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4 Reasons to Steer Clear of DIY Whitening

Posted on 1/23/2023 by Dr. John Abajian
4 Reasons to Steer Clear of DIY WhiteningEveryone loves having pearly white smiles. However, because our teeth are exposed to all kinds of drinks and food stains on a regular basis, maintaining white teeth seems a tall order. When the stains become stubborn to remove by scaling and polishing, you resort to teeth whitening. There are various methods of whitening teeth with the main ones being in-office whitening, at-home whitening with take-home whitening kits, and do-it-yourself whitening with store-bought whitening products.

Common DIY Whitening Products

You find many products touted to give a bright, whiter smile. These include apple cider vinegar, activated charcoal, fruit peels, baking soda, and kaolin clay. Each of these products does work to some degree, however, dentists are against their use.

The do-it-yourself whitening methods can damage teeth in addition to causing inconsistent outcomes. And a damaged tooth requires extensive, costly treatment or even extraction and replacement with implants. You may want to shun DIY whitening because it contributes to:

Teeth Abrasion

The use of abrasive substances like activated charcoal can damage tooth surfaces irreversibly. Whitening at home leaves people at risk of misusing the whitening products since they may not have correct information on the product usage.

Erosion of Teeth

Again, DIY whitening products may contribute to the destruction and reduced tooth structure as chemicals and acids eat away the enamel. As such, you have tooth sensitivity because the enamel is stripped away. The acids in vinegar, lemons and other fruits cause tooth erosion and damage to the pulp due to increased surface porosity.

A Cycle of Product Use

Since the do-it-yourself methods bring inconsistent results, people will repeat the processes, often increasing the duration, intensity, and product amount each time. As such, you end up with a dangerous cycle of having more whitening products used. This eventually damages the soft tissues as well as the teeth.


The DIY yourself whitening methods bring a one-size-fits-all solution but we know that people's whitening needs are different. Before whitening teeth, a dentist should evaluate your stains to determine the strength of the whitening gel or product to use. Some people may also have increased sensitivity to the products than others. Talk to us about teeth whitening to learn more and understand the safest and most effective methods to use.

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