Posted .

There are a variety of DIY teeth whitening treatments out there, many of which are even trending on social media. The jury is out of the effectiveness of many of these, because they may work for some and not for others.

Before you try a DIY method of your own, we at Willow Bend Dental Care in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, want you to be aware of the potential risks and drawbacks. Our dentist, Dr. Rupal Patel, is aware that some people have had success with DIY methods and hopes you will come and visit us to go over all your options before choosing any.

Some of the DIY teeth whitening treatments and their corresponding risks are:

– Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda: These ingredients are found in the majority of many tooth whiteners and toothpastes, therefore it can be an effective method of achieving a whiter smile at home. This can be done by mixing 3 percent hydrogen peroxide with baking soda. It is important to be careful not to let this paste remain on your teeth for more than 1 minute and to avoid brushing with it as it is abrasive and can irritate the gums and wear down enamel.

– Activated Charcoal: Using Charcoal as a teeth whitening agent has become particularly popular recently with all the attention it receives on social media. However, the ADA has not yet confirmed that there is evidence to support that charcoal is a safe or effective way to whiten your teeth.

– Coconut Oil: It would appear that there’s nothing that coconut oil can’t do, but is it really true that it can be used to whiten teeth? There are many who believe that swishing coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes will give you a whiter smile. Despite what others believe, the ADA and U.S. Department of Health have not substantiated the claim, so it’s unclear how effective this method really is. 

Using things that are too abrasive on tooth enamel will more likely wear away its protective layer, leaving your teeth more exposed to decay, and possibly causing them to appear more yellow than before.  

Just because a method is natural does not automatically mean that it is healthy. The problem with many DIY and at home whitening treatments is that they are often done incorrectly, and cause damage to enamel or even uneven whitening. If you have any questions or would like to schedule a professional whitening treatment with us call at 847-870-0888.