Bananas make great additions to smoothies and bread, but can they help give you a whiter smile? If you ask the internet, the answer might seem to be yes. But with any health trend that makes its way around social media, it's a good idea to take a closer look before trying it out for yourself.
What Is Banana Peel Teeth Whitening?
Bananas are nutritious. One medium banana contains 422 milligrams of potassium, 32 mg of magnesium and 3 grams of fiber, according to the National Nutrient Database from the United States Department of Agriculture.
The amount of minerals in bananas and their peels has led some people to think the peel can whiten teeth. The claim is that all you need to do is rub the inside of the peel on your teeth for a couple of minutes before or after you brush them. Supporters claim that after rubbing your teeth with the peel daily for about two or three weeks, you should have a whiter smile.
Does Banana Peel Teeth Whitening Work?
The idea that banana peels actually whiten people's teeth is based on anecdotal evidence. Personal blogs and tabloids claim the trick works, but there haven't been any scientific studies examining the effectiveness of banana peels when it comes to removing stains from teeth.
The American Dental Association (ADA) doesn't offer an opinion on the use of banana peels to whiten teeth. But it does have an opinion on using other types of fruit, such as strawberries, orange peels and lemons, to get a brighter smile. The ADA's advice is simple: Don't do it. While you can enjoy the nutritional benefits of fruits by eating them, you won't get positive results when you try to whiten your teeth with them. The high acid content in many fruits can actually end up hurting your teeth, not helping them.
Teeth Whitening Alternatives
While you're better off eating a banana and tossing out the peel, the good news is that there are multiple, effective ways to whiten your teeth. The ADA points out that establishing and sticking to an everyday oral care routine, which includes brushing your teeth twice a day, can help improve the whiteness of your teeth. Brush with a whitening toothpaste, such as Colgate Enamel Health Whitening toothpaste, which gently whitens and polishes and helps replenish natural calcium.
For even more dramatic results, you might consider having your dentist perform tooth whitening in the office. Professional teeth whitening can typically remove more stains and achieve a brighter white faster than at-home treatments can. Since it's not right for everyone, you should discuss the pros and cons of having your teeth professionally whitened with your dentist before you decide to go forward.
If you want to improve the appearance of your teeth, put down the banana and head over to your dentist's office. They can recommend proven whitening options that will provide you with the best possible results.