All Internet Advice is Not Good For You
I recently came across a YouTube video describing a free, natural method for whitening your teeth at home. Internet articles also tout this free method as safe because it uses all natural ingredients. You mix lemon juice and baking soda to make a paste to dissolve the enamel on your teeth. If you know what enamel is and why it is important to your teeth, you already know this is destructive, awful advice. I will go in to more details on this recipe and why it is so bad for your teeth.
With promises of making your teeth one to two shades whiter and guarantees of simple, cheap, and safe ingredients, you can find articles that happy give you advice that will destroy your teeth. I am about to give the recipe for reference. Do not follow this recipe!
Most recipes are simple and go something like this: Mix ¼ cup of baking soda and the lemon juice squeezed from half a lemon. Stir the baking soda and lemon juice together until the mixture starts to bubble, and then dip a q-tip or cotton ball into the mixture and directly apply to your teeth. Leave the solution on your teeth for a minute. Rinse or brush away the solution from your teeth.
And there you have it! By following these instructions your can erode and dissolve your enamel as you whiten your teeth at home. In all fairness, this method does work, but it works because it is melting your teeth. It is similar to buying wallpaper remover that tells you to douse your wallpaper with gasoline and light your walls on fire. Technically, this will remove your wallpaper.
Why It's Horriable
First, lemon juice is an acid with a pH of 2. Considering the pH scale goes from 0 to 14 with 0 being the strongest, you can see that even though lemon juice is a natural substance, it is also very acidic. The acid will dissolve the calcium in your teeth.
Second, baking soda is gritty and abrasive, sort of like the Ajax cleanser or Comet cleanser. When you mix the acidic lemon juice with the gritty baking soda and then brush it onto your teeth, you are scrubbing and brushing away your teeth. Or rather, the enamel from your teeth.
The enamel is the hard substance that covers and protects the nerve endings in your teeth. You do not want the nerve endings in your teeth exposed to your mouth, food, or even air as they are extremely sensitive and will bring you a world of pain. Enamel also protects your teeth from cavities. The loss of enamel is an open door to cavities, expensive dentist visits, and loss of your teeth.
Stay Safe and Healthy
The appeal for natural or free teeth whitening at home is strong. Everybody wants whiter teeth and many teeth whitening products are expensive. Unfortunately, many people prey upon these desires for their benefit and your loss. I've spoken with my various dentists over the years they continually recommend Crest Whitestrips as well as their own teeth whitening solutions. Crest Whitestrips are a trusted name, reasonably priced, and have a lot of reviews on Amazon, so you can get a feel for what others have experienced.
Whatever you decide, do your homework and if something seems to good or too cheap to be true, it probably is. Your teeth are just too important to take bad advice that may result in irreparable harm.
For more information about your teeth, check our my other articles here: