The Truth About 2 Celebrity Smile Tricks

Celebrities need a dazzling smile to flash at all of those public appearances. It's not surprising that celebrities have teeth whitening tricks along with their other health and beauty tips. Who would know more about how to get a bright, healthy smile than a celebrity? Well, maybe a dentist. Take a look at two celebrities with unusual smile brightening tips, and find out what the experts have to say about their recommendations.

Catherine Zeta Jones

Catherine Zeta Jones has more than one unusual beauty ritual. She washes her hair in beer, and she scrubs her skin with an exfoliating mixture of honey and salt. So it shouldn't come as any surprise that she has a natural trick for tooth whitening as well. The actress recommends an apple, a strawberry, or a pineapple to cleanse the teeth after a meal, on the theory that the acid in the fruits will have a bleaching effect on the teeth.

Does it Work? Unfortunately, as delicious as this tooth cleaning regimen sounds, it probably doesn't do much to keep the teeth clean and white. The fruits simply aren't whitening agents, and can't be expected to do what whitening agents – mainly peroxide – do for teeth. In fact, some researchers at the University of Iowa studied the effects of a strawberry and baking soda mixture on the teeth, and found that not only did it not whiten teeth, the acid in the fruit actually reduced the surface hardness of the teeth by as much as 10%.

Conclusion: Apples, strawberries, and pineapples are great for your diet, and if you take care of your teeth properly, including regular tooth brushing and flossing as well as dental visits, it probably won't harm them. But fruit-based toothpaste is a no-no.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyneth Paltrow uses a lot of coconut oil. She uses it to cook with, she uses it on her skin, and she uses it in her dental care routine as well. Specifically, she practices oil pulling, a process that involves swishing oil around in the mouth for 20 minutes or so. It's supposed to remove plaque from the teeth and bacteria from the mouth.

Does it Work? It's unclear. There don't seem to be any studies that answer the question one way or the other. According to one Washington D.C. periodontist, fragrances in the oil may help freshen the breath, but the oil doesn't have any real antibacterial properties. The danger is that dental patients may experience a false sense of security and avoid dental care because they believe they've found a natural remedy.

Conclusion: If you want to try oil pulling, it's probably not going to harm your oral health. However, if you're dealing with plaque build-up, bad breath, or tooth pain and sensitivity, don't put off seeing a dentist in favor of oil pulling.

It's fun to find out what celebrities are doing to keep their skin, hair, and teeth beautiful, but keep in mind that celebrities have celebrity doctors and dentists advising them in addition to their favorite home remedies. When you have questions about how best to clean your teeth or treat a dental condition, consult a dentist, like Gina Collins Mancini, DMD, right away.