In three separate studies, the researchers found thatit can do more harm than good to your teeth. Americans spend about $ 1 billion on these products per year, and by 2024, experts believe this will increase to $ 7.4 billion. While these products are successful in whitening teeth, they can also cause potentially permanent damage to teeth and enamel.
The researchers presented their findings at themeeting last year. They found that hydrogen peroxide, the active ingredient in over-the-counter tooth whitening strips, can damage protein-rich dentin tissue. This is underneath the protective tissue of the enamel, which helps insulate the teeth. It’s actually the hardest substance produced in your body, designed to withstand chewing, biting, crushing, and grinding.
The tooth consists of three layers: the outer enamel of the tooth, the dentin underneath, and the connective tissue that joins the roots and gums. Previous studies onthey have generally been centered around the enamel, which does not have a lot of protein. However, this study looks at the effects of whitening products on dentin, which contains high levels of protein, mainly collagen. Most of the tooth is made up of dentin.
How Teeth Whitening Strips and Products Impact Dentin on Teeth
Many studies have shown that hydrogen peroxide permeates the enamel and dentin layers of teeth. Studies conducted by this research group in the past found that the collagen contained in dentin decreased when exposed to whitening strips. However, they wanted to do more research to better understand its impacts on teeth, specifically the dentin layer.
“We tried to further characterize what hydrogen peroxide was doing to collagen,” Keenan said. “We used whole teeth for the studies and we focused on the impact hydrogen peroxide has on proteins.”
The researchers found that collagen transforms into smaller pieces in the new study when exposed to hydrogen peroxide. In other experiments, they treated pure collagen with hydrogen peroxide. They then studied the protein using a specialized gel electrophoresis laboratory procedure, which helped them see the protein molecules better.
“Our results showed that treatment with hydrogen peroxide concentrations similar to those found in whitening strips is sufficient to make the original collagen protein disappear, which is presumably due to the formation of many smaller fragments,” he said. Keenan.
What the research team found
The researchers emphasized that while tooth whitening strips cause damage to teeth, their research on whether it is permanent is inconclusive. Perhaps collagen and other proteins can be regenerated, but this would require further study in the future. To find out, they plan to study other protein fragments released by treating collagen with hydrogen peroxide. From this, the team hopes to conclude the effects of hydrogen peroxide on other proteins found in teeth.
Of course, some people enjoy having whiter teeth, especially those who drink a lot of tea, wine, or coffee. These substances can stain teeth due to compounds they contain called tannins. Tannins are found abundantly in certain plants and their purpose in nature is to prevent animals from eating them before they mature. They are a bitter and astringent type of polyphenol and have many antioxidants.
However, because they can cause tooth discoloration, many people turn to whitening products to reverse the damage. If you want to whiten your teeth, try these home remedies to get results without the harmful effects.
How to get teeth whitening naturally.
Try these tips to polish off those pearly whites.
1. Brush your teeth immediately after meals and snacks.
Experts say that brushing your teeth after eating can help improve oral hygiene and bacteria in your mouth. Especially if you eat something sugary, you will want to brush the residue off your teeth as it can cause plaque build-up.
2. Try rinsing with coconut oil.
Coconut oil offers so many health benefits, including teeth whitening! Not only can it brighten your pearly whites, it also contains lauric acid, which is a powerful antimicrobial. To practice oil rinsing, put a tablespoon of coconut oil in your mouth and shake for about 1 minute. Or you can put it on your toothbrush and brush your teeth as usual.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) can help remove unwanted stains on teeth and improve oral health. It serves as a natural antibiotic and many studies have shown how it can improve gut health. Compounds in apple cider vinegar like acetic acid, magnesium, potassium, and probiotics make it a powerful natural remedy. In fact, some studies found that ACV works just as well as traditional But without the harmful side effects!
Because ACV contains many acids, you should also brush your teeth with toothpaste. You can put a few drops on your toothbrush or rub it directly on your teeth to use ACV.
4. Avoid drinking too much coffee, tea, or wine.
As we said earlier, these products unfortunately cause yellowing of teeth due to high amounts of tannins. Of course, you can always brush your teeth immediately after consuming them, but this is not possible if you are at work or at school. You can also drink your coffee or tea through a straw, so it doesn’t touch your teeth as much.
Some people spend hundreds or thousands of dollars a year trying to keep their teeth bright and white. However, commercial and the products can do more harm than good. Studies have shown that the hydrogen peroxide in these products penetrates both enamel and dentin. It damages proteins, especially collagen, found in the dentin under enamel.
If you want to keep your teeth white, consider trying home remedies like coconut oil or apple cider vinegar rinse. Also, be sure to brush your teeth immediately after meals, especially if you just ate something sugary. Lastly, if you really care about keeping your teeth white, you’ll want to cut down on tea and coffee (not what you wanted to hear, we know!)