Thinking about ditching your dentist and whitening strips for the organic alternatives that YouTubers and “experts” suggest? Combining healthy, organic strawberries and all-natural baking soda into a paste to smear over your teeth is supposed to whiten and brighten your smile. But you might want to think again.
Associate professor and dental researcher So Ran Kwon at the University of Iowa decided to take these claims, along with other natural remedies and existing prescribed whitening products and put them all to the test.
Kwon’s findings confirm that the only benefit of these all-natural fruit and baking soda concoctions is the removal of plaque and surface stains. Currently, the sole way to get the lasting, deeper whitening is through prescription treatments and over-the-counter whitening strips.
The experiment consisted of Professor Kwon rubbing the mixture of organic strawberries and baking soda on 20 freshly extracted teeth for five minutes, then followed by a gentle brushing. This was repeated three times a day for a span of 10 days.
Three other sets of extracted teeth were subjected to the same routine, but using a prescription whitening regimen, and also common whitening strips. The results: the strawberry mixture only provided cleaning, but no actual whitening. Professor Kwon says that the strawberries (as well as apples and lemons, much to the chagrin of YouTubers) fail as effective tooth whiteners because they lack the essential chemicals, hydrogen peroxide, and carbamide peroxide, needed to penetrate the enamel and brighten from the inside.
In addition to failing to whiten, the fruit mixture has another pitfall. The fruits contain citric acid which actually reduces the surface hardness of the teeth, which can lead to more cavities and even tooth fractures.
If you are interested in whitening your teeth, ask your friendly Valencia dentist and not YouTube. Your dentist can whiten your teeth safely and effectively to give you lasting effects.