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.

1. Banana Peels

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.

2. Oil Pulling

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.

3. Strawberries, Pineapples, Apples & Other Fruits

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.

4. Baking Soda

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.

5. Hydrogen Peroxide

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.

6. Apple Cider Vinegar

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.

7. Turmeric

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.

8. Charcoal And Charcoal Toothpaste

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.

Nothing Works Better Than Professional Teeth Whitening!

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. Everybody loves a cheap DIY solution, especially when it comes to our appearance. Some people on the internet swear by the teeth brightening powers of banana peel, claiming that applying the inner white fuzzy part to your teeth can make them multiple shades whiter. Interests are piqued. After all, bananas are far cheaper than professional whitening treatments and are definitely all-natural. Bananas themselves contain nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and manganese, all of which contribute directly to a white smile and your overall health. But banana peels as a topical method? It’s still debated as to whether it truly works. Still, there’s no harm in trying this low-cost whitening method. At the very worst, you’ll have a reason to add healthy food to your diet, even if you’re only buying the bananas for their peel. Here’s how to use banana peels to whiten your teeth. You’ll need one banana peel, a toothbrush, and some toothpaste:

  • Rub the underside of the banana peel all over your teeth.
  • Once your teeth have been thoroughly rubbed, let the banana matter sit on your teeth for ten minutes. Keep your lips away from your teeth at this time, as you would if you were using traditional whitening solutions.
  • Use a dry toothbrush to work the banana into your teeth.
  • Brush the banana away with a wet toothbrush and some toothpaste, as you normally would
  • Repeat this process daily for several weeks

Some people have seen results from banana peel whitening, but many online bloggers report seeing no difference and simply attracting funny looks from friends and family who’ve witnessed them driving a banana peel into their face. It’s up to you whether it’s worth it to attempt banana peel whitening yourself. If you’re fine with going through the process and achieving nothing but using up bananas then go for it. If you’re looking for a surefire method of teeth whitening, opt for clinically proven solutions:

  • Whitening toothpaste
  • Over-the-counter whitening strips and gels
  • Whitening treatments are given at the dentist’s office

Traditional teeth whitening works by delivering bleach to your teeth’s surface: either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide. The bleach breaks up stains on your teeth’s enamel, lessening their saturation and improving the brightness of your smile. A banana peel does not contain such chemicals. The premise of their whitening power is simply because of their white colour and abundance of minerals. Rubbing these minerals on your teeth, however, is unlikely to bring about significant improvement, if any at all. If you opt for professional-grade teeth whitening then bananas are on the list of acceptable foods you can consume within twenty-four hours of the treatment. So, whether or not you’re going for the banana peel method or something stronger, having a bunch of bananas around at home is never a bad idea. You may also find on the internet several ‘tricks’ using other fruit, such as strawberries, to clean your teeth. This is a bad idea because the acid in these fruits can actually damage your teeth. Stay away from applying anything acidic directly to your teeth. Even drinking acidic drinks — such as orange juice, lemonade, and soda — can be harmful. The banana peel method isn’t proven yet, but if you’re looking for a cheap, easy, and silly way to whiten your teeth then give it a try. If you don’t get the results you hoped for, contact your local dentist’s office to look into their clinical whitening treatments. Having white teeth is well within reach, whatever route you choose to go. For more information about teeth whitening, call Dawson Dental at 1-855-406-2742 or visit our contact page here. The internet is a weird place. You can find the answer to all your questions on Wikipedia (even though it might be wrong), be told you have cancer from WebMD when you just have cramps, and learn how to DIY everything. And that is the story of how I stumbled upon banana peel teeth whitening. This the newest way to whiten your teeth and save money —or at least that’s what this post claims.

How It Works

banana, vegetable Rachel Dugard The logic behind this is that bananas are really healthy. They contain potassium, magnesium and manganese, which should lessen the stains on your enamel. Let’s backtrack. The outer layer of your tooth is called enamel and the inner part is dentin. Your natural tooth color is a combination of the reflection of light off your enamel and the color of your dentin. According to the experts at Colgate, the enamel layer contains pores that pick up stains over time from things like coffee or wine (RIP to my teeth) and using tobacco.

Why You Should Use Banana Rather Than Whiteners

chocolate, sweetIzzi Clark Normal teeth whiteners contain bleach (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) that breaks the stains into smaller pieces and make the stain less concentrated and your teeth brighter—like adding creamer to coffee. However, there are some downsides to bleaching your teeth. The main issue that people have with bleaching their teeth is sensitivity. This happens because the bleach soaks through the enamel and reaches the nerves in your teeth. This creates a sharp pain in your teeth when they’re exposed to unusually hot or cold foods. The second common issue is gum irritation. Just like bleach can irritate your skin, it can bother your gums. A banana peel does not contain bleach (thank god) but it does have certain chemicals that are good for your teeth. These chemicals keep your teeth strong and enamel thick, but do they whiten teeth? We’ll find out…

How to Do It

beer, coffee, wineRachel Dugard The banana peel teeth whitening process is simple, but repetitive. Peel a banana and rub the inside of the skin all over your teeth. Then, smile like most kids do in their school photos, aka way to wide and kind of creepy, so that the banana peel residue doesn’t rub off your teeth. Stay smiling like that for ten minutes and then brush your teeth like you normally would. Repeat this for two weeks and your teeth should be whiter by the end of it.

My Attempt

pizza, tea, coffee, beerRachel Dugard Of course no article is fun unless you do some hands on testing, so I tried it out myself…and it was weird. So many questions ran through my head: What do I do with the banana? Should I floss before or after (or not that I floss at all)? How ripe should the banana be? Can I reuse a banana peel? Can I just eat a banana before brushing my teeth instead? Does everyone look as silly as I do doing this? How many jokes can I make about the uncomfortable sound that happens when I rub the banana peel too fast (none, I have editors)? Let’s be clear, I have no answers to any of these questions. Sorry. bananaRachel Dugard Putting a banana peel on my teeth felt…wrong. Like eating the butts of bread when there are perfectly good, normal slices to eat. My punishment for this sin was sitting with banana goop on my teeth (and face) for ten minutes and getting hungry literally right before I go to bed. It’s a good thing I like bananas because I was eating them for one week straight and sadly letting it go to waste for the second week. They got sucked into the vortex known as my family refrigerator. They probably got lost behind the six thousand egg cartons or coffee creamers. Freezing them for smoothies would have been smart.

The Results

pizza, coffee, beer, teaRachel Dugard Disappointment. It didn’t work. At all. My teeth were the same exact color as when I started. I lost seven bananas and all of my family respect for this. Does banana peel whitening work? No. Don’t reach for the strawberries either. I’d suggest you get over-the-counter products that contain bleach or get your teeth whitened by a dentist. Having teeth which are as clean looking and dazzlingly white as possible is a dream which many people pursue, and the good news is that it’s now possible to get teeth whitening treatment which is effective, speedy and safe. The best way to keep your teeth as white as possible, as any dentist or dental hygienist will advise, is to make sure that you maintain a strict and well regulated dental hygiene regime, cleaning and flossing every day, whilst also avoiding food and drink such as red wine and coffee which can stain the enamel of your teeth. Despite their best efforts, however, some people find that, as they get older, their teeth begin to look a little grey and less bright, and this can often simply be a question of wear and tear, as the enamel is worn and becomes thinner, or perhaps a genetic tendency to have teeth which aren’t as white. Why does it work? If you’re worried about the colour of your teeth, and would like to be able to flash a smile which is as white as possible, it can have a detrimental effect on various areas of your life – making you feel less confident when meeting and chatting to new people, for example, and therefore less able to freely express yourself. It has now been claimed, however, that banana peel can be used as an effective and perfectly natural means of making your teeth whiter, and the technique involved is something which the average person can easily undertake in their own home. The key to any effect which the technique might have is that there are minerals in banana peel, such as potassium, magnesium and manganese, which are absorbed into the enamel and help to make it whiter. Another advantage of this technique banana peel whiten teeth is that, unlike many other forms of treatment, banana peel is not at all abrasive, meaning that it is soft and smooth and will not scratch the enamel as it is whitening it. The method The first step of the treatment is to choose the right banana. The key is to select a piece of fruit which is ripe, as this maximises the level of minerals present, without it having begun to turn black. Peel off a single strip of the banana skin, since this means you can reuse the same banana over the next few days. Pull the peel off from the bottom of the banana to the top, keeping as much of the stringy, fibrous flesh intact as possible. Take the banana peel and rub the inside of it against the surface of your top and bottom rows of teeth, working it in until the teeth are fully coated with banana paste. When this is complete, you simply have to sit back and leave the paste on the teeth for the minerals to get to work for 10 minutes or so. If you can, keep your lips pulled back and your mouth open, since this will stop the natural movement of your mouth rubbing the paste off. After waiting ten minutes, take a dry toothbrush and use it to brush the paste into the surface of your teeth, utilising small circular scrubbing motions to work it into every part of the enamel. When this has been done, wet your brush, or use a little toothpaste, and rinse the banana from your teeth. Timescale Repeat the method outlined above once a day for up to two weeks. It’s often difficult to gauge with the naked eye whether your own teeth are getting whiter or not, so it may be a good idea to take and keep before and after photographs. Other completely natural remedies which may help to make your teeth whiter include making a paste from strawberries and baking soda, or from lemon juice mixed with baking soda or salt – although any lemon juice must be thoroughly cleaned from the enamel as it may, if left in place, have an acidic, corrosive effect. Remedies You Would Never Think of For Teeth Whitening Green Dental Having super white teeth seems to be everyone’s dream. You know having super white teeth will give you a beautiful smile. So, you are sitting there thinking of making a Broomfield dentist appointment until you look at your bank account and see you don’t have quite enough extra money to go for a visit just yet. You may think you need an expensive dental laser to have your teeth whitened. While professional bleaching methods done at our Broomfield dental office are the most effective, these remedies can help while you save up your money. Below are a few easy and painless home remedies, which come straight from your kitchen to give you a nice white smile.

Banana Peel

Bananas provide you with many essential nutrients needed for your body. Many people use banana peels for their compost pile. Well, next time, instead of throwing them for your compost pile use your banana peel and rub it on your teeth for two minutes. After 15 minutes, you will want to brush your teeth using regular toothpaste. You should repeat this process two to three times a week. After a few weeks, you will be able to see results. You are probably sitting there wondering how in the world a banana peel will work. I bet you didn’t know that the peel of a banana contains manganese, magnesium, and potassium that help whiten your teeth.


Strawberries also can help whiten your smile. You will need one or two strawberries for this method. You will need to mash them up and apply them on your teeth for about 3 or so minutes. After the time is up you can rinse your mouth out with water or you can opt for brushing your teeth. Strawberries help whiten your mouth in two ways. They are a great source of malic acid which is a natural enzyme. Malic acid is actually a key player when it comes to many teeth whitening tooth pastes. Also the fibers that can be found in the fruit are a natural cleanser and will remove the bad bacteria from the mouth and teeth.

Lemon Peel and Juice

Yet another great fruit that works also as a great teeth whitener is lemon. Lemons contain high acid level in the peel, which is a great whitener or even bleaching agent. You can use the lemon in two different ways; use the lemon peel to rub on your teeth or squirt the lemon juice on your teeth. If you decide to use the juice of the lemon you will need to mix it with equal quantity of water. Also you should not use this method more than twice a week. The reason why is the lemon is very acidic and can cause tooth decay and destroy your enamel by ruining the calcium in your teeth if you use this method too frequently. Fruits such as oranges and pineapple can also help keep your teeth clean and white, but again you should not use this method more than two times a week.

Crunchy Carrots

You probably know that carrots can help with your eyesight, but did you know it can help with your smile? Yes, research has found eating raw carrots help scrap off the plaque from your teeth. It is a natural cleaner, to say the least. Even some people say rubbing carrot sticks directly on your teeth will help them look brighter. Researchers also say that carrots kill the bacteria by maintaining a stable acid-alkaline balance in your mouth. Therefore, next time you eat carrots you should think what it does for your mouth.

Baking Soda

I can assure you all dental experts can agree on one thing. The safest and best way to whiten your teeth is baking soda. Baking soda is a great acid neutralizer and helps lift stains off your teeth, while protecting your precious enamel. You will need to mix a little bit of salt with baking soda and apply the solution directly to your teeth with a small soft tooth brush. You will need to leave it on your teeth for about 3 or so minutes then you can rinse it off with water. You will see results fairly quickly with this method. If you cannot stand to think about putting baking soda directly on your teeth, there are many tooth pastes that contain baking soda already. Or if you choose to, you can sprinkle a little bit of baking soda on your tooth brush before you brush your teeth to help whiten them.

In Conclusion

Of course, there are many ways you can brighten your smile, but these are the easiest and most cost-effective. Luckily for you, most of them can be found in your own home, with little expense. Next time you feel your teeth are getting discolored take a few minutes and choose a method or visit the nearest dentist that can provide you with a whitening kit, and see your smile become brighter. If you want tooth whitening that only takes one afternoon, make sure to call us at our Broomfield dental office.

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