At-home ingredients and your teeth

There are many at-home remedies for oral care circulating on the internet. Social media has an influence as well. These kitchen ingredients seem like a safe method for teeth cleaning. Yet, they are not recommended and can potentially cause more harm than good.

This article highlights the most commonly claimed at-home alternatives to oral hygiene and teeth whitening. It also shares these items’ disadvantages, negative impact, or ineffectiveness.



Avoid these kitchen ingredients

Lemon Juice


Lemon juice is highly acidic and can be used as a bleaching agent.

It contains citric acid that rubs off the teeth stains. Hence, it is an essential ingredient in dental cleaning.


Due to its acidic properties, it erodes the outer layer of the teeth called enamel and exposes the inner layer, i.e., the dentin. This causes sensitivity.

The PH level of lemon juice is less than four. This has proven to have a negative on your overall dental health.

Banana peels and strawberries

Claims: Brushing your teeth with strawberry mash or banana peels whitens the teeth.

Cons: Strawberries are acidic in nature. Using strawberries on your teeth causes enamel erosion.

It also contains malic acid, the content of which increases as the fruit ripes. Too much malic acid leads to tooth decay.

Banana peels contain sugar and starch that causes the tooth to produce acid and lead to a foul tooth.

Baking soda as a toothpaste


Baking soda is an effective teeth cleaning agent.

Also, baking soda has antibacterial properties to encourage good tooth health.

It also prevents plaque build-up.

Cons: Frequently brushing teeth with baking soda can damage the enamel. It can further cause tooth sensitivity and cavity.

Baking soda does not control plaque build-up.



Cinnamon is used to relieve tooth pain by fighting infections.


Too much of this spice causes yellowing of the teeth. It also irritates the gums. 



Honey maintains the mouth’s pH level. It also has antibacterial properties.


Honey has too much sugar content. In the long run, it leads to tooth decay.

Other household items you should not clean your teeth with

Washcloth or Paper towel


The surface of the washcloth or paper towel is abrasive enough to scrub off the dirt from the teeth.

You can use them on the go to pull stuck food from your teeth.


The texture damages the tooth surface and causes sensitivity. They are not effective and harbor bacteria on the teeth.

A towel will be hard to reach if you have a small chunk of food stuck between the inner corners of your teeth.

Hydrogen peroxide


Diluting around 3% hydrogen peroxide to swish your mouth can cause teeth whitening.


If consumed, hydrogen peroxide can be toxic. It damages the oesophagus and inner cells of the throat.

Sewing thread to floss between your teeth


Flossing teeth with sewing thread can remove stuck food particles.


The sewing thread is hard on the gums. It puts pressure on the gums and causes injuries to their soft tissues.

They might also break and get trapped between thin gaps of teeth, making them hard to remove.

Which kitchen ingredients you can use

Detergent foods: as a snack (example: celery, apple, carrots, etc.)


While chewing these foods, they scrub off your teeth of harmful bacteria. They also maintain the PH balance of your mouth to neutral, i.e., 7.


These foods stick to your teeth, causing decay.

Salt – salt water as an oral rinse


Saltwater regenerates tissues and heals tooth wounds.


If used daily, saltwater disturbs the mouth ph level. It also softens the teeth’ enamel, increasing the high risk of sensitivity.

Baking soda: as an oral rinse


Baking soda heals mouth ulcers and inflammation.


Accidentally swallowing baking soda causes diarrhea. Consuming too much can have adverse effects such as kidney failure and dehydration.

Coconut oil


Oil pulling removes bad breath and prevents tooth cavities. It also heals damaged gums.


Swallowing this oil can disturb the stomach, leading to diarrhea.

Always ask your dentist what household items are safe in the event you run out of toothpaste or haven’t had a chance to replace your toothbrush. However, these items are not meant to replace toothbrushes or professional dental cleanings. Lastly, remember that dental trends on social media should be taken lightly and more for entertainment purposes.

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