A Dentist on Natural Teeth Whitening–And Which Procedure to Skip
Dr. Michelle Jorgensen is my own holistic dentist, with whom I created the Healthy Mouth, Healthy Life video masterclass. I’m thrilled to have her guest posting today. –Robyn
Who wouldn’t like a whiter smile? And if it can be done without chemicals or damaging your teeth, all the better! That’s what natural teeth whitening is all about. This topic is full of debate and opinion, so let’s talk about some facts and pros and cons of the different whitening methods you can choose from.
In this article:
- Why Do Teeth Darken or Get Yellow?
- Natural Teeth Whitening Methods
- Professional Teeth Whitening Methods
Why Do Teeth Darken Or Get Yellow?
Why do teeth darken in the first place? There are two very different causes. The first is staining inside the tooth.
After years of eating dark foods, these stains get deeper into the tooth and don’t come off with brushing.
The second cause is a little harder to correct. Each tooth has two layers: the outer enamel that’s transparent, and the inner dentin that has the color. If the enamel thins from acid erosion or tooth wear or even just use, the dentin is more visible. This is why people say their teeth get more yellow as they get older.
Now that you understand why teeth darken, the teeth whitening solutions will make more sense.
Natural Teeth Whitening Methods
This sounds like a crazy way to whiten your teeth: brush them with black activated charcoal! The charcoal absorbs the stains and whitens the teeth over time.
The oil pulling procedure is to put 1-2 tablespoons of coconut oil in the mouth and swish around for 15 minutes (check out the video demonstration here). This “pulls” bacteria and stains out of the teeth.
Hydrogen Peroxide or Baking Soda for Brushing
Both baking soda and hydrogen peroxide alkalize and oxidize, but they work better when allowed to sit on the teeth. When brushing, the contact time isn’t very long, so the effect may be minimal for teeth whitening.
Strengthening the enamel will make the teeth appear more white. You can rebuild the enamel with herbal horsetail and homeopathic cell salts like Calc Fluor and Calc Phos, and adding Vitamin D3 and K2 will pull calcium into the teeth, making them stronger and more resilient.
Professional Teeth Whitening Methods
Most professional whitening is done with Hydrogen or Carbamide Peroxide gels. The gel stays in contact with the tooth, so it works for a longer time and has more effect. The biggest caveat is the strength of the gel. The higher concentration of peroxide, the faster the teeth whitening and the higher the sensitivity potential.
I don’t recommend boosting teeth whitening with lights because it works faster and can lead to a lot of tooth dehydration and sensitivity.
With all of these options, you should be able to find a whitening method that you feel good about for a brighter smile!
Dr. Michelle Jorgensen (DDS, FAGD, TNC, CNAS) is an author, speaker, teacher, biologic/holistic dentist, and health and wellness provider based in Utah. She is the creator of the Total Care Dental Way, a patient-centric, health-focused approach to dental and overall health. After founding her practice, Total Care Dental, in 2001, Dr. Jorgensen and her team went on to win Dental Team of the Year and the Dental Practice of the Year at the Prestigious Crown Council Member’s Choice Award.
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