Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore.

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Last week I posted a blog entry about tooth whitening. I was going to write about a different topic this week.  My plans changed as I have been observing an interesting situation brewing.  You may not even be aware of it.  It has ruffled some feathers in the dental community. A few weeks back, one of those TV doctors was talking about dentistry–actually, about tooth whitening. This doctor was recommending using a homemade whitening formula consisting of baking soda and lemon juice.

I was just going to let the situation slide.  No one would really listen to a medical doctor about tooth whitening, would they? As I listened to the social media chatter among members of the dental community, it seemed to me that maybe there was something going on here.

As a kid, I remember times when we were out of Crest toothpaste (before gels even existed).  Mom would make us use baking soda to brush with until she went to the store for more toothpaste.  It tasted awful, but it worked just fine. Today, baking soda is one of the ingredients in many toothpastes. In small quantities, it is a very effective stain remover. It has just the right abrasiveness to gently clean teeth without doing damage to the enamel (outer portion of the tooth.)

Lemon juice.  Now that is a “horse of a different color.” It is an acid.  Acids cause a lot of damage to teeth.  In fact, acids produced by the bacteria in the mouth is what causes cavities.  Some people suck on lemons.  I have witnessed the damaging effects of lemon juice on teeth. The enamel gets thinner and they begin to experience sensitivity and eventually need crowns or veneers.

So if you find yourself in the magical land of Oz and you can’t seem to find your way home, don’t rely on the Wizard to help you.  Don’t be confused by smoke and mirrors.  When you have dental question, I recommend you seek professional advise from a dentist.  Call Albert Mendez DDS PA  at (620) 231-6070 if you have questions, or visit us online at  We are here to help you and your family enjoy a beautiful smile and healthy teeth and gums.