Bananas cannot whiten your teeth, neither can strawberries or lemons

Bananas cannot whiten your teeth, neither can strawberries or lemons

Dazzling smiles are an expensive business – Warning home whitening methods can be dangerous.

Over the last decade people have become obsessed with their appearance and teeth whitening has become big business for dentists.

With presenters, socialites and other celebrity figures indulging in expensive procedures in order to get a smile that will lighten up any room, many of us are looking at ways we can replicate their smiles by using home remedies.

Can bananas whiten your teeth?

The claim

If you rub the inside of a banana peel across your teeth for two minutes in a buffering motion and brush your teeth as usual, your teeth will look whiter.  It has been said that the high levels of potassium, magnesium and manganese in bananas can help remove stains from teeth.

The truth

There have been no accounts on the Internet of anyone who has had positive results after trying this method.  Whilst whitening your teeth through exfoliating them with banana skin may sound like a nice idea, the only result you will see is the removal of external debris from your teeth. However, a toothbrush and flossing would have done a much better job.

Whitening Home Remedies – Do They Work?

There are many old wives tales about how to whiten your teeth using home therapies.

Here is what we found after hours of research on the Internet and speaking to dentists about whitening your teeth at home:

Cider vinegar

The acid in vinegar my dissolve some stains but it will also chip away at the enamel of your teeth.  This can be very dangerous and the results are irreversible. The worrying thing is that there is a dental hygienist on YouTube who encourages this method of teeth whitening.

Coconut oil

It may not whiten your teeth but it does have an effect on reducing gum disease.

Bicarbonate of soda

Colgate claims that Bicarbonate of soda effectively removes surface stains from your teeth and makes them appear whiter. However, it is important to remember that bicarbonate can damage the enamel of your teeth as a result of frequent use.

Orange pith and lemons

Citric acid damages your teeth, so if there are any proven cases that oranges and lemons whiten your teeth this is counter acted by the fact that the acid is harmful to the enamel.  In fact, citric acid can cause teeth to lose calcium which gives them an off-white coloring.

Turmeric powder

There seems to be more evidence that organic turmeric powder does whiten teeth.  However, I haven’t yet found an article from a dentist who agrees.


There are plenty of claims on the internet including YouTube videos that strawberries can make your teeth whiter. Significant research from the University of Iowa has proven that teeth only seem whiter because the strawberries remove debris and plaque.

After researching the claims about teeth whitening using ingredients at home, the evidence has debunked the myth.  Coconut oil may decrease bacteria to reduce gum disease, and strawberries and bicarbonate soda remove debris from the teeth giving the appearance of whiter teeth and a fresh feeling in your mouth, but you must remember to brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste and floss to remove acid which can cause significant damage to your teeth. Most home remedies my actually do more harm than good. Be safe not sorry.