Fad or Fact? Dr. Tikson’s Take on Trendy Teeth-Whitening Treatments

When you’re looking to whiten your smile, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the number of items on the market. Without proper medical training, it can be hard to distinguish between dental fads and dental facts. Luckily, Dr. Tikson has offered her expertise on the topic to help you safely brighten your smile!


Charcoal Toothpaste

Charcoal products are everywhere right now—face masks, soaps, deodorants, and even activated charcoal ice cream are some of the trendiest items on the market. You’ve probably seen charcoal toothpaste as well, which promises to whiten your teeth. Charcoal is being marketed as an all-natural solution to whatever ails you. But can it really whiten your teeth? Not according to Dr. Tikson.

There is no formal, scientific evidence to suggest that activated charcoal toothpaste is effective at whitening teeth. Though it might get rid of some surface stains, it cannot change the actual color of your teeth. Furthermore, the American Dental Association hasn’t approved any charcoal products for dentistry yet. Charcoal can be too abrasive on the surface of your teeth, wearing down your enamel over time. Best to steer clear of this oh-so-trendy whitening option.

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is another trendy DIY whitening process that involves swishing an all-natural oil (most popularly, coconut) in the mouth daily for 20 to 30 minutes. This practice is thought to strip away toxins and bacteria from the mouth—supposedly whitening your teeth along the way.

Much like charcoal toothpaste, there are no studies to prove that oil pulling is beneficial to your oral health. In fact, Dr. Tikson has even seen some cases in which oil pulling has been detrimental to people with gum disease. Dr. Tikson predicts that this trend will pass quickly, so don’t waste your time swishing coconut oil.

Turmeric Paste

Although it may seem counterintuitive, many people are attempting to whiten their teeth with bright yellow turmeric powder. Although this practice is not particularly harmful—in fact, turmeric contains anti-inflammatory and antibacterial products—it won’t do you much good if you’re trying to whiten your teeth.

Like many of the other fads, there is no scientific data to support the claim that turmeric paste can whiten your teeth. In fact, Dr. Tikson says it can actually make your teeth more yellow.

LED Whitening

Light emitting diode or LED trays are a popular, albeit unhealthy and unsustainable way to whiten your teeth rapidly. Your teeth will look extra white after an LED treatment, but only because they have become dehydrated by the treatment. In turn, this dehydration can cause extreme sensitivity and dental pain. And, in a short time, your teeth will fade back to their pre-treatment shade.

Dr. Tikson suggests that you steer clear of this expensive whitening method—not only is this option no more effective than a standard whitening tray, but this treatment can also cause temporary pain.


Whitening Toothpaste

Although many toothpastes advertise themselves as “whitening,” only toothpastes that contain peroxide gel are actually effective at brightening your smile. So, when you’re shopping, you should always look for a toothpaste with peroxide gel that has been approved by the American Dental Association. Dr. Tikson suggests Crest® Pro-Health® HDTM Daily Two-Step Toothpaste or Crest® 3D WhiteTM Brilliance Daily for her patients.

Whitening Strips

Whitening strips contain chemicals that can be very effective at whitening teeth. However, they can also be damaging if used incorrectly. The bleaching agent in these strips can harm your gums, so if you choose to use whitening strips, make sure to avoid any contact with your gums.  Since whitening strips can also increase tooth sensitivity, Dr. Tikson suggests that you use them until you’re satisfied, but don’t use them more than necessary. You can also pair whitening strips with a toothpaste designed to decrease tooth sensitivity.

Professional Dental Whitening 

At the end of the day, Dr. Tikson always recommends visiting her office if you’re interested in lightening your smile safely and effectively. She can provide a custom tray with whitening gel for home use that delivers beautiful, healthy results—without putting your gums or teeth at risk for damage.

If you are interested in getting your brightest smile, call us today to book your appointment at 614-888-2563.

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