Before you run off to try the latest dental trend you read about online or heard about from an acquaintance, you should check with your dentist to make sure that the treatment is actually effective and won’t cause you harm. In particular, patients should steer clear of the following four fads that have been getting lots of attention recently.
- Fluoride-free toothpaste: Fluoride is a natural cavity fighter with a wealth of evidence showing that it prevents tooth decay. Therefore, patients should choose fluoridated toothpastes in order to keep their teeth as strong and sturdy as possible. Look for the ADA (American Dental Association) seal for the most effective toothpaste, or ask your dentist for a specific recommendation.
- Oil pulling: Many people have begun oil pulling, which consists of swishing a tablespoon of coconut or sesame oil in the mouth for 20 minutes. This ancient practice originated thousands of years ago when people didn’t have access to all of the oral hygiene products that we have today. However, this practice is not supported by any evidence for its effectiveness.
- Charcoal toothpaste and other natural teeth whitening treatments: Charcoal toothpaste and similar homemade remedies, like rinsing with lemon juice or vinegar, can actually degrade your enamel and harm your teeth. If you want to whiten and brighten your smile, your best bet is to work with your dentist on a professional strength teeth whitening treatment.
- Home remedies for canker sores: Coconut oil seems to be perceived as a cure all by many people, and some believe that it can be used to heal canker sores. This is simply not the case. Additionally, relying on a home remedy for any kind of oral lesion may increase your risk of late diagnosis for oral cancer. Any sore that doesn’t heal in two weeks should be evaluated by a professional.
Always check in with a professional before introducing any new habits that you think will improve your oral health. Make sure that what you are planning to do is actually beneficial and not harmful. Our friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions that you might have so contact the office of Dr. Philip Kozlow today!