There are so many fad home teeth whitening remedies out there that it’s hard to keep up with them all. One of the more common ones we’ve been hearing about more again recently is apple cider vinegar. This is one of the worst ones, because it has the potential to seriously damage your teeth.

It Might Work . . . for a Little While

dreamstime_xs_44748230What makes apple cider vinegar such a bad whitening strategy is that it can actually be effective, partly for the same reason that it’s damaging. Apple cider vinegar is a strong acid, with a pH of about 2.4, about the same as Coke. If you put this strong acid on your teeth, it can remove some of the organic stain molecules that are trapped in your enamel–along with the enamel.

In the short-term, you may see a whitening effect, but as you get new stains and apply vinegar to remove them, you will end up thinning the enamel on your teeth. Eventually, your teeth will turn brown or yellow as your enamel becomes so thin that the underlying color of your dentin underneath can show through. This is the same problem that you might experience if you try to use an abrasive whitening toothpaste which mechanically accomplishes the same feat of removing both enamel and stains.

The damage that can be caused by alternate health uses of apple cider vinegar has been documented, such as the erosion of tooth enamel. And be wary of trying to use an apple cider vinegar supplement to avoid contacting your teeth, because they are so acidic that they can damage your throat–and we’re not even sure whether they contain apple cider vinegar at all.

Who Can Benefit from Apple Cider Vinegar

However, the news isn’t all bad when it comes to apple cider vinegar and oral health. It has been demonstrated that the antifungal properties of apple cider vinegar are useful for denture wearers who want to avoid denture stomatitis. Apple cider vinegar is very effective against Candida species that can contribute to this condition.

If you are considering trying a home remedy for any dental condition, it’s important to talk to your dentist first. Many of these remedies can be very damaging to your teeth and your health. And if you’re looking for teeth whitening in Columbia, SC please call (803) 781-9090 for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Smile Columbia Dentistry.