We’ve talked a little bit about the charcoal toothpaste fad and home teeth whitening kits in previous blogs but today, with the cooler temperatures of Fall fast approaching, it seemed like a timely opportunity to “let cooler minds prevail” and revisit the topic of fads and how they relate to good overall oral health. If you’ve been wondering what the latest position on flossing is or whether mouthwash is “in” favour or “out” of favour this month – today we’ll recap all the true things you need to know about oral health fads, facts or fiction.
CAD/CAM might soon help replace your tooth if you find yourself in need of a crown. Some crown replacements are now being made with the help of CAD/CAM machines. CAD stands for Computer Assisted Design and CAM for Computer Assisted Manufacture. With this technology now applicable to dental practice, the tooth is prepared for the crown, a picture is taken, relayed to the CAD/CAM and the tooth is produced “in house.” The days of temporary crowns might soon be over!
Here’s the lowdown on using charcoal for toothpaste or for whitening. It’s too abrasive. We’re not dancing around the topic any longer – it’s hard on teeth and we’ve addressed this before. Typically, it contains no fluoride and that’s not great either. Its benefits as a whitening agent are questionable at best and “areview in the British Dental Journal from early 2019 found that charcoal provides little protection against tooth decay, and there is limited scientific evidence to support the other health claims. In fact, adding powdered charcoal to toothpaste can actually make things worse.” According to one of the co-authors of the study, “When used too often in people with fillings, it can get into them and become difficult to get out.” Our position – stop using charcoal for anything other than the BBQ.
Fact or Fiction
For a while it looked like flossing had fallen out of favour. It is a fact that a report surfaced a few years back suggesting that flossing was unnecessary for maintaining good oral health. The report that claimed there was no health benefit to flossing may have glossed over what Dentist’s know to be true: that flossing can effectively remove up to 40% of food particles and/or sticky residue between teeth and that there is a direct relationship between flossing and helping to prevent inflammation of the gums. Further – there is evidence to suggest that bacteria in the mouth that causes inflammation can get in to the blood stream and potentially be linked to inflammation elsewhere in the body. It’s important to note too that unless you are flossing with exceptional aggressiveness and causing your gums to bleed, there is no real downside to flossing. So why wouldn’t you? Our recommendation – if you’re one of the approximately 35+% of the population who floss – keep it up and if you’re not, start!
Fact or Fiction
Mouthwash is bad for you. Or is it? This too is another topic that has been hotly debated in the media over the last several years. At Brinkley Dental we fall solidly in the camp supporting the theory of “all things in moderation.” If for example, you are using mouthwash as your sole method of oral hygiene – that’s bad. If you use it occasionally, either in addition to tooth brushing, or in place of brushing if that’s not an option, then it’s a good thing. It can contribute toward the fight against gum disease and may help with temporary issues like bad breath after you eat. Like most things however, using it too often, or in place of regular oral health care, can become problematic.
Coconut oil pulling. Thankfully this one seems to be disappearing and we are hearing and reading less and less about this trend. There has been, to date, no real scientific evidence to support that coconut oil pulling in any way contributes to improved oral health. Despite its claims, it has not been shown to help with the prevention of tooth decay, killing bad breath or with helping to treat bleeding gums. What we do know is that advocates of this method suggest it takes between 15-20 minutes per day of swishing and swirling oil to “work.” That seems like a great deal of time and effort for something with very little (to no) return on such an investment!
A visit to the team at the Brinkley Dental Office in Brampton is always a friendly experience. Our team of dental professionals is dedicated to you. Our practice puts the focus on families and we are here and ready to assist you with all your oral health care needs. We make mouthguards for those who are playing hockey this fall and we are able to offer a wide variety of services in house, including some you might not normally expect from a family dental office. Visit our website today to find out more about Brinkley Dental and as always, we leave you with this friendly reminder: “don’t forget to be a BFF with your mouth and Brush that SMILE!”