Strawberries and Baking Soda: The Secret to a Whiter Smile?

Posted on: 2 August 2016

If you're one of the many people craving a whiter smile, you may have considered using a natural teeth whitening method. One remedy that is popular online is smearing teeth with a mixture of baking soda and strawberry pulp. The theory is that acid in the strawberries, combined with the abrasive effect of the baking soda, scrubs stains away from the teeth. However, the true impact of this natural whitening method could be much worse.

Do Baking Soda and Strawberries Whiten Smiles?

To find out whether baking soda and strawberry pulp can really whiten teeth, a dental researcher named So Ran Kwon put the method to the test. Using teeth recently extracted from patients, she applied the mixture as instructed by natural health websites. Unfortunately, the strawberry mixture was not able to whiten the teeth by any measurable amount.

Is Natural Teeth Whitening Safe?

Not only does smearing fruit over your teeth fail to make them whiter; it can also soften and weaken their outermost layer. The Iowa researchers showed that teeth softened as much as 10 percent after the treatment, which could leave them vulnerable to decay or feeling more sensitive than usual. According to the researchers, this softening is probably due to the acids that are naturally present in the fruit, which react with the minerals that make up the enamel.

Safer Steps to a Whiter Smile

The safest way to whiten your smile is to place yourself in the hands of a professional dentist, who can use tried-and-tested techniques to remove stains and bleach your teeth to a whiter hue. If you don't want to visit your dentist, you can try using a whitening toothpaste, rinse or kit to whiten your teeth at home without increasing your risk of tooth decay. Unlike professional teeth whitening, these methods don't give instant results, so you may need to use them for weeks before you can show off your new whiter smile.

Watch Out for Natural Dental Remedies

As more and more people turn to websites for medical advice, the popularity of natural remedies is spreading. Rather than taking chances with your dental health, stick to using approved dental products for teeth whitening. Always ask your dentist for advice before trying out a remedy you have found online, even if the ingredients seem harmless. Even everyday household items like baking soda and fruit can damage teeth if used in this way, so it is best not to take any chances.