January 02, 2021
Teeth whitening is a procedure that involves removal of debris, plaque, calculus and stains that are detrimental to oral health. The formation and accumulation of these deposits on the surface of the teeth and its margins can spoil your smile and at times develop inflammatory conditions.
Dental stains develop due to a combination of various factors. These include the flow of saliva, consumption of certain foods, tobacco, medications, anomalies present at birth, age of the patient , etc. These factors, combined with the secretion of certain microbes can lead to the deposition of stains of varied colors on the surface of the teeth. Some of these stains (brown, orange, green) are present on the surface of the teeth and can be managed by efficient toothbrushing. But some other stains (dark brown, grayish black, purplish-red) cannot be removed easily and requires a visit to the dentist.
A teeth whitening procedure in a dental clinic involves a certain concentration of chemical (whitening agent) on the surface of the teeth. This agent is capable of removing the stains from the teeth by certain reactions that displace the stain-causing agents from the surface of the teeth. In some cases, patients are also given a mouthguard which they are supposed to wear at night on every 2nd or 3rd day. This mouthguard houses the whitening agent that bleaches the teeth in the process. A few other teeth whitening procedures involves minimally abrading the layer of the enamel, thereby removing the stains in the process.
The severity of stains depends a lot on the roughness of the surface of the enamel. In an attempt to keep the stains in check, people often find routine toothbrushing not too efficient. They thus resort to some non-conventional home remedies. One such remedy is rubbing the inner layer of banana peels on the surface of the teeth.
Bananas have a high nutrition value. They contain various vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates in addition to minerals like manganese, magnesium, iron, etc that are beneficial for our body. However, these benefits are obtained when the banana is eaten or consumed by a person. It has often been postulated that the minerals present in banana peel play the main role of teeth whitening.
People believe that the banana peel's texture also plays an important role in removal of stains from the surface of teeth. Many websites state that the magnesium and potassium in the banana peel are the main abrasive agents that act on the surface of the teeth. However, this is a myth. The grittiness you feel while rubbing the banana peel is because of the presence of tannins that react with the proteins on the surface of the tongue.
The attempt to whiten your teeth using banana peels is a futile one. Even though banana itself holds a high nutritional value, its peel is not efficient enough in challenging the stains on and under the surface of the teeth. People who have a minimal presence of stains can attempt to remove them with a banana peel. But at the same time they should not expect that the banana peel is a definitive solution.
Banana peels are often compared with orange and lemon as teeth whitening agents. Orange and lemon are citric in nature. This means that they release a particular acid that is strong enough to act on stains. Even though orange and lemon are likely to get rid of stains better than a banana peel, it is also possible that the acid degrades the enamel adversely. Hence, these citric food sources should be used for a limited and short time period.
The ideal methods to remove stains involves toothbrushing methods and the type of toothbrush (powered or manual) that a person uses. A professional cleaning of the teeth at a dentist's office every 6 months will keep the stains in check. People often fail to recognize the natural colour of their teeth. They often forget the hazards of using non-conventional methods in an attempt to keep whitening their teeth to the brightest shade possible. Banana peels though, are not a risky alternative. However, they are time-consuming, and do not guarantee definitive results.