The idea that strawberries can be used to whiten teeth has been around for a while, but does it really work? No — and it might actually do more harm than good. Find out why:
There’s a popular teeth whitening “hack” that’s been floating around for some time, and it involves using a paste made from strawberries to whiten your teeth naturally. So, should you give it a try?
In reality, using strawberries (and acidic fruits in general) to whiten your teeth can actually do more harm than good. Luckily there are many other affordable solutions that will give you the whiter smile you’re looking for without hurting your tooth enamel.
Within this article, we’ll disprove the strawberry whitening “hack” and offer some safer alternatives to consider instead.
So, Does Using Strawberries to Whiten Teeth Actually Work?
The short answer is no, it doesn’t. But before we dive into why that is, let’s first address what we mean when we talk about using strawberries to whiten teeth.
The popular process involves crushing strawberries to make a paste that you put on your teeth. Some people add baking soda to the mixture, whereas others don’t. Either way, the main ingredient is strawberry. That paste is then rubbed onto the teeth in the hopes that, when it’s removed, the teeth will appear whiter than before.
This idea doesn’t come out of nowhere. Strawberries do have some properties that could make them seem like an effective teeth-whitening agent. Unfortunately, those same properties are the ones that can cause serious long-term damage to your teeth. Specifically, we’re talking about citric acid. The citric acid can give an illusion of whiter teeth for around an hour after you put on the strawberry paste as the paste does indeed remove some plaque from your teeth. However, that whiteness will soon disappear since the change is simply superficial and your teeth will be left looking just like they did before.
The Risks of Using Strawberries as a Teeth Whitener
We’ve established that strawberries won’t whiten your teeth effectively, but is there any danger in trying it out? Sadly, the answer is yes. The sugar and citric acid in the strawberries can cause major damage when left on your teeth for long periods of time.
The reason strawberries are so delicious is because they’re full of natural sugar! While it’s not as dangerous as the sugar you find in processed sweets, it can still cause serious damage when you put strawberry juice all over your teeth. That fruit sugar will quickly start eating away at your tooth enamel, leaving you at a higher risk of developing cavities. Combine that with the citric acid in strawberries, which can also wear down your tooth enamel, and you’re left with quite the hazardous way of (temporarily) whitening your teeth.
What are Safe Alternatives for Teeth Whitening?
The good news is that there are plenty of well-established, low-risk alternatives for whitening your teeth that work much better than strawberries — without the risk. You can even buy many of these at your local pharmacy! Safer teeth whitening options include:
- Whitening mouthwashes
- Whitening toothpastes, including ones with baking soda
- Whitening strips
- Whitening gel treatments
- Professional in-office bleaching
- Professional at-home bleaching
Whiten Your Teeth Safely Today!
If you’re looking to whiten your teeth — and you’re hoping for effects that last more than a few hours — strawberries aren’t the right choice for you. They will only provide a brief appearance of whiter teeth while causing lasting damage. Instead, you should turn to your dentist for recommendations on the best way to whiten your teeth, whether it’s using over-the-counter products or a professional whitening treatment.