Want to book an appointment with us?

Why DIY Teeth Whitening is More Dangerous Than You Think

teeth whitening

Almost all DIY teeth whitening techniques from the internet do much more harm than good. Your teeth may have become a little stained because of bad brushing habits, illness, or regular smoking. This is a common problem across America. However, home remedies for whitening your teeth is about the worst thing to do.

Sure, your teeth may shine brightly for a few days after a quick session of DIY teeth whitening. Des Moines based DM Dental Group records quite a few such cases every year. You hardly have a clue about the long-term damage that you’ve done to your oral health.

Some of these techniques even seem harmless at first glance. You may be thinking “Oh! Those are natural ingredients. They’re bound to be healthy”. However, you do not realize that these natural substances may cause quite a bit of damage.

Let us take a second look at some of the more common DIY teeth whitening techniques –

Cleaning Your Enamel with Lemon Juice

Let’s start with the basics – the lemon tooth scrub.

Too much Citric Acid will gradually damage your enamel.

It is easy to find plenty of videos on YouTube on this topic. The basic idea is to use the natural acidity of lemon juice to clean stained teeth.

Vloggers proudly display shining teeth on their videos while they teach DIY whitening methods using lemon juice. What their viewers (and followers) don’t realize is, that the vlogger may have undergone professional teeth whitening services.

Des Moines Dental Group often sees patients who have tried this seemingly harmless trick. They brush with paste and lemon juice, or simply rub raw lemon on their teeth (which can’t be pleasant!). However, the end results of these DIY methods are never pleasant.

Lemon juice contains high levels of citric acid. This organic compound is a necessary part of a healthy diet, but it isn’t for scrubbing it on your enamel!

The acidic lemon juice gradually weakens your enamel. While this will not be evident immediately, it’ll cause problems a few years down the line.

Most people who have been doing these lemon teeth scrubs for several months have developed severely sensitive teeth. Other natural acids like Apple Cider Vinegar will have similar adverse effects. Some people develop gum problems from scrubbing too hard.

Only Qualified Dentists Should do Scaling for Teeth Whitening

Dentists at the DM Dental Group often see patients who have tried a truly terrible DIY whitening method. Hopefully, there wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) be too many online videos on this topic. Unfortunately, some people try scaling their teeth with a small knife or another sharp instrument.

Done properly by a dentist, scaling is one of the most effective ways of teeth whitening. Des Moines Dental Group uses a special medical scaling instrument to remove the plaque and tartar. People try and imitate the same using any kind of sharp scraping instrument.

Dentists use proper equipment for scaling

Not only could you chip or crack your enamel, but you’re also risking a terrible infection. If you use a metal knife edge or something similar, you might cut your soft oral tissue. Thanks to the abundance of bacterial growth in our mouths, there is a high risk of infection.

If you want to get scaling done, please visit a qualified dentist with the right instruments.

Non-Medical Teeth Whitening Substances

If you search online, there are thousands of “miracle” products for teeth whitening. However, such products can be harmful. Without clinical testing or medically approvals; we don’t really know of any possible side effects.

In fact, these chemical bleaches are even worse than back-alley teeth whitening services. Des Moines Dental Group has even tested some of these products when patients have brought them in. They seem to be nothing more than a blend of bleaching agents, sweeteners, and flavors. However, those bleaching agents haven’t undergone any proper clinical tests. There is no guarantee they are safe even for human use.

It is also interesting to note that most of these products seem to have high concentrations of Hydrogen Peroxide. This is a bleaching agent that dentists sometimes use in very limited quantities. While it may be great for whitening teeth, it isn’t healthy to use Hydrogen Peroxide regularly. Side effects of this chemical may include redness and stinging.

You Need a Proper Dentist for Teeth Whitening

DIY teeth whitening is a likely way of losing your pearly whites rather than cleaning them. A genuine dentist will only use medically approved products for teeth whitening. Des Moines Dental Group uses Carbide Peroxide, which is much safer and milder than Hydrogen Peroxide. According to the best dentists around the world, the only natural ways of whitening teeth are healthy lifestyle habits. There are a few simple methods if you want to stay away from needing teeth whitening services.


Des Moines Dental Group suggests following this checklist for naturally healthy white teeth –

  • Skip having too much black coffee or raw tea. These beverages have some natural tannins which discolor your teeth.
  • Don’t drink red wine or eat chocolate after brushing, because they contain some naturally strong pigments.
  • Sugars encourage bacterial growth which will lead to plaque and tartar. Rinse your mouth well after any sweet foods.
  • Smokers have particularly stained teeth. Also, smokers may start losing their teeth early.
  • Brush and floss regularly as directed by your dentist. Negligence is the usually the biggest cause of stained teeth.

The Des Moines Dental Group have been emergency dentists and pediatric specialists for over 40 years. Several families living near the Des Moines area trust their child’s dental care and long-term oral health to this clinic. This also includes orthodontic treatments like braces. Call us at 515-512-5339 or schedule your appointment online today.

Request An Appointment Online

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.