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Everyone wants a whiter smile. After all, your smile may be the first thing anyone notices about you, and if your smile is less than brilliant, you may not make the impression you were hoping for. After all, as the old saying goes, you don’t get a second chance at a first impression.

If you have recently given your smile the once-over, and decided that it wasn’t worth a twice-over, the time may have come for you to have a whitening treatment. There can be a number of factors contributing to your dim grin. A darkened smile can be the result of age, tobacco use, coffee, tea or diet. Some medical conditions and medications can cause discolor your teeth, as can an oral injury. Keep in mind that depending on the cause of the problem, regular whitening techniques may not work, and you may have to opt for a veneer or a dental bond.

But let’s just assume that teeth-whitening will work for you. Which method should you try? There are plenty on the market, and the dental sections of retail and grocery stores are full of them. There are kits consisting of gels and strips, as well as toothpastes and mouthwashes that all claim to whiten your teeth. But some products may not deliver on their promises. Others may not be suitable for you, and if you use a whitening kit incorrectly, you could do damage to your teeth and gums.

You may want to try a home remedy. For example, banana peels have minerals in them, which has led some people to believe that by rubbing the inside of a banana peel on your teeth. There may not be any harm in doing so, but there is no hard evidence that the practice will actually whiten your teeth. If you want the health benefits of bananas, and there are plenty; eat one, don’t brush with the peel. The same goes with citrus fruit peels. Citrus fruits are better in your stomach than on your teeth. In fact, the acid in the citrus can damage your tooth enamel.

Another idea popular idea to whiten teeth is to scrub them with a mixture of strawberries and baking soda. Clinical research has shown that while this may remove some plaque from teeth, the concoction does nothing for their color. Oil pulling, which is the practice of swishing natural oils such as coconut or olive oil in the mouth is not necessarily harmful, but despite the fact that many people claim it has multiple benefits and that it has been used for many years, it does not do much to whiten your teeth. One of the more bizarre whitening techniques is to scrub your teeth with activated charcoal. However, charcoal can be abrasive, and may scratch your tooth enamel. The safest, most effective way to whiten your teeth is to schedule an appointment for a treatment from our dentist, Dr. Siti Lowery.

If you would like to learn more about teeth whitening in Cary, North Carolina, or if you would like to find out if you need an alternative treatment, we will be happy to see you at Lowery Smiles. Call 919-371-2515 today if you would like to make an appointment.