What to look for when choosing a natural whitening ingredient?
Teeth darken for many reasons, but the 2 most common causes are loss of enamel and diet. Loss of enamel occurs due to ageing and wear and tear of teeth. How fast or slow we lose enamel depends on our day-today activities. Since the loss of enamel is irreversible, we can’t regain enamel thickness. Therefor if white teeth is what we strive for, and we want our teeth to remain as white as possible and for as long as possible, we should asking ourselves ‘does this affect the thickness of my enamel?’ when considering any natural home whitening product.
How do natural whitening ingredients work?
Now that we have established that preservation of enamel is the upmost importance in achieving and maintaining white teeth, one would assume that all whitening ingredients do just that; preserve enamel. Right? Wrong.
Ironically, most whitening ingredients work by stripping the surface stains on teeth, taking with them precious enamel as their causality. Even though it’s not an intentional attack on enamel, we only get one layer of enamel in our lifetime and every micron counts.
While as a once-off use we aren’t going to put our teeth through too much suffrage, continued use will make our look darker. The enamel can get so thin that it can cause permanent tooth sensitivity and warrant further dental treatment.
Let’s look into the most common natural whitening ingredients and suss out which is the best one to use.
What affect does charcoal have on enamel? Activated charcoal physically exfoliates the teeth. The tiny abrasive particles are way too harsh to use our teeth. After a few weeks of using charcoal, whether on its own or in toothpaste, we can expect to experience sensitivity. Is it something I would use on my own teeth? Absolutely not.
Coconut oil is a nutritious and delicious ingredient to use in baking and cooking. Yet there is no peer-reviewed evidence to suggest it has any whitening or health benefits to our teeth. The ‘before’ and ‘after’ marketing images can seem quite convincing and misleading.
Will coconut oil cause any harm to our teeth or gums? No, as long as we don’t replace it with our routine brushing with toothpaste. However it would be a complete waste of time to attempt to whiten our teeth with coconut oil. It simply won’t work.
Lemon juice or vinegar
What affect does lemon juice or vinegar have on enamel? Lemon juice and vinegar chemically dissolve the outer surface of teeth, thereby making the enamel thinner.
Is it harmful to teeth? Absolutely. This is perhaps the most harmful out of all the whitening ingredients. Its high acidity and low pH make it very good at draining out the calcium and phosphate contents from our teeth which weakens enamel. The only way we could make this ingredient more harmful to our teeth would be to combine it into a paste with activated charcoal. Please do not do this. Even short-term use is enough to do irreversible damage. It’s hard to believe that a seemingly innocuous citrus fruit can hold the potential to do so much damage.
What affect does bicarbonate soda have on enamel? Unlike lemon juice, bicarbonate soda is alkaline and has a high pH, which has a neutralising affect on enamel while effectively removing superficial staining.
Is it safe? Yes! As long as we refrain from mixing the powder with any acidic liquids such as lemon juice or vinegar. It’s also important that we don’t replace it with regular brushing with toothpaste.
Does it work? It’s not going to make our teeth so blindingly white that people will need to put on a pair of sunglasses to look at you but it will give a subtle refresher, which is sometimes all that we are after.
How to use it? Add a few drops of water to make a thick paste. Brush our teeth with the paste for a minute or two and voila! We can do this once or twice a month.
Whitening teeth with bicarbonate soda is a safe, easy, natural and affordable option to get teeth a little brighter.
For professional teeth whitening services choose Dental & Skin Clinic.
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