Teeth Whitening Tricks You Should Never Try, According To A Dentist

What wouldn't we do for a mouth full of pearly whites? From gargling with charcoal to following questionable advice on TikTok about using Q-tips and bleach to brighten your teeth, we can be total suckers for at-home whitening tricks. The problem is that some of these approaches not only don't work — they can be dangerous. In an interview with Health Digest, Dr. Bill Busch, dentist and founder of Team Smile, explained that some of these teeth whitening home remedies are leading to more frowns than smiles. 

"There are a lot of trends out in the marketplace right now, but nothing that produces the same results as in-office whitening," Busch explained. "The most important thing to remember when whitening your teeth is to preserve and protect your enamel. If a product is too abrasive, you can damage your enamel. Your enamel can repair itself, but if your teeth start to decay, that becomes a difficult process to stop."

This home remedy is the worst for your teeth, dentist claims

One popular trend is using charcoal toothpaste to whiten your teeth; many DIY beauty seekers claim that using a paste made from activated charcoal, which comes from finely ground wood, coconut shells, and other natural sources, will remove stains as well as plaque and other bacteria from your enamel. The American Dental Association does not approve using charcoal for use on teeth, though — and Busch said there's a very good reason for that. "Charcoal toothpaste is what I tell many of my patients to avoid," he explained. "It is far too abrasive for the enamel." The whitening strips you can find at a drug store are also too abrasive, Busch added; plus, "some strips actually do nothing. Either way, these products aren't worth it."

Instead of scouring the internet for ways to whiten your teeth, you're better off devoting your time and energy into brushing and flossing, Busch pointed out. Your dentist, meanwhile, likely has safe, fast, effective solutions that will make that smile sparkle — safely. "We offer an in-office whitening procedure that protects the enamel and takes about an hour. We also offer bleaching trays for touch ups," Busch said.