Recently a famous celebrity doctor (whose last name sounds like a land where Dorothy Gale from Kansas found a great and powerful wizard) recommended a simple at-home whitening formula. The recipe? Coat your teeth with a mixture of baking soda and lemon juice before brushing.
Does this really work? Well, it certainly may remove some stains. But unfortunately, it can also be a recipe for disaster.
Lemon juice is an acid, so even though fruits are generally healthy, large concentrations of the juice can actually wear away enamel, the hard outer layer of your teeth. Once that erodes, not only are teeth quite unattractive they are incredibly prone to cavities and difficult to repair.
Baking soda is an abrasive material, kind of like sandpaper. So even though in very small amounts it can polish your teeth nicely, use the wrong amount and you may as well be sanding your teeth away!
Our suggestion? Put the lemon in your tea and use baking soda in the kitchen! When it comes to whitening your teeth, your best bet is to ask a dental professional.
Over-the-counter whitening toothpastes and whitening products from the drug store can do a decent job on lightly stained teeth, especially for those in their late teens and early 20s. But we find that most people who express the desire for whiter teeth need what only a dental office can offer.
There are many different treatments available, from take-home systems with custom molded trays to much stronger products that must be supervised by a dentist. A professional can tell you which one is right for you. He or she may even recommend that you keep your teeth as they are!
As far as that TV doctor, we wish him the best and hope he doesn’t grind his teeth away. When it comes to dental advice, please ask a member of the dental profession, like us at Lilly Family Dentistry by calling 712-239-5125.