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Drs. Otero
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Natural Teeth Whitening: Does It Really Work?

Our culture is flooded right now with natural remedies especially in dentistry. From charcoal toothpaste to oil pulling, many claims have been made about successful whitening products, but do they really work? In our office when we see a new patient, they are asked if they would like to change their smile in any way. Nine times out of ten, they state they would like a whiter and brighter smile.

Just because it is considered “natural” doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthy for our teeth. In fact, many DIY tooth whitening procedures and products can do more harm than good for our teeth. Here are a few:


Activated Charcoal Toothpaste

Claim: Using charcoal toothpaste will make your teeth shinier and whiter.

Fact: There is no clinical evidence that shows dental products with activated charcoal are safe and effective for our teeth according to the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Actually, using materials that are too abrasive on your teeth, like activated charcoal, can make them look more yellow and roughen the enamel surface. When the enamel surface is scratched or abraded, stain can gather and accumulate in the grooves appearing darker. When enamel is worn away, the underlying dentin surface can be seen which is naturally more yellow in color.

Instead, choose a whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance like Colgate or Crest that you know will not harm your smile.


Oil Pulling

Claim: Swishing coconut oil in your mouth for an extended period of time will help whiten your smile.

Fact: There is no clinical or scientific evidence that proves that oil pulling will whiten your teeth. Save the oil & cook with it instead!


Still interesting in whitening? At our office, we offer two avenues of teeth whitening that are effective and safe for your teeth. Check out our Teeth Whitening tab for more info!