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Have you ever checked Pinterest for teeth whitening topics? As a dentist, I nearly fainted with horror.

It seems that the web is riddled with graphics and articles about how to whiten your teeth instantly! Whiten in ten minutes! Whiten over night! Some of these methods may actually work in whitening your teeth, but I’ll never try them myself. All of the following tips and tricks are incredibly harmful to your smile. I’ve separated them into images that are easily sharable, if you would be so kind as to help our dental clinic spread the word! For the sake of teeth everywhere, spread the word!Your teeth are protected by a thin, but effective, coating of enamel. Without this imperative shield, your teeth become painfully sensitive to temperature and more susceptible to stains. One way we frequently weaken our tooth enamel is by ingesting acidic food and drink. Acid eats away at our protective tooth-guards, leaving our pearly whites porous and exposed. When you use citrus to whiten your teeth, you’re damaging the only thing that stands between your smile and your next cup of coffee.

Instead of using the lemon juice method or applying orange rinds directly to your teeth, up your strawberry intake! Interestingly enough, despite their deep color, strawberries contain a natural enamel whitener. We don’t recommend creating a paste and coating your teeth with it, as strawberries are somewhat acidic, but adding them to your diet along with lots of raw, water-rich vegetables can contribute to whiter teeth! With so many whitening methods out there, it can be hard to know for yourself whether or not the trick will be damaging to your teeth. For a quick answer, refer to the pH scale. The pH scale runs from 1-14, and any pH level lower than 7 is considered acidic. If the fruity tip in question falls low on the pH scale, it’s best not to use it.

Next on our list of damaging ways to whiten your teeth is the use of apple cider vinegar. Some swish it around like mouthwash and others take it further by rubbing the stuff on their teeth before brushing. I can’t begin to explain how detrimental both of these methods are. As you can see on the pH infographic, apple cider vinegar is incredibly acidic – more so than an orange. By swishing it around or rubbing it directly on your pearly whites, you’re damaging the protective layer of enamel. If the next thing you do is pick up a toothbrush and start scrubbing, then you’re going to brush away even more enamel because the acid in the vinegar left it in a weakened state. Finally, the use of baking soda. This brilliant substance serves many purposes and is an ingredient in tooth-whitening products. It can fight bad breath, prevent gum disease, and more! However, there’s a tip going around that you should brush with baking soda after a meal to scrub away any chance of stains.

What have we learned about enamel and eating? Acidic fruits aren’t the only foods that weaken your tooth enamel. Nearly everything we eat and drink that isn’t absolutely organic has the potential to eat away at our thin layer of tooth-protection. How? Acid has many sources. Candy, soda, sports drinks, etc. The list goes on and on. Even the natural sugars in fruits and grains can convert to acid and linger for an extended period of time in bits of food stuck between our teeth. Brushing your teeth right after every meal is not recommended, but brushing with baking soda after a meal is advised against. The granules in baking soda paired with the bristles of your toothbrush can wreak serious havoc on your weak enamel. Give your teeth time to recover from each meal before you scrub away, and if you’re one of those people that must brush after eating, try swishing with water and having a sugar-free mint instead![/fusion_text][fusion_text]If you’re dreaming of a sparkling smile, there are plenty of things you can do that won’t harm your teeth the way some of these DIY teeth whitening tricks are going to. Before you try something new, however, do a little research on the subject to make sure you don’t harm your teeth. Below are some of our recommended teeth-whitening tips for brighter, whiter smiles without harming your enamel!

  • Whitening toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash
  • Eat lots of strawberries & other water-rich vegetables
  • Brush with baking soda and water occasionally (a few times a month and no sooner than 30 minutes after eating.)
  • Use an electric toothbrush
  • Regular teeth cleanings

Alternatively, our dental clinic offers a wide variety of whitening treatments that are effective, safe, and affordable. Learn more about the cosmetic dental services we offer or schedule a consultation with us today to get started on your dream smile!