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Avoid DIY teeth whiteners

Do you wish for whiter teeth? Your dentist can suggest a safe, effective treatment or toothpaste. But before you try a do-it-yourself whitener or one you saw online, know this: Some remedies might harm rather than help.

Beware of these remedies

Charcoal. Products with charcoal in them may remove tooth enamel (resulting in yellower teeth) and damage gums.

Vinegar. The acid in vinegar may harm tooth enamel.

Coconut oil. Swishing with coconut oil may not help. But it might upset your stomach, give you diarrhea and even cause pneumonia if the oil gets in your lungs.

Sources: AARP ; American Dental Association

If you have questions or concerns about teeth whitening, ask your dentist. You can also get advice for keeping your teeth healthy and clean in our Dental Care topic center.

Reviewed 3/28/2022

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