Close Up of White Teeth Smile


When Cambridge dental patients desire teeth whitening, they want to give themselves the bright, pearly white glow of a healthy smile. Unfortunately, some people in our area are using DIY whitening solutions over-aggressively, or solutions that are overall not good for the health of their teeth. This can lead to problems that may not only fade away your teeth’s enamel but even cause you to develop unsightly spots or stains on your teeth – the exact thing you’re trying to avoid. To learn more, here’s a list of 5 DIY whitening mistakes that you may be inadvertently making that are causing more harm than good to your smile.

  1. Overusing Teeth Whitening Strips

Teeth whitening strips have been a common at home whitening solution for quite some time. You can even find them at your favorite big box store, so they’re easy, and fairly cheap, to buy.

However, some people take these solutions overboard. Some Cambridge residents use whitening strips more frequently than recommended. Others wear them longer than the directions state. You may even think these “tricks” can speed up the whitening process or attack what appears to be heavier or deeper stains more aggressively.

Unfortunately, that’s simply not the case.

Instead of fast-tracking your smile to a brighter appearance, the overuse of whitening strips can actually lead to tooth sensitivity – something that our doctors may not be able to resolve for good. Trust us, if you’re going to use at-home whitening strips instead of professional whitening in our Cambridge office, follow the directions on the back of the box.

  1. Using Baking Soda in Attempts to Get a Brighter Smile

If you’ve searched around on social media, you may have heard that baking soda is a good whitening solution. Think again.

First baking soda is ineffective at attacking older stains on your teeth. It’s also a very abrasive substance that can weaken your tooth enamel. Finally, using baking soda in attempts to get a whiter smile may lead to tooth sensitivity that just won’t go away.

  1. Using Food-Based Acids to Whiten Your Teeth

Another home remedy for whiter teeth we’ve heard of our Cambridge patients using are food-based acids, such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. But if you’ve been paying attention to our doctors, you should know that acids are actually bad for your teeth. Acids like those found in foods can wear away tooth enamel and make it more likely that you’ll develop cavities, something nobody wants.

  1. Using an Ill-Fitting, At Home Whitening Tray

Some stores sell DIY, at-home whitening trays. For whitening your teeth, they usually instruct customers to boil the trays, put them in their mouth to “mold” them to their teeth, then let them cool. The problem is, this process is easier said than done.

When you try to DIY your own whitening trays, you can get a poor fit to your teeth, which may allow the whitening gel you put into the trays to leak into your mouth. This can lead to uncomfortable gum irritation.

If you want to whiten your teeth with trays and gels at home, it’s recommended that you visit our doctors for a custom fit tray that you can then use at home.

  1. Using Any Product That’s Not Specifically Designed to Whiten Teeth

Oh, the danger of social media. Sometimes, you’ll see images or videos in your News Feed suggesting whitening alternatives for your teeth using everyday products you have at home. Since you already have these products, you may not think twice about using them to try to whiten your smile.

The only safe products to use to whiten your teeth have an American Dental Association (ADA) Seal on them. Or if you’re uncertain, come to our Cambridge dental practice and talk to our doctors about using this supposed home remedy first. Trust us, you want a specialist’s opinion on whether or not to use a substance on your teeth, and the latest post from your crunchiest, au natural friend doesn’t count.

Learn More About Teeth Whitening Options

Whether you want to whiten your teeth at home but have questions before you start or are interested in the professional teeth whitening services we provide at our dental practice, our doctors are happy to help. Simply call the Dental Restorative Group today to make your next appointment at (617) 492-5081 at our Cambridge office.

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