Have you ever heard of “lifehacks?” These are tricks that can get you cheaper food, save you time and money, and even make you healthier without the need for expensive products or services. Some of them are legitimately amazing – and then there’s the world of teeth whitening hacks.

At Panama City Smiles we’ve noticed a lot of new trends in DIY teeth whitening. While most methods are completely harmless they’re also completely without results too. If you’ve been thinking about trying to hack your teeth whiter find out what it’s really about first.

Fruit Peels: Is This For Real?

We’ve heard that the inside edge of fruit peels, specifically bananas and citrus fruits, can be used to whiten teeth. Let’s tackle this by type of fruit.

Bananas are supposed to be helpful because of their somewhat gritty inner peel. Along with potassium and magnesium, rubbing them on your teeth is supposed to scrub away stains, but there’s absolutely no evidence that this actually works. It’s harmless, but it probably won’t whiten your smile.

Citrus peels, on the other hand, can be downright dangerous. They contain acids that soften the enamel on your teeth, which contributes to cavities. If you spend time rubbing citrus peels on your teeth every day you just might be accelerating the progress of tooth decay!

Can Oil Pull Away Stains?

There’s an old technique called “oil pulling” that involves swishing coconut oil in your mouth for ten to twenty minutes. It’s supposed to pull bacteria and stains away from your teeth, but whether it does or not is a matter up for debate.

Oil pulling can definitely remove bacteria from around your teeth. Swishing with most anything for 20 minutes will do that, though, and all you’re really likely to get from oil pulling is sore facial muscles.

People who advocate for oil pulling also tend to think it’s an alternative to brushing and flossing, but that simply isn’t true. While oil will pull some bacteria away it simple can’t replace the benefits of brushing and flossing. Proper oral care at home stimulates your gums, removes plaque, and rebuilds lost enamel through the fluoride in your toothpaste. Oil pulling can’t truly do any of that.

Hydrogen Peroxide: It Works In Whitening Gels, Right?

One of the more plausible home whitening hacks is to combine hydrogen peroxide with baking soda to use as toothpaste. To be fair there’s some merit to that – baking soda can clean your teeth and has a similar grittiness to what is found in many commercial toothpastes. And we know that hydrogen peroxide is the most effective teeth whitening agent out there – this should be a great method, right?

There’s just one major problem: hydrogen peroxide solution isn’t that strong, and professional whitening treatments isolate it in a tray because saliva causes it to break down almost instantly! Using hydrogen peroxide at home simply won’t work: it’s too weak, it will break down before it can whiten, and all your left with is muddy baking soda.

How To Actually Get White Teeth

If you want to actually get a whiter, brighter smile there are some at-home steps you can take that, along with a professional teeth whitening treatment, will have your smile brighter in no time.

  • Make sure you’re brushing your teeth twice a day. Keeping them clean makes a huge difference in their shade. Clean teeth don’t have stain particles left behind on them, so keep those pearlys white!
  • Avoid drinking too much wine, tea, or coffee – all three are serious stainers. You don’t have to eliminate them altogether, but make sure you brush your teeth or use some mouthwash after you finish enjoying your drink.
  • Chew gum containing xylitol after a meal. It’s a sweetener that oral bacteria can’t digest, which will repel some staining and get rid of excess acids and food particles.
  • Don’t forget to keep up on a regular dental cleaning and exam schedule. If we see you every six months we can do a lot to remove excess buildup on your teeth that causes their color to fade.

A Great Smile Is Just A Whitening Treatment Away

We can whiten your teeth, starting now, and have you looking great in just a few weeks. If you want to find out how to get real whitening results without all the guessing and risks then call our Panama City office today.

You can reach us at 850-588-0185 or you can request an appointment online. We look forward to seeing you soon!