Everyone wants that perfect smile that’s so perfectly white, it glistens in the sunlight. However, even with professional teeth whitening and at-home whitening methods, people still go to even greater lengths trying to get that whiter smile. With that burning desire for a more radiant smile, there have been some interesting and strange whitening methods that have emerged, even gaining a large following from exposure online. Your oral health experts at Cook Orthodontics are here to take a look at some of these creative new whitening regimens, and see if they actually are effective at whitening teeth.

Charcoal Whitening

You may be thinking to yourself, isn’t charcoal black? While it may seem like a backwards way to whiten teeth, there have been tons of people claiming that brushing your teeth with some activated charcoal powder will help whiten your teeth. Even with these claims, the charcoal may be better left on the grill, since it’s still not fully understood how the charcoal, which is very abrasive, can damage your teeth. It’s very possible that the abrasiveness of the charcoal wears away the enamel, making your teeth whiter, but in the long run, this isn’t what you want for your teeth. The American Dental Association is looking into this method of teeth whitening, but there has yet to be enough research and studies that support this method.

Strawberry Whitening

From black charcoal to red strawberries, believe it or not, trying to get whiter teeth by mixing crushed strawberry with some baking soda is another trend that emerged from those trying to whiten their smiles more effectively. Unfortunately, a study published in 2015 showed that after applying the solution to a set of teeth, three times a day for ten days, the there was a slight reduction in plaque and bacteria on the teeth, but there was no actual removal of stains. If you love strawberries, you can definitely give this a try if you want, but it probably won’t help your teeth get any whiter.

Coconut Oil Pulling

This is a very popular whitening method, dating back to ancient India who practiced oil pulling daily, claiming that it not only helps whiten teeth, but helps maintain good hygiene as well. Oil pulling involves taking a small amount of coconut oil (about a tablespoon), and swishing it around your mouth and teeth for about 20 minutes per day. The oil is supposed to “pull” away the bacteria from your teeth and the rest of your mouth, leaving you clean and healthier.

While oil pulling does have a huge following with many claims towards its effectiveness, the American Dental Association has stated that oil pulling should not be done as an alternative to a proper oral hygiene routine of brushing, flossing, and rinsing. The claims of it being able to whiten teeth have also yet to be backed up by any studies, making this another unofficial, uncertain whitening method.

How Can I Really Get A Whiter Smile?

If you really want a whiter smile, we recommend a professional whitening from a dentist, since it’s a proven, effective way to lift stains from your teeth in a very short time, for a more radiant smile. There are also many home whitening solutions, from toothpastes and mouthwashes, to at-home whitening trays to put on your teeth. Many of these at-home products have studies behind them, showing that they can effectively remove stains over time. Just remember that even if you get your teeth whitened, you need to keep up a consistent oral hygiene routine, and to make regular visits to your dentist and orthodontist office, to maintain optimal oral health.

Contact Your Orange County Orthodontist!

As your local Rancho Santa Margarita & Coto de Caza orthodontist, we know a thing or two about oral health and taking care of your teeth. If you have any questions about some weird whitening method you found online, or anything else about your oral hygiene, just contact us at Cook Orthodontics, and we’ll be happy to help. Also, perfectly aligned teeth are easier to keep clean and prevent from staining, so if you want a bright smile that’s also perfect, just book an appointment with us and we’ll transform your smile!