Is it safe to use lemons to whiten your teeth?

by Jackie Aut

It’s not unusual to look up at home teeth whitening methods. We’d all love a pearly white smile and to save a couple bucks while we’re at it!

I even found myself on Youtube watching ways to whiten my teeth at home and one of the most popular methods was using lemons. At first it sounded great because you know lemons are very convenient because you probably already have them in your fridge and they’re also cheap! But then you start to wonder, would using lemons cause more harm then good?

The problem:

Lemon juice is very acidic — it’s one of the strongest acids around. There have been scientific research that shows that it will dissolve the enamel that covers your teeth and the effects get worse gradually. 

People usually pair lemon juice and baking soda together, but you don’t know that baking soda is abrasive; it’s equivalent to using sandpaper on your teeth (ouch!).

Dentists advise people not to use lemon juice to remove stains from your teeth because they know that when the enamel is worn away, you will be more prone to get tooth decay. Then you’ll end up having to get fillings! 

People have argued that using baking soda will neutralize the acid from the lemon juice, but that’s not true at all. Yes, baking soda can neutralize acids but citric acid is one of the STRONGEST acids around. Baking soda isn’t as strong as lemon juice to neutralize it. 

HOWEVER…

You will see an improvement if you use lemon juice to whiten your teeth, but not an great improvement. You’d need to do it often in order to get the results you want. BUT, the more you use lemon juice on your teeth, the more damaging it’ll be. You may be lucky and not face these problems, but you’ll never know until it’s too late — so why take the chance!

So what can we do?

Try using whitening strips or whitening toothpastes! Some toothpastes contain baking soda (without the acid that causes damage). Another popular method is whitening gels with LED light — they will not dissolve your teeth yet still effective. A great example is HiSmile!

There are so many safer alternatives you can do in addition to brushing twice a day. Always do your research before trying because you don’t want to risk your teeth!


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