Ever wonder if there’s anything you can do to whiten your teeth and boost your oral health, besides normal brushing and flossing? If you look around the internet, you’re sure to come across a handful of suggestions, but they may be riskier than you think. Here are the dental fads to avoid:
In the quest for whiter teeth, many people have been mixing lemon juice with baking soda. This tooth “scrub” is supposed to remove stains, giving your teeth a brighter, whiter appearance. However, baking soda is very abrasive, and lemon juice is extremely acidic. Together, they create a scrub that’s capable of rubbing the enamel right off your smile. You need enamel to protect your teeth, and the layer beneath the enamel – dentin – actually has a yellowish color. Accidentally thinning your enamel so the dentin shines through defeats the whole purpose of the lemon juice method. If you want whiter teeth, you’re better off coming in to see us for either an in-office treatment or custom at-home tray.
It seems like charcoal is in everything these days, from lattes to face masks. You can even find it in toothpastes. The claim is that the charcoal, made from ingredients like coal, coconut shells, and so on, can rub away surface stains and absorb toxins. However, like baking soda, charcoal can be too thorough and scrape away your enamel. As for the antibacterial benefit, a 2017 review of the research about charcoal-based toothpastes concluded that there was insufficient evidence to back up the claim.
Another teeth-whitening strategy, oil pulling, has been around for hundreds of years. You simply swish some kind of oil (like coconut oil) in your mouth for 15-20 minutes. This long process supposedly kills bacteria, so you have fresher breath and cleaner teeth. However, there’s no solid evidence that oil pulling can actually remove plaque. It was also a practice for so many years because people weren’t brushing or flossing like we do now, so why go back to it? Oil pulling could also be risky if oil gets into your lungs.
Visit McNeely Family Dentistry for Whiter Teeth
Dental fads come and go, but seeing Dr. McNeely and the team at McNeely Family Dentistry provides services proven to better your oral health. Whether it’s teeth-whitening
, routine cleanings
, or restorative dentistry, we are here for you.