There have been many well-publicized trends in oral health care over the last few years, but not all of them are good for your teeth! Here are a few dental fads to avoid in order to protect your teeth!
Both lemon juice and baking soda have been touted for their whitening abilities, but each carries its own separate dangers for your teeth. Lemon juice is highly acidic, and repeat exposure means risking the integrity of your enamel, the outer protective layer of your teeth. Baking soda can also be abrasive on your teeth, so it’s best to use it very sparingly, if at all.
Oil pulling is an ancient oral care method where you swish coconut, sunflower, or sesame oil around your mouth for 20 minutes. This practice can supposedly freshen your breath and whiten your teeth. But you should never use it as a substitute for daily brushing and flossing! Doing so can put you at risk for developing gum disease and tooth decay since oil pulling just doesn’t remove bacteria as efficiently as brushing and flossing can.
Although many whitening products and procedures involve high amounts of hydrogen peroxide, you should never use it as a rinse on its own at home like some people suggest. Hydrogen peroxide in dental products approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) can certainly whiten teeth, but too much of it isn’t safe for your gums at all!
Charcoal seems to be popping up everywhere these days. Advocates claim activated charcoal can draw out toxins from the body and whiten your teeth. However, the ADA has stated that charcoal in dental products has not been proven to be safe or effective. You should definitely avoid using unactivated charcoal due to its toxicity, but also beware of using activated charcoal on your teeth. Its abrasiveness may make your teeth appear more yellow by wearing away your enamel and exposing the underlying yellow dentin.
Want to try a new dental trend out, but not sure if it’s actually safe for your teeth? We’re happy to answer any and all questions that you may have at Riccobene Associates Family Dentistry! Our team can suggest new ways to improve your dental health at home that will promote healthy teeth. We also offer safe, professional teeth whitening services that will give you more dramatic and long-lasting results than any DIY home whitening treatment. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!