Fact Check: Can banana peel, lemon and salt mix help remove tartar, whiten teeth?

Unlike plaque, you can’t remove tartar with brushing and flossing.

By Sunanda Naik  Published on  12 Feb 2024 10:36 AM GMT
Fact Check: Can banana peel, lemon and salt mix help remove tartar, whiten teeth?

Hyderabad: An Instagram post claiming that applying a blend of banana peel, lemon and salt to teeth can help remove tartar and whiten teeth within two minutes is being widely shared on social media.

“This Natural 60 Seconds Solution helps to Get Rid Of Tooth Decay, Bad Breath And Gum Disease, (sic)” read the caption. Further, the voiceover asks people to stop going to the dentist and use the mixture along with toothpaste to remove tartar and whiten teeth.

Click here to view a similar post.

Is this health hack real? Let’s find out.

Fact Check

NewsMeter found that the claim is misleading.

What is tartar?

Tartar is the solidified dental plaque that forms a calcified layer over teeth and gums. If left untreated for a long time it leads to gum diseases like gingivitis that causes the gums to inflame and bleed. Tartar may also lead to periodontitis, a much more painful and serious correlation than gingivitis.

Tartar forms due to the presence of dead bacteria that get mineralised and mixed with mineralised proteins from your saliva. It mainly consists of calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate and magnesium phosphate.

The main cause of tartar formation is poor dental hygiene. The risk factors of tartar formation are not brushing and flossing often, consumption of surgery food and aerated drinks, smoking or tobacco, braces, etc.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, ‘unlike plaque, you can’t remove tartar with brushing and flossing. A dentist or dental hygienist must remove it during a professional dental cleaning.’

Can banana peel potentially remove tartar and whiten teeth?

According to Colgate, this trend is based purely on anecdotal evidence. There are no scientific studies that show banana peel as an effective tartar remover or teeth-whitening agent.

Moreover, recent research on the ‘Effectiveness of mouthwashes banana and pineapple peel extract against plaque index of orthodontic fixed patient’ has found that ‘mouthwashes banana peel extract 2.5% and pineapple peel extract 6.24% effective in lowering the plaque index of orthodontic fixed appliance patients.’

The research found that ‘banana peel extract is much more effective in lowering plaque index.’ But there is no evidence to suggest that banana peel mouthwash can help remove already existing tartar.

Does lemon help whiten teeth?

As per anecdotal evidence, lemon peel works to an extent but there are limitations as it contains high acid levels. Lemon juice and lemon peel are great whitening and bleaching agents. You can either rub lemon peel or just use lemon juice on your teeth.

But, the lemon juice must be diluted before using it. Lemon juice concentrate might react with your tooth enamel which may cause tooth decay if used more often. Not only this, this home health hack should not be repeated more than twice a week since enamel doesn’t regenerate naturally once lost.

What to do instead?

Visit your dentist if you are struggling with tartar accumulation in your teeth.

To maintain good oral hygiene and white teeth, the American Dental Association (ADA) recommends:

- Brushing teeth twice a day for two minutes

- Using a whitening toothpaste with the ADA Seal of Acceptance

- Cleaning between teeth once a day

- Limiting foods that stain teeth, like coffee, tea and red wine

- Not smoking or using tobacco

- Visiting the dentist for regular checkups and cleanings

Claim Review:Banana peel removes tartar.
Claimed By:Social media user
Claim Reviewed By:NewsMeter
Claim Source:Instagram
Claim Fact Check:False
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