Fact Check: Does rubbing teeth with orange peel remove stains and whiten them?-thip

Quick Take

A social media post claims that rubbing orange peel on your teeth cleans the tooth enamel, whitens teeth, fights bacteria and removes stains. We fact-checked and found this claim to be Mostly False.

The Claim

A post on social media with the heading, “Did you know?” reads, “After you eat an orange peel on your teeth to clean your tooth enamel. It helps whitens teeth, fight bacteria and removes stains. The screenshot of the post is attached below:

Fact Check

What is the natural colour of your teeth?

The natural colour of our teeth is believed to be slightly yellow. While the enamel is white, the dentin layer underneath it is yellow. This yellow dentin shows through the enamel in most cases giving the overall teeth a slight yellowish tinge. Some research has shown that our teeth’ colour may even change with age or the region we live in.

Are fruits beneficial for teeth whitening?

Not always. The American Dental Association states, “When eaten, as usual, fruit is a great choice. However, fruit and vinegar contain acid, and you put your pearly whites at risk when you prolong their contact with your teeth or use them to scrub your teeth because the acid can wear away your enamel. Enamel is the thin outer coating of your teeth that protects you from tooth sensitivity and cavities.”

Does rubbing teeth with orange peel remove stains and whiten them?

Not always. There is no scientific evidence that proves that orange peel will remove the stain and whiten teeth. However, orange contains a natural solvent known as d-limonene, because of which there can be some visible results. Please note that not all stains can be removed by using them. 

Also, the benefits it brings with it come with a certain loss. Oranges and orange peels are acidic in nature, with a pH of 3-4, and thus rubbing them on your teeth can cause erosion of the enamel. When this occurs, you’ll be more vulnerable to tooth decay and tooth sensitivity. As excessive use will be detrimental to the teeth and potentially oral health, it is not recommended to scrub your teeth with orange peel. 

Pooja Bhardwaj, BDS

Our dental expert, Dr. Pooja Bhardwaj, further confirms this by stating, “Rubbing Orange peel for teeth whitening is a popular DIY for today’s influence-based generation, who desires for celebrity smile but in a cost-effective way. The white portion of orange peel contains vitamins C, a popular antioxidant which freshens breath and might have a whitening effect. Its nature is acidic, with a pH of 3.9. It contains natural solvent and scent d- limonene, a citrus oil good for degreasing and polishing metals. D-limonene is widely used in toothpaste, bleach, and cleaners for the removal of stains, grease, tar, etc. It might reduce minor extrinsic stains, but efficiency is limited. Also, result orientation is low as it might not work for all. There has been no significant observable change in smokers and tea stains. It takes a tedious amount of time for even a minor change. Its acidic pH erodes the outer layer enamel of the tooth, thus making it more susceptible to decay. Although Orange peel is natural and organic, DIYs still have no scientific backing. It will cause more harm than good. Therefore, it is always best to consult a dentist for professional advice.”

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