Doctor Oz Says Teeth Whitening with Lemons is OK
Is he correct? Doctor Oz is a great entertainer and he gives millions of people advice that might help them to change their lives. Of course, not everything he says is good sense and one piece of advice was downright dangerous to viewers’ dental health.
What Doctor Oz did was to suggest that people should use a paste made of lemon juice and baking soda to whiten their teeth. In the program segment, he suggested that people shouldn’t use this mixture more than once per week. Of course, that piece of advice often doesn’t get passed along by the people copying his lemon and baking soda recipe for dental disaster!
What is the Doctor Oz Tooth Whitening Remedy?
Without giving the full treatment away, because it isn’t safe to use, he suggested mixing baking soda and lemon juice and putting it on the teeth for a short time using a ball of cotton wool. Let the mixture sit on your teeth for about a minute. Then brush your teeth to remove the acid.
What is the Problem Here?
Lemon juice is a solution of citric acid. It is one of the strongest acids around and scientific research shows that it will dissolve the hard enamel that covers your teeth and makes them able to chew food. A study carried out in 1996 found that lemon juice erodes tooth enamel and that the effect gets worse over time.
Baking soda is an abrasive, like rubbing sandpaper over your teeth. When you use lemon juice you are dissolving your teeth and then using your toothbrush to rub away the surface of your teeth. Think of it as being like using abrasive cleaners with an abrasive cleaning pad when cleaning dirty pans. You should be very careful when using such methods to not scratch the item you are cleaning, or remove non-stick coatings.
Dentists advise that people should not use lemon juice (citric acid) to remove staining from your teeth. They know that when the enamel that covers your teeth is dissolved or worn away that you will get caries (tooth decay) and that the only cure is fillings, lots of fillings.
Some people have said that the baking soda neutralizes the acid and makes it safe to use, but that’s not true. Citric acid is one of the strongest acids around and baking soda can neutralize acids because it is an alkali but it is not as strong an alkali as lemon juice is acidic. When you add lemon juice to baking soda you will see it bubble and fizz as the acid and alkali react together but the result is still a strong acid unless you use huge amounts of baking soda or almost no lemon juice and, in that case, the Dr. Oz remedy wouldn’t work!
But the Doctor Oz Lemon Juice Remedy Works!
It is true! If you use lemon juice to whiten your teeth you will probably see an improvement, but not a great improvement, you will want to use it quite often so that you get the results you want. Because it is so cheap to use you will probably use it quite often.
However, when you keep using lemon juice to whiten your teeth then you will damage your teeth. You might be lucky and not have a problem with this treatment but there’s no way to know that until it’s too late!
If Not That, Then What?
There are plenty of safe ways to whiten your teeth, remedies that will not leave you with expensive dental bills and a mouth full of fillings. If you have a large budget then you could spend several hundred dollars on having your teeth whitened by your dentist, or more likely, a dental technician. Most of us with limited budgets will look for in-home teeth whitening solutions.
For example, you could use whitening strips and/or whitening toothpastes. Some toothpastes even contain baking soda but without the acid that causes the damage. Probably the best home treatments are ones that work in a similar way to those your dentist can offer, but at much lower cost: whitening gels using carbamide peroxide, particularly when they also have light activation like your dentist’s treatment. These treatments will not dissolve your teeth and they are effective.
Take a look at the AuraGlow Teeth whitening system. This works using a strong, yet safe, whitening gel and a handheld activating light that gives visible results on extrinsic tooth discoloration after just one session and is safe to use over and over again.
But, whatever you do, don’t try to whiten your teeth with lemon juice, it just isn’t worth the risk!