DIY Teeth Whitening: Myth or Fact?

sbIt’s tempting to believe that the many do-it-yourself teeth whitening concoctions really work and will save you money, but do they? There have been several different whitening remedies suggested such as coconut oil paste, apple cider vinegar rinse, a banana rub, baking soda and lemon juice, and always new ones being added to the litany. One of the most recent, touted on the Dr. Ox Show and YouTube videos, is a strawberry and baking soda mixture which has already been debunked. So are DIY teeth whitening methods myth or fact?

More Harm than Good?

There are two teeth whitening methods that have been proven to do more harm than good: the baking soda and lemon juice, and strawberry and baking soda mixtures.

Baking soda and lemon juice: It has become a popular belief that baking soda and lemon juice mixed into a paste is an effective tooth whitening agent. However, according to research, the high concentration of acid in lemons makes it harmful to teeth. While it is believed that sugar causes tooth decay, it is actually the acids produced by the bacteria that feed off sugar. If acids cause decay, then using an acidic substance to whiten your teeth would not make sense. Lemon juice is acidic enough to lead to enamel erosion.

Strawberries and baking soda: Also an acidic fruit, strawberries have a high concentration of citric acid. A research study was performed using 20 extracted human molars. The molars were brushed three times a day for 10 consecutive days with a mixture of strawberries and baking soda. At the end of the 10 days the teeth were examined using standard color-measurement tests and a spectrophotometer. Not only were the teeth no whiter, the surface hardness of the teeth was reduced by 10 percent from the erosive effect of the citric acid.


  • At A Briter Smile Dental Group, our dentists strive to offer each patient individual care and access to the latest in modern dentistry at an affordable price. If you would like to schedule a consultation, contact usat our Santa Clarita Valley office at (661) 251-0480. We also service Newhall, Castaic, Canyon Country, Saugus, and nearby areas.