How cool is it that we can see dental hygiene topics trending on Social Media? From coconut oil pulling to charcoal tooth pastes, at least oral health care is on people’s minds.
The idea behind oil pulling is to swish 1 tsp of coconut oil for 20 minutes and it allegedly draws toxins out of your mouth. Seems like an awful long time! It only takes 2 minutes to floss (we’ll talk about that more in a second). At this time I see no harm in doing this, but the benefits may or may not be as advertised.
Now as far as the charcoal toothpaste, it uses activated charcoal (which has traditionally been used as a filtering substance and even used to treat poisoning in the hospital). However, the reason it works to “whiten” teeth is because of how abrasive it is. It removes surface stains and plaque more easily. However, without any conclusive studies on whether or not this more abrasive paste is doing damage to our gums and/or enamel, it’s hard to recommend it at this time.
With these and other trends bouncing around, the best thing to do is still traditional flossing and brushing. I know, I know…. but you probably knew I was going to say that anyway! The whole point of all this is to remove a film that grows around the teeth called Plaque. This plaque contains bacteria and can produce acidic by products after eating carbs and sugar which causes enamel breakdown or can calcify and become tartar which can lead to gum disease.
Here’s a video on the proper way to floss: https://youtu.be/aTWyx0iI01o
I always tell my patients you have to imagine you are squeegeeing between the teeth on BOTH sides each time it goes between the teeth. You’ll be surprised by how much plaque is removed. Once you do this right, you’ll realize how much junk you’re leaving in your teeth if you don’t floss. Yuck!
After you brush, try scratching the front surface of your teeth (especially near the gumline) with your finger nail, if you are still removing a white sticky film, you may not be brushing effectively enough. It’s a delicate balance, I always tell my patients not to brush too hard as you may injure the gums and cause abrasion and recession of the gums, but we have to make sure we are removing the plaque.
That’s it! See y’all next time and remember to SMILE 🙂