3 Myths About Teeth Whitening



Woman brushing her teeth with charcoal

Woman brushing her teeth with charcoal for whitening effect.

3 Minute Read:

A beautiful smile can make a great first impression, enhance the perfect photo, and brighten someone’s day. One of the easiest ways to improve your smile is to whiten your teeth.

Teeth whitening can get rid of stains and combat dullness while creating a healthier smile.

Stains can form on the teeth from:

  • Drinking beverages like coffee, soda, and red wine
  • Smoking
  • Taking certain medications
  • Poor oral hygiene

Whether it be for cosmetic or oral health reasons, many people are finding new ways to whiten their teeth at home. There are plenty of DIY teeth whitening trends floating around that claim to whiten your teeth with standard household items. However, not all of these methods work, and some may be bad for your teeth.

What Are Some Myths About DIY Teeth Whitening?

1. Crushed Strawberries Will Whiten Your Teeth

The strawberry method is done by crushing up strawberries, mixing them with baking soda, and applying the mixture to your teeth. This method is supposed to be a natural alternative to teeth whitening kits that both cleanses and whitens your smile.

Unfortunately, studies show that this is only partially true. Results from clinical studies showed that the mixture did little to whiten the teeth, though it had helped to remove plaque and surface debris, which may create the appearance of whitening.

2. Swishing Oil Is Enough to Brighten Your Smile

Oil pulling is another natural, at-home teeth whitening treatment that has gained popularity. It only requires one ingredient: coconut oil.

This method claims that by swishing coconut oil around in your mouth for a few minutes, you can whiten your teeth, improve your oral hygiene, and prevent cavities. Oil pulling is said to work by extracting bacteria, plaque, and other debris from the tooth surface as the oil is swished around the mouth.

This method may be successful in removing some bacteria, and therefore, it can improve the health of the teeth. However, much like the strawberry method, oil pulling can make teeth appear better, but it does not whiten the teeth.

3. Charcoal Will Do the Trick and Whiten Your Teeth

Due to recent trends surrounding the benefits of activated charcoal in beauty products, many new charcoal teeth whitening products are being produced.

Some people are choosing to brush their teeth using activated charcoal powder to whiten their teeth. When used as a toothpaste substitute, activated charcoal powder is supposed to reduce bacteria and debris while pulling out stains off the teeth.

The problem with charcoal is that it has not been proven to be safe or effective for whitening the teeth. It has not been determined if the activated charcoal powder is too abrasive to be used on the teeth or if it can cause damage to the enamel.

Which Teeth-Whitening Option Should You Choose?

If you are looking for a safe and effective way to whiten your teeth either in an office or at home, consider finding a trained dental professional near you. At La Jolla Cosmetic Dentistry and Orthodontics, you can try Iveri™ in-office teeth whitening or opt for at-home whitening with Opalescence® Boost kits.

Both methods can whiten your teeth up to four to eight shades lighter quickly and with no pain or recovery time.
Want to Learn More?
If you would like to learn more about your options for whitening your teeth, please feel free to contact Dr. Kohani at his San Diego office at (858) 295-0603 or fill out his online contact form to schedule a consultation.