Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. So it’s no wonder many people chase a white, brilliant smile. Unfortunately, many social media influencers have capitalized on people’s desire for a bright smile. As a result, new teeth-whitening trends constantly emerge. But many of these trends are either completely ineffective or outright harmful. Learn more about what trends you don’t want to try – and how to keep your teeth white – from the Treasured Smiles Adult and Cosmetic Dentistry professionals.
5 Teeth-Whitening Trends You Don’t Want to Try
Teeth-whitening pens are trendy on TikTok. Unfortunately, these pens don’t give good results. Users take the pen-like product to apply whitening agents – usually a peroxide gel – directly to individual teeth. The chemicals can cause gum and tooth sensitivity and pain. In addition, if done incorrectly, the whitening effect may be streaky, meaning some teeth may be whiter than others.
Like whitening pens, strips use a peroxide-based gel to activate the whitening. However, instead of a pen, the product is on a thin strip that is placed and folded over the teeth. Because of the high concentration of whitening agents in these strips, users feel pain, sensitivity and even nausea. Additionally, the whitening effects often don’t last; saliva quickly breaks down the gel.
At-home teeth whitening lights can be hazardous. First, users apply a peroxide whitening gel to their teeth. Then, they insert the light kit into their mouth. The UV light from the machine activates the peroxide and whitening chemicals. However, it also exposes the mouth to high levels of radiation. This high dose of UV radiation can cause pain, sensitivity and even infections.
Charcoal and baking soda
Another popular trend on social media is adding activated charcoal or baking soda to toothpaste. Users say that the grit from these products helps remove build-up on their teeth, making their smiles cleaner and brighter. However, these gritty additions can actually remove your enamel over time. Without strong enamel, your teeth become sensitive and more prone to chips, stains and cavities.
A final trend on social media is using coconut oil to “pull” stains out of teeth. Users melt coconut oil and swish it in their mouths, as they would with mouthwash. This trend isn’t harmful – aside from potentially consuming too much fat. But there is no evidence that this method works.
What You Should Actually Do to Get White Teeth
Instead of leaving your smile in the hands of so-called TikTok experts, trust the friendly, expert team at Treasured Smile Adult and Cosmetic Dentistry. Our trained dentists can help you get a bright smile with safe, effective whitening. You should also keep your smile healthy and bright by doing the following:
- Brush your teeth in the morning and evening with dentist-approved toothpaste. Routine brushing keeps your teeth healthy and clean, which prevents staining.
- Floss once a day. Flossing removes plaque and prevents it from becoming tartar, which can be discolored and yellow.
- Limit consumption of staining beverages, such as coffee, pops and tea. Coffee, pop and tea are acidic and can easily stain your teeth. You can also choose to use a straw so that the drinks don’t hit your teeth.
- Use a softer toothbrush to avoid damaging your enamel. When you brush away tartar, you also scratch the surface of your teeth. Over time, your enamel wears away. Without strong enamel, your teeth quickly stain.
- Eat more fruits and veggies to help whiten your teeth! Crunchy fruits and veggies full of vitamins strengthen your teeth and help them stay white. They also increase saliva production, which breaks down plaque and keeps teeth white.
- Prioritize routine cleanings every six months. Routine cleanings with your dentist will help prevent plaque build-up and keep your teeth white.