Fact Check: Brushing with garlic-lemon mixture won’t whiten teeth: Beware of home remedy hoaxes

Too much acidic agent can cause enamel erosion.

By Sunanda Naik  Published on  30 Jan 2024 9:56 AM GMT
Garlic, Lemon, teeth whitening, teeth enamel, NewsMeterFactCheck, HomeRemedy

Hyderabad: A video recommending a natural home remedy to whiten teeth is in circulation on social media.

The voiceover in the viral video says “If you have yellow teeth, don’t worry because this powerful mixture will whiten your teeth in just 2 minutes. The first thing we need is a clove of garlic. Grate the clove. Add a teaspoon of salt. We will also add the juice of a lemon and mix these ingredients well. Then add to your choice of toothpaste. Stir until the toothpaste dissolves. Now take your toothbrush and soak it well. Brush your teeth for 30 seconds and rinse. Use it daily for 30 days and you will find a whitening effect.”

Fact Check

NewsMeter found that both garlic and lemon can be harmful to the enamel if excessively applied.

Is teeth whitening possible?

Yes, the teeth whitening method includes bleaching or non-bleaching products. Teeth whitening products lighten your teeth by removing stains and plaque. Several social media posts claim that ingredients like baking soda, turmeric, hydrogen peroxide, lemon and coffee help. But are they safe? Using highly acidic ingredients might cause tooth erosion, hamper enamel and scar your gums. Not everyone sees desirable results. It’s always advisable to seek medical supervision or consultation.

Does raw garlic act as a teeth whitener?

Garlic has a bad reputation when it comes to breath due to its pungent smell and strong taste. But at the same time, it contains a high level of allicin that acts as an antibacterial agent. When eaten raw, garlic might aid in teeth whitening. More research is needed.

It should be noted that although chewing garlic may pose some benefits there is no scientific evidence to back that brushing garlic mixed with lemon and toothpaste would have the same effect.

Does lemon help in teeth whitening?

Using lemon for teeth whitening is the same as using it as a bleaching agent. Lemon contains citric acid known for its natural bleaching agent on fabric, hair and skin. This claim is based on the same idea that lemon juice or peel aids in teeth whitening. But there are certain limitations.

Lemon peel works to an extent but there are limitations to its usage as it is highly acidic. Lemon juice and lemon peel both are great whitening or even bleaching agents. You can either rub lemon peel on your teeth or just use lemon juice on your teeth. But one thing you need to make sure of while using lemon juice over your teeth is that you must dilute it with an equal quantity of water.

Applying raw lemon juice might react with your tooth enamel which may cause tooth decay in the longer run. Not only this, this home remedy should not be repeated more than twice a week. Frequent application of lemon juice over teeth might disrupt your tooth enamel due to frequent exposure to highly acidic juices.

A 2015 study found lemons to cause much higher enamel erosion than soft drinks such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, Red Bull etc.

Enamel is not only responsible for making your teeth appear white but also protects the sensitive layer underneath. Once the enamel is ruptured, your teeth become vulnerable to sensitivity issues and decay. If you feel there is an issue with your oral health, it’s always better to seek a dentist’s consultation rather than trying out such social media hoaxes.

Claim Review:Garlic and lemon for teeth whitening.
Claimed By:Social media user
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Facebook
Claim Fact Check:False
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