Dental/Oral Health

How to use Strawberries to Whiten Teeth

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How do strawberries whiten your teeth? What properties make them good teeth whiteners. Are there toothpaste recipe have these fruit as an ingredient? What the pro and cons of this method of making you teeth whiter?

If you met this method of making your smile brighter than they are, then you would wonder what a bizarre way to whiten your teeth. All over the internet lies methods through which you can make your teeth whiter. Does using strawberries work or is this just another fuss in the internet.  Would this be a better option to opt for than to go to your dentist or use an approved bleaching agent as a whitener? Well, you are bound to know from this piece of writing.

Do strawberries whiten your teeth?

While looking around for evidence on this teeth whitening technique works, it dawned that there are tons of claims that this method could work but tons in return that they do not work. In reference to the latter, one Bryana Stearns of American University research mentions in her literature review that this method does not work.

strawberry teeth whitening-does it work?

Strawberry for teeth

She backs her review with a study done by the famous Dr. So Ran Kwon, an associate professor and dental researcher at the University of Iowa who decided to put the strawberry teeth whitening method to the test. According to Dr. So Ran, this remedy does not actually whiten teeth but does something similar to temporarily making it white.

The layer makes the teeth yellowish. In her study, in the Operative Dentistry, she confirmed the authenticity of this method by rubbing a mixture of strawberries that were crushed and in a mixture of baking soda. Normally such trials are done on pulled teeth and this was done on 20 of them for a period of 10 days.

The paste was allowed to seat on the teeth for five minutes. Results showed that it removes plaque and debris from the teeth but does not actually whiten the teeth. More on the opposition, Amy freeman of Colgate, says that while it seems like a simple and tasty way to improve your smile, it doesn’t do much to whiten your teeth.

The silver lining to this is that every research or study done can be challenged and there are a number of facts that can do this. Strawberries can whiten teeth just like using lemon, apple vinegar or oil pulling using swishing coconut oil.

The purported reason for this is that they contain some concentration of acidity and that this can come in handy in removing the stains on the teeth. Nevertheless, note that the reason you get tooth decay is due to the formation of acid by bacteria that metabolize the sucrose in food. This acid left to seat on teeth for long leads to breakdown of the enamel.

It is true that strawberries are acidic and the low pH is due to the presence of a number of acids in the fruit. One particular one is malic acid. This acid is not only found in strawberries, but also in apples. It is an acid ingredient that is found in whitening strips. However, this acid does not actually whiten the teeth but instead removes the stains: says Dr. Kwon.

While the acidity could potentially damages the teeth if used for a long time, there are studies that support the use of malic acid as a whitener of teeth. Such include one done by Sánchez, AR; Rogers RS, 3rd; Sheridan, PJ (October 2004)[1] in which the use of tetracycline and tetracycline derivatives on teeth and the oral cavity has been investigated.

Malic acid has been investigated as a weak teeth whitening agent. In high concentrations however, it could lead to dissolution of the enamel layer. The reason your teeth become yellower is due to exposure of the dentin that bears this color upon erosion of the enamel.

This method has further been studied by an in vitro study similar to Dr. Kwon’s but this time investigating the efficacy of DIY whitening as compared to conventional tooth whitening modalities[2].

More to this limelight, one Peoria dentist, Dr. Bischoff, agrees that indeed this method works and to add, the vitamin C in strawberries acts as a potent teeth whitener.

How to use do strawberries whiten teeth

How to whiten teeth with strawberries only

Most simple

You could choose to whiten your teeth with strawberries by chewing them. Simple! This is how it is preferentially and traditionally done by some people. More to this is discussed in the sections that follow.

Paste method

strawberry toothpaste recipe

Strawberry Paste

You can also make a paste of strawberries and rub it on your teeth. Do this:

What you need: 3 – 4 strawberries, mortar and pestle,

Method

  1. Crush the strawberries to consistency of a paste.
  2. Use a soft toothbrush to scoop the paste from the mortar and spread it on your teeth.
  3. After spreading it to all the corners and gaps of the mouth, leave the paste to seat for about 5 minutes.
  4. Then rinse your mouth. If there is any remnant in between your teeth, remove by flossing.
  5. Brush with your normal toothpaste after about 30 minutes. Do this with a non-fluoride toothpaste which is more preferred.

Does eating strawberries whiten your teeth

If you are one who enjoys having strawberries once in a while or for dessert then this could be used to the advantage of your teeth. Your teeth could get whiter by simply crushing strawberries with your teeth while chewing.

The pulp is known to be the source of malic acid and this can be done as follows:

  1. Cut the strawberry into small chewable portions
  2. These portions could target different parts of the mouth. Therefore, pick piece by piece and target different areas of the mouth.
  3. Chew completely without swallowing then leave to stay for 5 minutes before brushing your teeth.

Is there strawberry teeth whitener Toothpaste? What is the recipe?

Currently, the existent teeth whitener toothpastes that have strawberries are those home-made. They can however be commercialized though among believers of this method. In reference to this previous statement, not so many people have belief in this method as a tooth whitener and not so much scientific evidence exists to back its use.

What to combine with strawberries to whiten teeth

Strawberries and baking soda teeth whitener

A toothpaste could be made with a mixture of strawberries and baking powder. This is common and you will see it all over the internet. This is how you will combine the two and use it to whiten your teeth.

What you need: ½ teaspoon of baking powder, 1 strawberry, mortar and pestle

Method

  1. With a mortar and pestle, crush the strawberry
  2. Add it to the baking powder and mix
  3. Spread the mixture to your teeth to spread it along the sides on the teeth.
  4. Leave to seat for about 5 minutes then brush with a toothpaste that you use.

Any other ingredient that can work well with strawberries

Instead of the baking powder, you could use another bleaching or oxidizing agent. The reason your teeth may lose its white is due to reduction of chromagens in the enamel.

Therefore, an oxidizing agent such as hydrogen peroxide could work well in a mixture with strawberries. This is done in the same way as using baking soda. However, note that the use of bleaching agents holds potential risk of damaging the enamel.

Before and After Review

strawberry Teeth Whitening before after review

Before and after results

 

Safety, Side Effects and Precautions

  • Are there any side effects of using strawberries for teeth whitening?
  • What safety precautions should one consider before or after using this teeth-whitening method?

There are side effects to the use of strawberries for the whitening of teeth. These include:

  1. The acid however mild in strawberries can lead to damage of the enamel if you overdo it. It is recommended that you apply this treatment once or twice a week at most. Especially if you have done a mixture with baking powder (Dr. Kwon; Journal of Odontology). She in fact says that it reduces the surface harness of teeth by close to 10%. This is dangerous.
  2. The use of other bleaching agent such as hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide can lead to erosive effects on the tooth enamel and this has been proven by the America Dental Association and further discussed in a Dental Research in Florida (2012).
  3. Acid demineralization and abrasion of tooth structure and recession are possible side effects of using this method.
  4. The use of acid to whiten teeth and addition of bleaching agents could lead to gingivitis as they may burn the gums and cause inflammation.
  5. Tooth sensitivity could also occur. This is especially dose dependent and high doses therefore could lead to hot and cold sensitivity. According to JADA in a 2002 survey, results showed that there is a 50% chance of mild sensitivity. With moderate sensitivity, there is a 10% while there is a 4% chance of acquiring severe sensitivity.

Sources

[1] Sánchez, AR; Rogers RS, 3rd; Sheridan, PJ (October 2004). “Tetracycline and other tetracycline-derivative staining of the teeth and oral cavity.”. International Journal of Dermatology43 (10): 709–15. PMID 15485524doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2004.02108.x)

[2] http://www.jopdentonline.org/doi/abs/10.2341/13-333-LR

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