Can You Whiten Teeth Yourself?

Can You Whiten Teeth Yourself?

Attempting shortcuts to make your teeth look more attractive probably won’t work and can cause long term harm.

With the warmer weather starting to appear at long last, hopefully we’ll shake off those dull winter moods and look forward to getting back outdoors again. With that, often come a few changes as we look to revitalise our appearance for those sunnier months ahead. Some changes, such as clothes, are easy to make, but especially with the ever-present promotion by social media ‘stars’ and celebrities, an increasing number of people also start looking to improve the appearance of their teeth.

The first step that most people take is to see what they can do to make their teeth look whiter quickly and cheaply. Looking online for this information you will come across a variety of ways that claim to achieve this but actually don’t, and some may actually be harmful for your teeth. As these are often very cheap, or free, it is probably no surprise that people attempt these first. We hope that today’s blog will encourage anyone seeking whiter teeth to contact Bradley and Partners Dental & Implant Clinic rather than risk the health of their teeth by attempting to whiten them themselves.

Let us take a look then, at some of the methods that you might come across, starting at the cheaper end. And of course what to avoid!


It is possible to find suggestions that you should use bleach to brush your teeth to whiten them. Thankfully this is rare and would be an incredibly stupid thing to do and would almost certainly damage your teeth as well as burning your gums. The dangers become even greater if you swallow it of course. This one is an absolute ‘no no’.

Lemon juice

This is a method that you might well come across if you look for home methods. It is also one that might seem harmless and possibly even worth trying as lemon juice is a natural ingredient. While this is true, it is also extremely acidic and will attack the enamel on your teeth. Not only will this erode the enamel, eventually leading to sensitive teeth, but will also create a rough tooth surface which will then attract even more staining. This is definitely one to avoid.

Baking soda/charcoal

You will also come across these suggestions, but again, they should be avoided at all cost. The logic is that the more abrasive materials used will remove surface staining from your teeth. While there is some truth in this, what it won’t tell you is that it will also damage the tooth enamel to the point where tooth decay and overly sensitive teeth may well become a problem. There are toothpastes on the market that utilise these ingredients but we recommend avoiding them as the are safer and more effective methods available from our Canterbury cosmetic dentists.

Teeth whitening toothpastes

Generally speaking, these toothpastes are safe to use although some may use additional abrasive materials so it pays to check the packet and avoid them if they do. Otherwise, it is safe to try to use these and is also a relatively cheap way of attempting to whiten your teeth. The only probably is that you are likely to be disappointed with the outcome. For safety reasons, only a small fraction of the active whitening ingredient is allowed to be used in these toothpastes and any improvements are likely to be barely visible. By all means try these, but you may well be disappointed at the results.

Online whitening offers

We are now starting to get into the more expensive ways of whitening your teeth. One way that some people try to keep the cost down is to use the various companies that operate largely ‘virtually’ . While these may use similar methods that dentists use when offering at home teeth whitening, there are risks attached. Firstly, you should never have your teeth whitened without having a thorough check up first. Teeth with cavities or issues with gum disease etc should be dealt with first before addressing the aesthetics of your smile. As this is usually not offered, you could be whitening teeth that will need filling soon afterwards. If anything does go wrong during the treatment, you may also find it difficult to get the advice from them that you would from your local dentist.

Better options

Although we do understand that it is often tempting to look to cut corners when it comes to paying for cosmetic dentistry, it is rarely a good idea. We have an experienced team of cosmetic dentists who offer reliable advice on the best way to whiten your teeth. This might be through a relatively inexpensive teeth whitening treatment, or you might benefit more from having porcelain veneers fitted. Whatever method is advised, you can be sure that you will have your teeth whitened not only effectively but safely too. This will ensure not only that you have a great looking smile this summer but healthy teeth for the future years ahead as well; something that may not happen with some of the ‘treatments’ mentioned earlier.

If you would like to talk to us about how we can help you give your teeth a ‘smile boost’ for the summer, why not arrange to have an initial consultation with us? You can book yours by calling Bradley and Partners Dental & Implant Clinic today on 01227 463529.