Is DIY Teeth Whitening Safe?

Your smile is one of the first things others notice about you. Who does not want to sport a bright, white smile? Teeth whitening is a simple way to improve your overall appearance and wow others around you. However, do not be fooled by viral videos demonstrating alternative, at-home teeth whitening hacks. Many DIY whitening methods cause more harm than good.  

DIY videos are great for learning a new craft or trying out a recipe, but they are not an ideal resource for health advice. You should always seek guidance from a qualified professional before attempting a trend that may jeopardize your health. DIY dental treatments are often dangerous and can cause irreversible damage.  

Your teeth may encounter multiple staining agents on a daily basis. Coffee, tea, wine, dark soda, tomato-based sauces, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, tobacco use, and vaping can all contribute to discolored teeth. Giving up these foods and habits may feel impossible. Luckily, professional whitening treatments at a dental office can often lift these stains, leaving a beautiful, white smile.  

Popular DIY Whitening Ingredients:   

  • Activated Charcoal   
  • Kaolin Clay   
  • Fruit Peels & Mashed Fruit  
  • Baking Soda  
  • Apple Cider Vinegar   

Some people turn to alternative whitening treatments because they use natural or organic ingredients. These buzzwords are often associated with health, leading consumers to believe that they are safe to use. When in reality, these ingredients may lighten the hue of teeth but also can cause severe damage, such as erosion and abrasion.  


Tooth erosion refers to the destruction of the tooth surface from acid or chemical impact. The tooth surface is coated with enamel, which gives teeth strength and protection. As the layers of enamel erode, many patients start to experience tooth sensitivity. Not only does the lack of enamel make enjoying hot and cold foods difficult, but it also tends to make the teeth appear more discolored and increases a patient’s risk for various dental conditions. Applying apple cider vinegar or acidic fruit to the teeth can cause erosion. Professional whitening methods do not cause erosion and produce significantly better results.  


 Activated charcoal and baking soda are popular DIY teeth whitening ingredients. Even if these common household items seem harmless, they are abrasive to the enamel if used too often or in large quantities. Tooth abrasion is when the teeth lose enamel due to contact from an external source. Although many dentists use controlled abrasion techniques to remove surface stains, they are trained to do so in the safest method possible. In a professional setting, controlled abrasion is safe and yields stunning results. Amateurs who do not understand all the nuances of the tooth structure can inflict detrimental damage to their oral health by attempting abrasion techniques at home. 

DIY teeth whitening can turn into a dangerous cycle. When individuals try these methods and see some results, they may use them repetitively in an attempt to achieve more drastic outcomes. Take-home whitening kits from a dental office and over-the-counter whitening with the ADA seal of approval are safe ways to brighten your smile at home quickly. Schedule a teeth whitening consultation and start smiling brighter! 

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