening treatment in a clinic.

How to safely whiten your teeth at home with Impress

If you're looking for a safe and effective way for whitening your teeth at home, Impress has the perfect solution for you. Whether you prefer professional teeth whitening at home or in a clinic, we offer safe solutions for both.

For an immediate and impressive result, in-clinic teeth whitening at Impress is your best option. With our professional teeth whitening, you can enjoy a brighter smile that is up to 5 shades lighter in just one session. Your dream smile can be a reality!

If you'd rather whiten your teeth at home, Impress offers a teeth-whitening foam that can also help brighten your smile. Our gel whitening has a low concentration, making it safe to use, but it may not produce the same results as the professional teeth whitening you can achieve in one of our clinics.

To achieve your brightest smile, our expert clinical team is here to help you make your smile shine in just one session. To schedule a whitening appointment at our nearest clinic, you can visit our website, call us at +1 628.265.8188 or email us at careteam@smile2impress.com.

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