Having teeth which are as clean looking and dazzlingly white as possible is a dream which many people pursue, and the good news is that it’s now possible to get teeth whitening treatment which is effective, speedy and safe. The best way to keep your teeth as white as possible, as any dentist or dental hygienist will advise, is to make sure that you maintain a strict and well regulated dental hygiene regime, cleaning and flossing every day, whilst also avoiding food and drink such as red wine and coffee which can stain the enamel of your teeth. Despite their best efforts, however, some people find that, as they get older, their teeth begin to look a little grey and less bright, and this can often simply be a question of wear and tear, as the enamel is worn and becomes thinner, or perhaps a genetic tendency to have teeth which aren’t as white. Why does it work? If you’re worried about the colour of your teeth, and would like to be able to flash a smile which is as white as possible, it can have a detrimental effect on various areas of your life – making you feel less confident when meeting and chatting to new people, for example, and therefore less able to freely express yourself. It has now been claimed, however, that banana peel can be used as an effective and perfectly natural means of making your teeth whiter, and the technique involved is something which the average person can easily undertake in their own home. The key to any effect which the technique might have is that there are minerals in banana peel, such as potassium, magnesium and manganese, which are absorbed into the enamel and help to make it whiter. Another advantage of this technique is that, unlike many other forms of treatment, banana peel is not at all abrasive, meaning that it is soft and smooth and will not scratch the enamel as it is whitening it. The method The first step of the treatment is to choose the right banana. The key is to select a piece of fruit which is ripe, as this maximises the level of minerals present, without it having begun to turn black. Peel off a single strip of the banana skin, since this means you can reuse the same banana over the next few days. Pull the peel off from the bottom of the banana to the top, keeping as much of the stringy, fibrous flesh intact as possible. Take the banana peel and rub the inside of it against the surface of your top and bottom rows of teeth, working it in until the teeth are fully coated with banana paste. When this is complete, you simply have to sit back and leave the paste on the teeth for the minerals to get to work for 10 minutes or so. If you can, keep your lips pulled back and your mouth open, since this will stop the natural movement of your mouth rubbing the paste off. After waiting ten minutes, take a dry toothbrush and use it to brush the paste into the surface of your teeth, utilising small circular scrubbing motions to work it into every part of the enamel. When this has been done, wet your brush, or use a little toothpaste, and rinse the banana from your teeth. Timescale Repeat the method outlined above once a day for up to two weeks. It’s often difficult to gauge with the naked eye whether your own teeth are getting whiter or not, so it may be a good idea to take and keep before and after photographs. Other completely natural remedies which may help to make your teeth whiter include making a paste from strawberries and baking soda, or from lemon juice mixed with baking soda or salt – although any lemon juice must be thoroughly cleaned from the enamel as it may, if left in place, have an acidic, corrosive effect.