A long-time patient came into the office last week for his six-month exam and cleaning. He was concerned that his teeth were not as white as they once were. As we age, our teeth also age and become darker – more yellow or more grey. This is what had happened to John and he wanted his teeth lightened. He asked about banana peel teeth whitening. The banana peel teeth whitening? What is that? I had never heard of this. He explained that he had heard from several sources that he could rub a banana peel over his teeth and they would lighten. Now (as they say) I have heard of everything!
I needed to check this out so went to the internet. There were over 3,000 results for the search “banana peel whitens teeth”! From what I can gather, the fad began with a Pinterest pin in 2012- now removed. Glamour Health & Diet then reported on the Pinterest claim that to “whiten teeth with banana peel is very safe and healthy for teeth as banana peels are a wonderful source of minerals and vitamins. They do not have the abrasiveness that other natural whiteners have and best of all they are inexpensive. Brush your teeth as usual with a natural toothpaste or you can use the banana peel first and then brush. Take a piece of the inside of the banana peel and gently rub around on your teeth for about 2 minutes.” The Glamour article goes on to say that a Colorado dentist tried the banana peel whitening system for himself and after 14 days his teeth looked the same as when he began. The author also tried it without results.
I have to admit that I was curious, so I bought some bananas and also tried the treatment. My teeth could use some whitening but bananas did not do the job. Bananas are inexpensive and a healthy food, but I am sorry to say that they do not whiten teeth. In our office we whiten teeth with professional whitening gel and custom take-home trays.