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Social Media Inspired Oral Trends

November 13th, 2019

Social media is changing the way we think about our oral health. If you’ve ever used Facebook or Pinterest, you have likely heard the terms oil pulling, activated charcoal, and essential oils being thrown around as natural alternatives to oral care. Perhaps you have already tried a few of these at home, but how effective are they really at giving you fresh breath and a whiter smile? Let’s discuss. 

Oil pulling: What is it?
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic dental technique that involves swishing a tablespoon of coconut, sunflower or sesame seed oil in your mouth on an empty stomach for 20 minutes. The oil is said to draw out toxins from your mouth, including bacteria that can cause bad breath and cavities. Currently, there isn’t enough information about the harms or benefits of oil pulling available to the public. While oil pulling may seem like a natural alternative, we do not suggest using it as a substitute for your normal oral hygiene routine. It is important for both adults and children to brush their teeth twice a day, even if oil pulling is being used.  

Charcoal: Does it really work?
In recent years, charcoal has hit the market as a natural teeth whitening solution to combat stained or “yellowed” teeth. Its gritty texture works to remove surface stains by exfoliating the surface enamel. While it might take away some of the stains, the abrasiveness of the charcoal can also damage the enamel of your teeth. Charcoal products are not made for everyday use and can lead to long-term damage if overused. Most charcoal toothpastes don’t contain fluoride, which helps to keep tooth enamel strong and prevents cavities. If you plan on using charcoal products to whiten your teeth, be sure to consult with your dentist first to discuss the impacts of the product on your tooth enamel. At Cornerstone we do carry a charcoal toothpaste, Black is White by Oral Science, contains Activated Carbon and for that reason it is NOT abrasive to the teeth, making it safe for everyday use.

Essential oils: For your teeth?
You might already be aware of the benefits that come with the everyday use of essential oils. But did you know that some essential oils claim to fight off bad breath? We’ll start with the most obvious one, peppermint. There’s a reason why most toothpaste is mint-flavoured; it leaves your mouth feeling fresh and clean. While peppermint oil should not be used as a replacement to your regular toothpaste, adding a drop of oil with some water might help to refresh your breath during the day. You can use this as a mouth rinse or dip your toothbrush into the mixture for an all-over clean feeling. 

Aside from peppermint, essential oil users also claim to use tea tree, sage, myrrh, clove and eucalyptus oils to prevent bad breath. Always be sure to dilute any of these essential oils with water prior to use. 

Posted in Dental Care, Dental Services