Before adding some extra sparkle to your pearly whites, think long and hard about the method you plan to use. Bleaching doesn’t work for everyone, but some homemade teeth whitening procedures can be downright dangerous.
1. When should you wait?
If you’re still losing baby teeth or having extensive dental work, don’t whiten. If you do, the color will not be consistent, making it a waste of time and money.
2. Do you have to go to a dentist?
Not necessarily. Teeth whitening kits are available at many drugstores and big box stores, and they’re just as safe as (and a lot cheaper than) the ones dentists use.
But be wary of products sold online. Some such kits contain up to 300 times the legal amount of hydrogen peroxide, which could do serious damage to your mouth.
3. What should you avoid?
While in the process of whitening your teeth, try not to use products that can stain them, such as coffee, tobacco and red wine.
4. What should you disregard?
People on Facebook and Pinterest don’t always have the answers. Some of those homemade whitening suggestions should be avoided.
For example, combining baking soda and lemon juice will whiten your teeth — by stripping the enamel and weakening them. The same goes for the DIY mouthwash made from cinnamon and lemon; it’s far too acidic to be used regularly.
At the end of the day, it’s best to consult with a dentist before trying to get a whiter smile. You don’t necessarily have to use the dentist’s services, but a professional opinion can’t hurt.