The internet is a weird place. You can find the answer to all your questions on Wikipedia (even though it might be wrong), be told you have cancer from WebMD when you just have cramps, and learn how to DIY everything. And that is the story of how I stumbled upon banana peel teeth whitening. This the newest way to whiten your teeth and save money —or at least that's what this post claims. 

How It Works 

banana, vegetable
Rachel Dugard

The logic behind this is that bananas are really healthy. They contain potassium, magnesium and manganese, which should lessen the stains on your enamel.

Let's backtrack. The outer layer of your tooth is called enamel and the inner part is dentin. Your natural tooth color is a combination of the reflection of light off your enamel and the color of your dentin. According to the experts at Colgate, the enamel layer contains pores that pick up stains over time from things like coffee or wine (RIP to my teeth) and using tobacco. 

Why You Should Use Banana Rather Than Whiteners

chocolate, sweet
Izzi Clark

Normal teeth whiteners contain bleach (hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide) that breaks the stains into smaller pieces and make the stain less concentrated and your teeth brighter—like adding creamer to coffee. However, there are some downsides to bleaching your teeth.  

The main issue that people have with bleaching their teeth is sensitivity. This happens because the bleach soaks through the enamel and reaches the nerves in your teeth. This creates a sharp pain in your teeth when they're exposed to unusually hot or cold foods. The second common issue is gum irritation. Just like bleach can irritate your skin, it can bother your gums.

A banana peel does not contain bleach (thank god) but it does have certain chemicals that are good for your teeth. These chemicals keep your teeth strong and enamel thick, but do they whiten teeth? We'll find out...

 How to Do It

beer, coffee, wine
Rachel Dugard

The banana peel teeth whitening process is simple, but repetitive. Peel a banana and rub the inside of the skin all over your teeth. Then, smile like most kids do in their school photos, aka way to wide and kind of creepy, so that the banana peel residue doesn't rub off your teeth. Stay smiling like that for ten minutes and then brush your teeth like you normally would. Repeat this for two weeks and your teeth should be whiter by the end of it. 

My Attempt 

pizza, tea, coffee, beer
Rachel Dugard

Of course no article is fun unless you do some hands on testing, so I tried it out myself...and it was weird. 

So many questions ran through my head: What do I do with the banana? Should I floss before or after (or not that I floss at all)? How ripe should the banana be? Can I reuse a banana peel? Can I just eat a banana before brushing my teeth instead? Does everyone look as silly as I do doing this? How many jokes can I make about the uncomfortable sound that happens when I rub the banana peel too fast (none, I have editors)? Let’s be clear, I have no answers to any of these questions. Sorry.

Rachel Dugard

Putting a banana peel on my teeth felt…wrong. Like eating the butts of bread when there are perfectly good, normal slices to eat. My punishment for this sin was sitting with banana goop on my teeth (and face) for ten minutes and getting hungry literally right before I go to bed. 

It’s a good thing I like bananas because I was eating them for one week straight and sadly letting it go to waste for the second week. They got sucked into the vortex known as my family refrigerator. They probably got lost behind the six thousand egg cartons or coffee creamers. Freezing them for smoothies would have been smart. 

The Results

pizza, coffee, beer, tea
Rachel Dugard

Disappointment. It didn't work. At all. My teeth were the same exact color as when I started. I lost seven bananas and all of my family respect for this.

Does banana peel whitening work? No. Don't reach for the strawberries either. I'd suggest you get over-the-counter products that contain bleach or get your teeth whitened by a dentist.