Safer Teeth Whitening
I want to whiten my smile, but I don’t want to loose all of my enamel doing it. I keep seeing all of these ads for tooth strips, mouthwashes, and toothpastes that claim to whiten your teeth in a few weeks, but am very weary of claims that sound too good to be true. My desire for a flashier smile started me on a path to understanding the do’s and don’ts of tooth whitening.
The enamel on your teeth is your first defense against tooth decay. Any holes or damage to your enamel will cause years of cavities and tooth loss. Enamel is eaten away by acids. These can be from soda and other beverages or from bad tooth whitening advice, like using lemon juice. All over the Internet I found advice to use lemons and lemon juice to whiten my teeth. This is a very bad idea. Lemons are highly acidic and will dissolve your enamel if you try to use them as a whitener.
I spoke with my dentist about the many different whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes and he said that they were safe to use as long as they have the ADA approval stamp on the package. He also recommended staying away from the whitening strips as they can be bad on your enamel and can whiten your teeth unevenly, leaving your smile looking worse. I was surprised to find out how many different types of toothpaste that were not ADA approved when I went to the store and compared labels. From my own experience I can say that whitening mouthwashes do very little to whiten your smile despite their high cost. Combining them with whitening toothpaste seemed to work better, but again the cost also goes up. Also, I didn’t get the results that I was hoping for as quickly as I expected.
The best, and safest, whitening system that I have found is also the cheapest and most natural. Swish a small amount of hydrogen peroxide around in your mouth every couple of days and brush your teeth with baking soda a few times a week. You will notice results within a few days and both are very inexpensive. Use a diluted hydrogen peroxide solution to reduce the horrible taste. The hydrogen peroxide will also help keep the rest of your mouth healthy and germ free!
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