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Apple Cider Vinegar to Whiten Teeth

I keep looking for natural ways to whiten my teeth. One thing everyone on the natural health sites seems to tout the benefits of apple cider vinegar for many things. I recently read it can naturally whiten your teeth. Is that true? Or is it a waste of time?


Dear Cecelia,

Beautiful brunette smiling with gorgeous white teeth

I’m sure nature has a safe way for us to whiten our teeth, but we haven’t discovered it yet. The problem is, while most of the natural methods which are recommended for whitening your teeth can brighten them, they also destroy them.

Along with apple cider vinegar, you’ll read a lot about both lemons and oranges being used in that capacity. The problem is, the fruits contain citric acid and the vinegar contains acetic acid. They will definitely kill bacteria, which helps to clean and brighten them. At the same time, the acids eat away your dental enamel. Once enamel is gone, it’s gone. That’s it.

You will forever be battling the loss of your enamel. That will mean increased decay. Not to mention increased tooth sensitivity.

Whitening Your Teeth Safely

So far, the only safe way we have to whiten teeth is using oxidation. You can do it professionally or by using over the counter products, such as Crest Whitestrips.

While the Whitestrips seem more cost friendly, their strength is significantly weaker than what you’d get with your dentist. This means purchasing many more boxes in order to achieve what you could through professional teeth whitening.

It’s also helpful to be under the care of a dentist in case of complications, such as gum sensitivity. There are also other things to consider. If you have any dental work, such as porcelain crowns or dental fillings, they will not whiten. No matter what method you choose, teeth whitening only works on natural tooth structure.

If any of your dental work is visible, you should plan on replacing them after you achieve the level of whitening you want so they’ll match.

Options with Professional Teeth Whitening

If you just want your teeth as white as possible fast, many dentists have an in-office whitening system, such as Zoom Whitening, which can get your teeth as white as possible in just one appointment. I’d recommend waiting a week for the color to settle before replacing any dental work though.

Another option is whitening trays you can use at home. They’re custom fitted to your specific bite. Your dentist gives you a gel to go with them. You wear them for a minimum of 20 minutes a day until your teeth are the brightness you want.

I hope this helps you make a decision.
This blog is brought to you by Naperville Dentist Dr. David Newkirk.