If you’ve ever browsed sites like Pinterest for beauty tips and tricks, you’ve likely stumbled across links to things titled “3 Ways to Whiten Your Smile at Home” or “How to Reverse Cavities.” Unfortunately, most of these sources come from people with no dental background or education, and some of the suggestions can actually harm your smile! Instead of saving a few dollars, you can create thousands of dollars worth of treatment that you need later on.
Here are a few examples:
Using Lemon to Whiten Your Teeth
Lemons are full of acidic liquid. If you rub them on your teeth, your smile looks white…at first. But it’s because the enamel is actually being etched away by the acid. Too much lemon and your enamel will be completely worn then, with the underlying yellow dentin exposing your sensitive nerves.
Healing Cavities on Your Own
While very tiny areas of enamel demineralization can be reversed with fluoride, active cavities (holes) in your teeth cannot. There is no clinical way to regenerate the enamel growth, because these cells are not regenerative. In most cases, people making these claims have a dentist who over-diagnoses their needs and sees a more watch-and-wait dentist for a 2nd opinion. They’re not actually “healing” themselves.
Some people make up homemade concoctions to whiten or brush their teeth. With ingredients like baking soda or peroxide frequently used, once or twice doesn’t typically cause any harm. However, everyday use can actually damage your tooth enamel or change the natural flora inside of your mouth. Google “black hairy tongue” and you’ll see for yourself what rinsing every day with hydrogen peroxide can do.
The best way to keep your smile healthy is to brush regularly, floss each day, and see your Florida dentist for a check-up every 6 months!