You may be tempted to participate in the following oral crazes, but we’re here to explain why these are dental fads you should avoid.
Though it’s an ancient practice, oil pulling is not a wise practice. Oil pulling is when you swish sesame, coconut, or sunflower oil around your mouth for about 20 minutes or so. It’s supposed to banish bad breath and make your teeth whiter, however, there is no evidence that this actually works. Ancient peoples used this method because they didn’t have much to work with, but today we know that oil pulling doesn’t remove bad bacteria or leftover food particles that causes your breath to smell. It also won’t clean your teeth and gums and could actually lead to cavities or gum disease if you use oil pulling as a substitute for brushing and flossing.
Using Hydrogen Peroxide As a Whitening Rinse
While hydrogen peroxide is used in American Dental Association-approved teeth whitening products, too much hydrogen peroxide is very bad for your teeth. In approved products, hydrogen peroxide is used in a controlled amount. If you rinse with hydrogen peroxide on its own, you can irritate your gums and damage your teeth because it’s just too harsh in great quantities.
Brushing with Charcoal
Another whitening fad is brushing your teeth with charcoal. Some people believe that activated charcoal cleans and whitens teeth in a natural way by drawing out toxins from your teeth. However, this has not been proved or supported in any way. Charcoal is incredibly abrasive and damaging to your enamel, and can actually cause your teeth to look yellower as the enamel wears away and yellow dentin shows through.
Brushing with Lemon Juice
Yet another whitening fad! People have been mixing lemon juice with baking soda to create an at-home teeth whitening agent. However, similarly to charcoal, lemon juice is highly acidic and baking soda is abrasive. This means that you are brushing your teeth with two different things that can aggressively wear away your enamel.
Tooth Gems & Grills
The last trend you should avoid is the craze of adorning your teeth with gems and grills. Tooth gems are colorful stones that people adhere to their teeth with strong and damaging adhesive material. This is an easy way to destroy your enamel and can even cause discoloration. Grills, which are metallic teeth coverings, present the unfortunate situation of food debris and bacteria getting stuck and hidden behind the grills themselves. If bacteria is not removed, this could lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
If you have any other questions about these or other dental fads, don’t hesitate to contact us!