Stained, yellow teeth can ruin the best of lipstick swipe. Unfortunately professional dental procedures and commercial teeth whitening products are usually expensive. This has prompted a continued search for alternative natural remedies for teeth whitening. Of these, strawberries are widely talked about but can you really whiten teeth with strawberries? Continue reading to find out more about strawberry teeth whitening.
Strawberry Teeth Whitening – Does It Work?
The fact that strawberry contains natural sugar – which gives it the sweet taste – makes it an unlikely candidate for DIY natural teeth whitening. Still there are offline and online resources galore that stand with its effectiveness as natural teeth whitening remedy.
It is even claimed that Catherina Zeta Jones uses strawberries to maintain a pearly white smile. This natural remedy has also been featured on numerous TV shows ranging from Dr. Oz to Tyra Banks show. For demonstration purposes, Tyra Banks actually applied strawberries on her own teeth. Not so much change could be seen however given the fact that that her teeth are already so white.
Strawberry teeth whitening ability is majorly attributed to the presence of malic acid. As a natural astringent, malic acid helps to remove the superficial stains and plaque buildup. According to Dr. OZ, the vitamin C in strawberries also helps to combat plaque buildup.
Although many people (e.g. in online reviews) and scientists will agree that strawberry actually works in as far as teeth whitening is concerned, a scientific study done by the University of Iowa has debunked the myth surrounding how this fruit actually works: a section of proponents of using strawberry for teeth whitening claim that it helps to whiten and brighten the teeth.
Published in the Operative Dentistry Journal, the study concluded that strawberries makes teeth look whiter only because they remove plaque buildup and not because they actually whiten them from a color perspective.
Since most DIY recipes recommend using strawberry alongside baking soda, the researcher used a mixture of baking soda and strawberry to clean human molars that had been extracted in the recent past. The mixture was allowed to work in for 5 minutes before brushing the teeth three times daily over a period of 10 days.
After extensive color-measurement tests and observation with an instrument called spectrophotometer, the researcher concluded that strawberry doesn’t really whiten teeth; it only removes superficial debris.
The lead researcher and author, Kwon, attributed this shortcoming of the baking soda-strawberry teeth whitening mixture to to the absence of hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, the two standard ingredients for teeth whitening. Approved by the American Dental Association, these are widely found in commercial teeth whitening products.
How to Use Strawberry to Whiten Teeth
That strawberry helps to make your teeth look whiter is not refuted. As much as it doesn’t actually whiten teeth (change their color), strawberry will help remove plaque and other superficial debris accumulating on your teeth and make them appear whiter naturally. That is something most of us will want if no adverse side effects are involved.
Below are some of the ways in which you can safely use strawberry for teeth whitening?
Strawberry and Baking Soda Teeth Whitening Recipe
Strawberry contains malic acid which helps to loosen plaque and other particles that stain the surface of your teeth. It is however recommended to use strawberries in combination with baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) for two reasons: First, baking soda has a gritty texture which helps to clean the stain and plaque off your teeth. Secondly, baking soda helps to make the recipe fuzzy.
- 1 strawberry
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- Mash the strawberry to a pulp.
- Pour in the baking soda and stir until well blended
- With the help of a soft toothbrush, coat your teeth with the mixture and then leave it on for around 5 minutes.
- Brush your teeth with a little regular toothpaste, then rinse your mouth with water.
- Finish off by flossing your teeth to remove any strawberry seeds that get trapped between your teeth crevices.
- Use this strawberry teeth whitener no more than once a week only to avoid teeth damage.
In addition to malic acid, Kwon says that strawberries also contain citric acid which This can erode and weaken the enamel surface and ultimately lead to other problems such as cavity, sensitivity etc. it is also important to go for ripe strawberries because ripe strawberries accumulate more of malic acid while reducing the concentration of citric acid.
Some people also throw in a pinch of sea salt for an even more powerful teeth whitening action as outlined below:
- Mix 1 mashed strawberry with ½ teaspoon of baking soda and a pinch of sea salt.
- Apply the mixture all over your teeth using a toothbrush.
- Allow it to sit on for 5 minutes.
- Brush your teeth as normal, then rinse with water.
- Follow up by flossing your teeth.
Strawberry Teeth Whitening During Pregnancy
A question often arises whether or not you should eat or use strawberries during for teeth whitening and in other home remedies while pregnant. Assuming that the concern is baby safety, the answer is yes.
According to the WhattoExpect.com website, vitamin C is of utmost importance during pregnancy and strawberries, apricots, peaches, and oranges are listed among the best sources of the same. There is also a good reason why Romans held wild strawberries in high regards: they are a more superior source of vitamin C compared to citrus fruits, says the University of Illinois.
Although no scientific studies currently exist to support this claim, we can generally say that strawberry is safe to use as a teeth whitening remedy during pregnancy so long as it is used in the right way as outlined previously.
Strawberry Teeth Whitening Before and After Pictures
To offer inspiration on the kind of results that Strawberry teeth whitening recipes can give, below are a couple before and after pictures. Although these photos show actual results from subjects who have tried using strawberry for the purpose, keep in mind that results are atypical and no guarantees are made. Results for strawberry teeth whiteners will vary from one person to another just like for any other treatment or home remedy.
In conclusion, strawberry teeth whitening could be your door to brighter teeth but safe use is of paramount importance lest you end up losing your already troubled teeth. You will in particular want to avoid using strawberry to whiten your teeth more than once a week.
- Daily Mail: Clean Your Teeth
- Live Science: Do DIY Teeth Whitening Methods Really Work?
- Operative Dentistry Journal: Efficacy of Do-It-Yourself Whitening as Compared to Conventional Tooth Whitening Modalities: An In Vitro Study
- University of Illinois: Strawberries
- WhattoExpect: Fruit During Pregnancy