Are bananas a delicious and nutritious on-the-go snack? Yum - yes, they are. But does a banana peel whiten your teeth? Hmm, that warrants a deeper dive. After all, it’s better to follow facts and not fashion when it comes to your oral health.
What Is Banana Peel Teeth Whitening?
First, there’s no doubting the nutritional value bananas provide. According to the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s publication, The Concise New Zealand Food Composition Tables, 8th edition, your typical 100 g banana (weighed without skin) contains 340 mg of potassium, 25 mg of phosphorus, 10 milligrams of vitamin C, 5 mg milligrams of calcium and 1.1 g protein.
That sounds great. But can banana peel whiten your teeth? It seems that the high mineral value in bananas has some people saying the peel can be great for whitening. The word on the web is that you rub the inside of the peel on your teeth before or after brushing for a few minutes a day. Then, allegedly you wake up to whiter, pearlier whites in a few weeks (ta-da!). But is that so?
Does Banana Peel Teeth Whitening Work?
Now, the validity of this trend is purely based on anecdotal evidence. You may have seen mentions of ‘banana peel teeth whitening’ posted, shared, or blogged. But when it comes to removing stains from teeth, there aren’t any scientific studies proving that banana peels can do the job.
The Australian Dental Association (ADA) do not endorse this activity and they discourage the use of certain fruits and natural products which can damage teeth. Specifically: “...anecdotal treatments such as rubbing strawberries, lemons or even bicarbonate of soda on your teeth can do a lot of damage to your teeth and gums for no whitening gain.”
Are these natural substances healthy? Sure. Do they whiten your teeth? No. Our apologies to banana believers everywhere.
Teeth Whitening Alternatives
Fortunately, you can eat your banana and get your whitening too. There are a few options to whiten your teeth effectively, which the Australian Dental Association also endorses:
- Maintain an everyday oral care routine, including brushing your teeth twice a day, to reduce stains and keep teeth at optimal health.
- Brush with whitening toothpaste to enhance whitening results.
- Visit your dental professional for ‘in-chair’ professional teeth whitening. Dental professionals are allowed to use a higher concentration of bleach which can typically remove stains and achieve a brighter, whiter smile faster than at-home treatments.
- You can also visit your dental professional to organise ‘at-home’ whitening. Once assessing your teeth and approving the treatment for you, your dental professional will provide you with the trays and bleach for home use.
As with most things in life, there are pros and cons to each option. Some people don’t suit professional strength teeth whitening, so it’s best to discuss this with your dental professional to find the right choice for you.
In summary, there’s no point in going bananas over unsubstantiated claims. The pros for bananas – plentiful. The pros for banana peels to whiten your teeth — unreliable. So keep the fruit in your diet, the peel in the compost bin – and the whitening discussion with your dental professional.