The internet is filled with dangerous teeth whitening hacks , including covering teeth in lemon juice, coconut oil, and even purple shampoo!
In a recent article in The Sun newspaper Dr Khaled Kasem, said: “The majority of DIY whitening hacks are complete fads. Not only are some of them dangerous to your health but they also don’t contain the ingredients to remove any deep-set stains that are causing your teeth to yellow in appearance. If you’re hoping to achieve a brighter, whiter smile, it’s always best to consult your dentist before trying anything out. Just like regular health, you shouldn’t take dental advice from anyone on social media that isn’t qualified to provide it”.
“DIY tricks can be dangerous and cause damage to your tooth enamel, something which simply cannot be undone.”
The worst hacks…
1. Purple shampoo
Purple shampoo is used by people with dyed blonde hair to stop their locks going brassy coloured.
Dr Khaled said: “Perhaps the most unusual of all is the idea that purple shampoo will whiten your teeth. The idea behind it is simple: violet hue cancels yellow tones found on your teeth, creating an instant but temporary whitening effect. However, we would always stand by the fact that shampoo should not be coming anywhere near your mouth, as not only can ingesting it have serious implications for your health, but it also doesn’t have the desired effects so becomes pointless! The ingredients in shampoo will not remove any deep-set stains that are causing your teeth to yellow in appearance and will do more harm than good.”
2. Lemon juice
Lemon juice – how harmful can it be? Well, lemons are rich in citric acid, “a natural bleaching agent used on fabrics, hair and skin”.
However, Dr Khaled warned: “While it can lift stains and lighten teeth in the short term, lemons are simply too acidic to sit on the surface of your teeth. As it sits on your teeth it begins wearing down the enamel that protects your teeth, and as the layer decreases, you’re increasing your risk of tooth sensitivity and decay.”
Turmeric is another natural kitchen ingredient that does wonders for health. But when it comes to teeth, it’s best to put the spice down.
Dr Khaled said: “While it does help to remove plaque, bacteria, and inflammation, it’s not as effective at removing stains. In fact, its dark orange colour lends itself to staining your teeth more, if you don’t clean them properly.”
The best options…
To have a visibly brighter smile, bleach is needed in the form of teeth whitening. Professional teeth whitening is also the only way to treat discoloration of the tooth – which can look like staining, but is in fact deeper in the tooth. Dr Khaled said: “If you’re hoping to achieve a brighter, whiter smile, your best bet is to consult a dental professional, as they have special programmes in place that can change the natural colour of your teeth, rather than just remove surface stains. It might be more expensive, but it’s your safest and most effective option.”