I'm a dentist – here's 5 DIY tricks to whiten your teeth and the truth about the kiwi trend
SOCIAL media is full of weird and wonderful trends, with the latest fad involving using kiwis to whiten teeth.
But one dentist has warned this could actually do more harm than good.
TikTok has been flooded with users combining kiwis, cucumber and baking soda – claiming the concoction will make your pearly whites gleam.
Speaking to The Sun, Dr Khaled Kasem, chief orthodontist at Impress said the idea behind the mix comes from kiwis being packed with calcium.
He explained calcium helps neutralise acids and boost the health of tooth enamel.
He added: "While cucumbers are said to freshen your breath. It may look effective for a few hours, but it’s just a temporary solution for removing surface stains.
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"Using these ingredients will not remove any deep-set stains that are causing your teeth to yellow in appearance.
"In fact, using this combination regularly may do more harm than good, as too many DIY tricks can damage your enamel – something which can’t be undone."
Just like with all aspects of health, Dr Kasem said you shouldn’t take dental advice from anyone on social media who isn’t qualified to provide it.
Another dentist, Dr Azad Eyrumlu, specialist oral surgeon at Banning Dental Group said people using the technique might think their teeth are white – but this is only because anything that removes plaque does make the enamel layer cleaner.
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"Just by brushing we can sense that feeling by a simple tongue check running over the teeth surfaces.
“Any product that is either abrasive or chemical, such as acid, will remove the plaque layer. It does not whiten the teeth but does clean them.
“I guess you can achieve cleaner teeth with various chemicals, but we recommend a toothbrush and a toothpaste which has been manufactured to have the right amount of chemicals and fluoride to balance out any weakness caused by them", he said.
He added that whitening requires a stronger chemical and can only really be achieved over a longer period of time, at least hours.
"This is because discolouration of teeth are usually in the deep layers of a tooth and the enamel is a lot stronger than kiwi juice.
“For whitening we have traditionally used a peroxide. We always recommend whitening under the guidance of a professional dentist, as if used incorrectly the chemicals can cause lasting damage", he said.
While your best option is always to visit a dentist for whiter teeth, there are some things you can do at home.
Cosmetic dentist and Real Housewives of Cheshire star, Dr Hannah Kinsella said there are some things you can doto achieve a bright white smile.
1. Beware of food and drink
While we know to stay away from kiwis, Dr Kinsella said there are some foods that make stains worse.
"Coffee, tea and red wine can quickly cause yellow or brown stains to form, so small things like being aware of avoiding these drinks if possible, or drinking these through a straw may help to keep teeth white and avoid stains.
"The nicotine in smoking can also stain teeth so it goes without saying to avoid cigarettes too for whiter teeth."
2. Look at your overall health
For most people, keeping an eye on what we put into our bodies will help with teeth whitening.
However, Dr Kinsella said that people who suffer with certain health conditions will likely also be more prone to yellow teeth.
She added: "Something most people don’t know is that health issues like diabetes, oral cancer, anaemia and some eating disorders can also cause damage to the tooth enamel and oral health, which can result in yellow teeth.
"Always seek help from a professional if you are experiencing any of these, and your teeth will benefit too."
3. Eat strawberries
The Icy Bear dental founder said that strawberries are actually a natural teeth whitener.
"Strawberries contain malic acid which is actually a natural tooth whitener. Obviously don’t go too hard on the strawberries, and don’t rub them on the teeth or keep them against the enamel for too long, but a healthy amount of them can help with whitening!
"In the same vein, apples are a great way of cleaning the teeth (in some form!) as long as not eaten too aggressively.
"The rough edges of crispy food like apples can help to remove bacteria from the teeth."
4. Brush your teeth properly
Dr Kinsella said: "Instead of brushing teeth aggressively with a hard grip – which can be a natural response – try to hold your toothbrush at the very end and use a grip as if you’re holding a pen.
"This will reduce pressure to the brush and the teeth, therefore protecting them from damage. All of these things can contribute to whiter teeth!"
Dr Kinsella, who is also the founder of Kiln Lane Dental Clinic said that using a sonic toothbrush – rather than a manual brush, will help whiten teeth.
5. Drink more water
A benefit across so many areas of life, drinking water is essential for wellbeing and also our oral health, Dr Kinsella said.
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"It’s a natural cleaner in so many senses and can also help remove bacteria from the teeth.
"Always have at least a glass of water after eating meals", she said.
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