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Will Lemon Peels Whiten My Teeth?

I read something that said rubbing lemon essential oils on my teeth or even just lemon peels would help to whiten my teeth, but my sister thinks it is a bad idea because it could damage my teeth. I love my sister but she is sort of a know-it-all. However, I don’t want to ignore her if she is right. So…am I going to have to admit to my sister that she is right or do I have something one up on her finally?


Dear Harriet,


I am glad you wrote. So, I don’t know if you will consider this good news, but your sister is right. It is a bad idea to try to whiten your teeth with lemons. As a citrus fruit, it contains citric acid. This will etch the enamel. While that will temporarily make them look a bit whiter, the etching will cause your teeth to pick up stains more quickly. In the long run, it is a bad idea.

DIY is not the best way to go. If you are looking for something over the counter, then I would recommend Crest Whitestrips. They do work but there are some things to consider. First, it will only cover the front six teeth. Most smiles are eight to ten teeth wide. This means you will have to double up on the number of strips you use.

A second issue is that the strength of the whitening is only a fraction of what you would get with your dentist. This also translates to having to use more strips to get the same amount of results. To give you an idea of what I mean, professional teeth whitening is usually about a 33% concentration of the whitening ingredient. Crest Whitestrips is about 6%. I am not trying to discourage you from getting them. I just want you to be realistic about what you’ll get out of the purchase.

If cost is the only reason you are trying to go DIY, I might suggest talking to your dentist and asking if he would allow you to make payments so you can get your teeth whitened under a dentist’s supervision.

This blog is brought to you by Moline Dentist Dr. Goebel.

Implant Overdentures with Biophosphates

I have two problems going on currently. One is I have been negligent with my oral health and am losing my teeth. Additionally, I am being treated for osteoporosis and taking Boniva. I want to get implant overdentures but I’ve been told that people with osteoporosis cannot get dental implants. I REALLY do not want dentures. Is there a way around this?


Dear Kevin,

Illustration of implant overdentures

I’m sorry for all you are going through at the moment. That is a lot to deal with. It is hard when we realize we’ve made some unwise choices and are now faced with even harder decisions. I am proud of you for stepping up and trying to get this under control.

You didn’t mention if your osteoporosis was under control or not, but if it is, then you can get dental implants as long as you take some precautions first. The biophosphates do a great job of increasing bone density. The problem lies in how it does that. The process blocks or interferes with osteoclasts, which are cells that eat bone.

Taking this medication during a dental implant procedure can lead to an increased risk of dental implant failure as well as osteonecrosis or death of the jawbone. You can still get dental implants, but you will need to pause the medication for a period of time to increase your chances of a successful procedure.

Generally, you will want to stop your medication four months before your procedure and stay off of it until your implants have had an opportunity to integrate with your jawbone. This will only be possible if your osteoporosis is under control.

If you are good to go, once you have your dental implants integrated, your dentist will then anchor a pair of dentures to them in order to complete your implant overdentures.

I know you are probably discouraged with the state of how things are going for you right now. The good news is that today’s technological advances in dental care can give you the closest thing to having a healthy natural smile again.

This blog is brought to you by Moline, IL Dentist Dr. Goebel.