Can Banana Peels Whiten Your Teeth? (2023 Guide)

One well-known teeth whitening fad that has gained popularity alongside teeth whitening as a whole is the banana peel method (i.e., using a banana peel to whiten teeth). While the idea sounds like a promising, low-cost teeth whitening strategy, is it really an effective way to whiten your teeth? To answer that question, this article looks closely at the science behind banana peels and teeth whitening.

7 min readCan Banana Peels Whiten Your Teeth?

There's a lot of value in natural teeth whitening procedures. They cost less, don't require a trip to the dentist, and are sometimes safer than using bleaching agents. Especially if you have sensitive teeth, some natural methods reduce teeth whitening side effects and offer a legitimate solution to commercial products.

But these days, teeth whitening fads are a dime a dozen, promising brighter smiles and more confident grins. Whether it's a TikTok influencer or your neighbor's homemade remedy, there are plenty of avenues to explore.

The truth is, most of them don't work. Activated charcoal, lemon juice, and orange peels are a few of the many teeth whitening options that have been proven to be ineffective.

So can a kitchen item as common as a banana peel help you improve your smile?

Here's what you need to know about using a banana peel for teeth whitening.

How Does Teeth Whitening Work?

Before jumping into the specifics of whitening your teeth with a banana peel, it’s important to understand how teeth whitening works.

Teeth become stained for various reasons. Coffee, tea, red wine, and smoking are some common culprits, but aging and genetics also play a role. When we eat or drink these substances, tiny particles get trapped in our tooth enamel and stain the underlying dentin layer, resulting in yellow or brown teeth.

Teeth whitening products work by removing those particles and brightening the enamel to make it look whiter.

The most common teeth whitening methods are in-office bleaching and over-the-counter teeth whitening kits. Each contains a certain concentration of hydrogen or carbamide peroxide, which acts as an oxidizing agent to break down the particles and make teeth look brighter.

Why Would Someone Use An Alternative Teeth Whitening Method?

There are a few reasons why someone might opt for an alternative teeth whitening method such as the banana peel.

  • Natural products tend to be gentler on your teeth than harsh chemical agents. Teeth whitening is safe when done correctly, but those with sensitive or weakened enamel find whitening products to be quite painful, so they look for gentler alternatives. Even for regular patients, teeth whitening side effects can be a major deterrent.
  • Whitening naturally is more affordable than professional treatments. Some dental procedures cost thousands of dollars and require multiple visits. Natural whitening methods are cheaper and less time-consuming, which makes them an attractive option for those on a budget.
  • At-home remedies are more convenient. Rather than making an appointment with a dentist and planning around a busy schedule, some enjoy the convenience of whitening their teeth on their own time.
  • Some people don't trust chemical agents. For the same reason, some buyers shop organic, use special body wash, or buy natural makeup, others don't like the idea of putting processed chemicals onto their teeth.

Some at-home methods are more effective than others. While some are gimmicks, there are also a few natural remedies that actually work to whiten teeth, including baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Others choose foods like apples for teeth whitening. And thanks to their malic acid content, strawberries can remove plaque and whiten teeth.

What Is Banana Peel Teeth Whitening?

There's no doubting the nutritional value a banana provides. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, each one contains 422 mg of potassium, 3 grams of dietary fiber, and 35 mg of magnesium. It's also got a solid amount of vitamin C, B6, B12, and calcium.

Since everyone knows bananas as a delicious superfood with abundant health benefits, it was only a matter of time before someone put two and two together and tried using the peels to whiten teeth.

Banana peel teeth whitening is a method of naturally whitening teeth using the white inner flesh of the banana peel. Proponents suggest rubbing it onto your teeth for two minutes twice a day for best results.

The logic behind this method is that the potassium, magnesium, and manganese found in a banana peel can remove discoloration from the enamel and improve overall tooth color. The minerals work with the malic acid to dissolve stains and make teeth appear whiter.

Allegedly, rubbing the peel across your teeth before or after brushing shows results in just a few weeks.

Does Banana Peel Teeth Whitening Work?

The jury is out on this one. While extensive research has found that natural ingredients like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can help whiten teeth, the same cannot be said for banana peels.

Contrary to what some articles suggest, rubbing a banana peel on your teeth for several minutes does not do anything for your teeth. Banana peels do not possess any special whitening capabilities and will only remove surface stains that any friction would.

The American Dental Association (ADA) has not yet weighed in on the efficacy of banana peels for teeth whitening. But they have discouraged individuals from using other home items such as lemons to whiten their teeth.

If you're looking for a quality whitening product, it's best to stick with those with the ADA Seal of Acceptance or that have been heavily researched, such as baking soda and hydrogen peroxide.

Want to know more? Here are a few questions our customers frequently ask us:

How Long Will It Take Banana Peel To Whiten My Teeth?

Proponents of the banana peel method suggest rubbing it onto teeth for two minutes twice a day to see results after a few weeks. However, there is no scientific evidence to back up this claim and bananas do not have any special teeth whitening abilities. Unlike other natural ingredients like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, banana peel teeth whitening does not work.

Can Banana Peel Whiten Teeth As Teeth-Whitening Products Do?

No. Banana peels do not possess any special whitening capabilities and will only remove surface stains that any friction would. Unlike chemical-based products, fruits with a high malic acid content like strawberries and apples, or bromelain-rich foods like pineapple, banana peels do not contain any whitening agents.

How Long Do You Keep Banana Peels On Your Teeth?

You should not leave a banana peel on your teeth for any extended period of time. Due to the lack of scientific evidence, it's best not to use this method as a primary way to whiten teeth. If you choose to try it, be sure to rinse with water afterward and follow up with brushing your teeth with fluoride toothpaste.

Do Bananas Damage Your Teeth?

Like most foods, bananas have the potential to damage your teeth without proper oral hygiene. The sugar and starch can quickly coat the teeth with a layer of plaque, which can eventually cause tooth decay. Bananas are healthy, but it's best to enjoy them as part of a balanced diet and take extra care to brush your teeth afterward.

Why And How Do Banana Peels Whiten Teeth?

Some believe that banana peels can whiten teeth because of the minerals and malic acid found in the white inner flesh of the peel. It is believed that potassium, magnesium, and manganese can remove discoloration from enamel and improve overall tooth color when combined with malic acid. However, this is not true.

Does Banana Peel Destroy Enamel?

Rubbing a banana peel on your teeth is generally harmless, but if you choose to try an orange peel or lemon juice - other "teeth whitening hacks" - it might damage your enamel. The high acidity of citric fruits can break down the protective layer of your teeth and cause long-term harm.

Can Bananas Help With Tooth Sensitivity?

Foods abundant in oxalic acids, such as spinach, bananas, and rhubarb, can help block the microscopic tubes that cause sensitivity and pain. However, it is not a numbing agent - rubbing a banana peel on your teeth will not improve their health, appearance, or sensitivity.

Is Banana Good For Gums?

Bananas are a superfood with a variety of beneficial nutrients, including magnesium and potassium. These two minerals are important for your gums as they help improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and keep the teeth strong and healthy. With proper dental care and a balanced diet, bananas can provide plenty of health benefits to your whole body, including your gums.

The Bottom Line

Unfortunately, bananas aren't one of nature's teeth-whitening cheat codes. If you're looking to change or restore the color of your teeth, it's best to consult a dental professional or use ADA-approved products that have been researched and tested for safety. Natural ingredients like baking soda and hydrogen peroxide are safer alternatives with proven whitening effects.

Bananas are still an excellent source of nutrients, so you can still enjoy them in your diet. Just make sure to take care of your teeth afterward.