Have you ever had patients ask about whitening their teeth with lemons or strawberries? That was a new one on me, but apparently that particular “technique” is out there in the web of nonsense about oral care and teeth whitening. Others include whitening with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, banana peels (fruit again), and turmeric. As it turns out, each of these methods does work, but at a high cost (damage to tooth enamel and soft tissues). I liked the explanations (in laymen’s terms) I found at this site. You might want to check them out so you have a short, easy-to-understand response the next time a patient asks about the whitening properties of strawberries.
I also came across this great blog by Dr. Rod Kurthy, whitening science expert and founder of KöR Whitening, about charcoal toothpaste and whitening. He does a great job of explaining what activated charcoal does: It removes surface stains through adsorption (particles on the surface of the teeth stick to charcoal like a magnet). However, the strength of that magnet will never remove all of the tough stains that cling tenaciously to the outside of a tooth…and they most definitely can’t remove stains that originate from inside the tooth.
Help your patients understand the benefits of professional teeth whitening, and provide them with knowledge that explains the truth behind the myths.