Want a brighter smile? You may have run across articles on the internet claiming that a lot of different at-home whitening methods can improve your smile, from banana peels to oil pulling.
But is this really true? In this blog from Coronado Dental Associates, we’ll discuss a few of the most common DIY whitening methods, and discuss which ones do and don’t work.
Banana peels don’t do anything to whiten your teeth. Many articles recommend rubbing the peel against your teeth for a few minutes. While this could scrub off some surface stains, it’s no more effective than brushing your teeth. Banana peels have no special whitening properties.
Oil pulling (swishing oil around your mouth) could help kill certain bacteria. But it has no known special abilities to whiten your teeth. It won’t hurt your smile, but it won’t brighten your teeth significantly either.
Some people think the “malic acid” in certain fruits like strawberries, pineapples, and apples can whiten your teeth. However, a study showed that there were no significant effects, especially compared to commercial whitening products.
However, eating fibrous fruits like apples or pears is still good for your oral health. The fibers act as natural “brushes,” and help keep your teeth clean and healthy. Of course, fruit is also great for your overall health, so munch away! Just don’t expect it to give you a brighter smile.
Baking soda is a mild abrasive, and can scrub away surface stains and plaque away from your teeth. That’s why it’s a common additive in toothpaste. You could use baking soda on its own, but we recommend just brushing your teeth with an ADA-approved toothpaste instead.
Hydrogen peroxide is actually used in most teeth whitening products, along with carbamide peroxide. However, swishing and rinsing with it is not as effective as using a commercial teeth whitening product, since commercially-available hydrogen peroxide is very diluted.
There is no evidence that apple cider vinegar can whiten your teeth. Not only that, but it’s really acidic and can wear down your enamel with prolonged use, causing permanent damage. Don’t try to use apple cider vinegar to whiten your teeth.
Again, there is no scientific research on the effectiveness of turmeric for teeth whitening. It’s been found to help fight against oral bacteria, but it will not whiten your teeth.
Similarly to baking soda, charcoal is an abrasive substance. It can remove mild surface stains caused by plaque. But it’s often very harsh, and prolonged use of charcoal or charcoal toothpaste could damage your enamel. We recommend skipping this, and using an ADA-accepted whitening toothpaste instead.
We recommend avoiding these DIY teeth whitening methods. If you want to brighten your smile, consider an over-the-counter whitening kit approved by the ADA like Crest Whitestrips, or contact Coronado Dental Associates for professional teeth whitening!
Dr. Villalobos and Dr. Meadows provide effective, long-lasting teeth whitening services in Coronado, Imperial Beach, and downtown San Diego. With our help, you’ll get the beautiful smile you deserve. Contact us online or give us a call at (619) 435-0844 to schedule an appointment now.