How Apple Cider Vinegar Affects Your Teeth

According to VeryWellHealth, apple cider vinegar (or ACV) has become a popular home remedy for treating anything from sunburns to acid reflux — but not all claims are true. UChicago Medicine says this fermented apple juice will not bring down high blood pressure or cure cancer. It can, however, help control blood sugar levels, stop bacteria growth on salads, and may even help with weight loss. 

Some people even use apple cider vinegar to whiten their teeth. As an antimicrobial that has a relatively high level of acid, ACV may be able to help remove plaque and tartar build-up that causes tooth discoloration. A 2020 study published in the Journal of Orofacial Orthopedics attested to this fact, but experts say most teeth whitening tricks should be avoided. Leaving this job up to the professionals is a better idea because, even though using ACV to whiten teeth works, it's not an ideal solution.

Risks of using apple cider vinegar to whiten your teeth

One of the major risks associated with using apple cider vinegar to whiten your teeth is that it can ruin your enamel, according to VeryWellHealth. In fact, having a slight yellow hue is a sign that your teeth are strong. In addition to ACV, other acidic drinks like soda and coffee can erode enamel and make your teeth weak. Not to mention, too much acid can burn your throat, injure your esophagus, and cause stomach issues which can make tooth erosion even worse.

If you are going to use apple cider vinegar to whiten your teeth, there are a few things you can do to limit harmful risks. Instead of taking ACV-only into your mouth, make a mouthwash solution instead. Mix 1-part vinegar with 2 to 3 parts water. You can also add a little baking soda if you wish. Swish the solution around in your mouth for about 20 seconds (per VeryWellHealth). Just like any other mouthwash, don't swallow your ACV solution. Feel free to repeat the swish-and-spit step a couple of times. Afterward, be sure to brush your teeth and rinse your mouth with warm water to help ensure all the acid from the ACV is washed away.