These influencer-approved teeth whitening techniques are all the rage, but will they actually brighten your smile? Here’s what you need to know.
Everyone wants a bright smile. Having white teeth makes you feel more confident, and it communicates to others that you take oral health seriously and practice good dental hygiene. For influencers — people who make their living on social media and spend hours a day smiling in front of a camera — sporting a white smile is extremely important.
Influencer-approved teeth whitening hacks have gone viral on TikTok and Instagram, and millions of people are trying these techniques at home. Are these teeth whitening tips and tricks safe? Here’s what you need to know.
Dabbing Peroxide on Your Teeth?
United Kingdom-based TikTok user @clauds244 has gone viral for sharing how she uses 3 percent hydrogen peroxide to get whiter teeth. Every day she soaks a cotton swab with hydrogen peroxide and rubs it on the surface of her teeth to lift stains. On the surface, this seems like an effective, low-cost alternative to professional whitening services because peroxide is the active ingredient in professional solutions as well. But the process is more complicated.
Dental professionals often advise against using hydrogen peroxide daily because it can be detrimental to your oral health. Since over-the-counter hydrogen peroxide is less concentrated than the peroxide found in professional whitening kits, dabbing it on your teeth is not as effective for removing stains. If you try to compensate for a less potent formula by using more hydrogen peroxide or bleaching more frequently, you end up doing more harm than good. Prolonged bleaching can cause gum irritation and permanent tooth sensitivity with long-term use.
DIY Whitening Kits?
DIY whitening kits are also popular among influencers. As seen on prominent celebrities like Kim Kardashian, these little gizmos can brighten your teeth three to four shades in as little as 30 minutes. You fill the pre-fabricated trays with a hydrogen peroxide gel, put it in your mouth like a pacifier, turn the LED light on, and wait. When you take out the device, your teeth will look brighter and whiter.
DIY whitening kits are different from other hacks because the bulk of the whitening action comes from dehydration, not the hydrogen peroxide. When you remove the moisture from your tooth enamel, your teeth will dry out and become whiter. Have you ever noticed how dehydrated apples are lighter in color than apples in their natural state? The science is the same. Once you add the peroxide gel on top of that, your teeth will appear whiter.
Still, there are a few caveats with this technique. It’s important to recognize that these DIY whitening kits change the chemistry of your tooth structure. If you use these kits frequently enough to keep your teeth white for long periods of time, your teeth will actually end up more vulnerable to discoloration in the long run. Also, these whitening kits are a temporary solution — your teeth will return to their original shade in 24 to 36 hours. This is just fine if you want your teeth to sparkle before a special event like a wedding, but if you want your teeth to stay white without constantly using kits — you will need a more effective approach.
Brighten Your Smile (Safely)
Influencers have plenty of fun tips and beauty hacks to share, but you might want to think twice about taking their advice when it comes to teeth whitening. Over-the-counter peroxide treatments and DIY whitening kits can cause lasting damage if used incorrectly, and they still won’t be as effective as a professional teeth whitening service.
For a safe, quick, and long-lasting way to keep your brighten your smile, contact the dental professionals at Espire Dental for a teeth whitening appointment. You can visit our offices in-person for a laser whitening treatment, or we can send you home with a safe and dentist-approved at-home whitening kit. All proceeds from our teeth whitening services go to charity, so you can help put a smile on someone else’s face as you brighten your own.