One of the most popular DIY methods for teeth whitening involves mixing strawberries and baking soda together, then using the resulting mixture as a toothpaste of sorts for at least 10 consecutive days. Yet after researchers from the University of Iowa compared its effectiveness to state-of-the-art teeth whitening procedures, it turns out this recipe is not as effective as many people think. To sum it up, strawberries and baking soda simply do not have strong teeth whitening elements, like hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, as the University Herald reports:

The only benefit of the do-it-yourself method (strawberries and baking soda) is while it seems to make your teeth look whiter, they look whiter because you’re just removing plaque accumulation on your teeth,” said associate professor and author So Ran Kwon, in a statement. “You really want something that penetrates into your teeth and breaks down the stain molecules. If you don’t have that, you get just the superficial, and not the whitening from the inside, which was what you really want.”

Strawberry-Baking Soda recipe Does Not Make Teeth Sparkling White, Study

The new finding, however, does not make strawberries completely useless because they still contain healthy amounts of malic acid which, though corrosive, can help whiten teeth. However, anyone who wishes to have shining and clean pearly whites is better off seeing an experienced Greenville dentist such as Dr. Brian Derrick of Falls Park Dentistry for highly effective professional teeth whitening. One of the best options these days is the Zoom in-office treatment, which is guaranteed to penetrate and fight off all kinds of teeth stains.

Tooth stains are classified as extrinsic (think plaque and tartar buildup from leftover food) and intrinsic (e.g. chemicals found in coffee and certain medications). Theoretically, ‘extrinsic stains’ can be removed by almost anything since they’re only found on the tooth’s outer layer. Intrinsic stains, on the other hand, require more effort since they’re found deep within the tooth’s inner layer or dentin.

Only peroxide-based compounds can penetrate this inner layer, which is something that strawberries and baking soda lack but a Zoom whitening treatment provides. The treatment itself is rather straightforward. Hydrogen peroxide gel is applied on the teeth then left sitting for 15 minutes while a light shines on it. This takes place over three times, before a strip of fluoride paste gel is applied on the teeth. The patient is then given a Zoom touch-up kit to use at home. This treatment, as performed by a trusted Greenville, SC dentist, typically lasts for 45 minutes, which is significantly shorter than the 10-day period promised by a strawberry and baking soda mix. Just one more reason for people to rely on tried-and-tested whitening procedures.

(Source: Strawberry-Baking Soda Recipe Does Not Make Teeth Sparkling White, Study, University Herald, October 15, 2014)