I’ve seen online videos that show teeth can be whitened by brushing with a mixture of lemon and baking soda. Is this harmful? I’m worried that it could lead to a severe oral disorder.

Most people desire whiter teeth. While some home remedies can be useful, you should always check with an expert before trying anything you see online – and this mixture is definitely not one to try.

Baking soda is an abrasive powder that removes the stains on your teeth by scrubbing the smooth shiny enamel and making it rough. Lemon is acidic and also erodes the surface of your teeth. So while your teeth may initially look whiter after using this mixture, it is definitely not good in the short- and long-term.

In fact, your teeth will be more prone to stains after this, because the enamel is now rough. Regular use of baking soda and lemon will cause tooth sensitivity and could lead to more serious problems.

The safest way to whiten your teeth is to visit a dentist, who would recommend either an in-office whitening or a home whitening programme, using safe products certified by reputed organisations such as the American Dental Association.