Don’t Fall for Trendy “Natural” Teeth Whitening Methods

trendy teeth whiteningWhite teeth are coveted by plenty of people in Manhattan. How those gleaming smiles are achieved does vary. A professional teeth-whitening treatment from your Midtown cosmetic dentist is the wisest, safest, and most effective option. However, many people are looking for a quick and inexpensive fix. Ultimately, going with an over-the-counter solution or a trendy whitening technique could do more harm than good (and be more expensive in the long run).

Teeth whitening methods approved by your Manhattan cosmetic dentist >>

Your Midtown Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist Addresses More Than the Color of Your Teeth

Your cosmetic dentist is interested in more than just how your teeth look. He wants to ensure that you have good oral health overall. Every professional teeth-whitening treatment begins with a complete dental exam and teeth cleaning. If you don’t have a good foundation for an upgraded smile, the enhancement won’t be as successful.

Supporters of natural teeth whitening solutions believe organic ingredients are healthier than a professional teeth whitening. Unfortunately, no one is addressing the negative side effects of slathering your teeth with a substance like charcoal or mashed fruit.

Here are some of the trendiest teeth whitening methods, and good reasons for avoiding them completely:

Coconut oil

Oil pulling with coconut oil (or coconut mouthwash or coconut oil tooth spray), is the hottest “natural” method of teeth whitening. While the oil has anti-bacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties, allowing this product to take the place of daily flossing and twice-daily brushing is a sure route to oral health disaster. Your teeth might be a little whiter, but the results won’t be permanent and your enamel will be on the road to developing decay.


Activated charcoal is promoted as attracting tannins (the ingredient that makes wine stain your teeth) and lifting them off your enamel. Besides the absurdity of this black substance covering your teeth, the abrasiveness of charcoal on teeth has not been adequately tested. Charcoal could lead to tooth erosion and the deterioration of enamel, and these problems cause tooth sensitivities and the development of cavities. If the charcoal – in whatever form it’s used – is severe enough, it could create blotchy or stained teeth.


This sweet berry mashed to a pulp is abrasive and acidic to your teeth (as are orange peels, another “natural” teeth-whitening treatment). Unfortunately, as healthy as fruits may be for your body, you are more likely to do damage to your teeth than good by slathering your teeth in them. The acidity can wear away at enamel, creating more opportunities for stains to settle in and cavities to develop. Plus, fruity stain removers only address surface build-up. A professional tooth whitening treatment gets down deep to blast apart stain molecules and truly whiten from within. Keep in mind too that there are different types of tooth stains – for some patients, a cosmetic dentistry procedure like porcelain veneers will be necessary to eliminate discoloration.

Bentonite clay

Bentonite clay is often used for skin detox or intestinal detox, believed to have absorptive properties that draw toxins out of the body. For some people, it follows that this messy ingredient could be helpful for teeth whitening and polishing as well. Again, only surface stains can be removed by the clay, and the presence of bentonite could be a lung irritant to users who inhale the substance. So why risk a product that might be helpful but is just as likely to be incredibly harmful to your system?

Other trendy ingredients that claim to whiten teeth include products with sea salt and apple cider vinegar. It’s always important to look at “natural” products as a whole – the benefits may not outweigh the negatives. Take vinegar, for example – it’s acidic, and as has already been pointed out, acid is no friend to tooth enamel.

If you want to get natural and help your teeth stay white, eat well and take good care of your teeth. Ask your Midtown Manhattan cosmetic dentist for his recommendations about healthy diet choices to keep stains at bay. If you’re ready right now to get a whiter, brighter smile, make your appointment with cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael J. Wei. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.