Many avoid home teeth whitening treatments or even professional teeth whitening treatments, as it has been largely touted that such methods contain harmful chemicals–specifically, hydrogen peroxide–that will erode the enamel and reduce the overall hardness of your teeth. So instead, they turn to home remedies, using natural foods and the like. While most of these are fine, please reconsider the popular orange juice home remedy.
Recent research conducted at the Eastman Institute for Oral Health at the University of Rochester found that the citric acid in orange juice is far more harmful on tooth enamel than hydrogen peroxide.
For the study, the research team treated one set of enamel samples to orange juice for 20 minutes for five days and another set to hydrogen peroxide, also for twenty minutes for five days. The enamel exposed to orange juice suffered a reduction of 84.4%, while the enamel exposed to the hydrogen peroxide was only reduced by 5.6%.
It’s hard to argue with results such as these. The acid in orange juice significantly weakened the tooth enamel, which can lead to both cavities and/or tooth sensitivity.
Don’t think that we are saying you shouldn’t drink orange juice at all. Orange juice has enough good attributes for your overall health to definitely encourage keeping orange juice in your diet. However, like most other things, moderation is the key. Obviously, never use orange juice as a home whitening remedy. Also, try to drink a reduced acid version of orange juice if it’s available, and be sure to drink it instead of sipping it. Sipping prolongs exposure to the citric acid. As another precaution, it’s a good idea to rinse your mouth or brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste thirty minutes after drinking.
So be rest assured that home whitening treatments and professional teeth whitening are quite safe for your teeth. If you have any questions about whitening your teeth with over-the-counter methods or professionally, contact your dentist to discuss recommendations and all of your options.