New dental products that claim to be a trending assistant to your typical dental routine are all over social media right now. Pics of black teeth (like Heath Ledger’s black tea smile in The Patriot) are popping up and enticing everyone to look into this trend, as well as others, such as flushing out toxins with oil (“oil-pulling”). We know you have been waiting for us to weight in on this so we decided to look into it for you! Here is what we have found (per our beloved Dr. Ho):
Garnering over a 1.5 million views on YouTube, the newest do-it-yourself remedy involves brushing activated charcoal on your teeth.
What it claims:
Found in capsule form online or in health stores, activated charcoal is a special type of charcoal that is used in medicine for its absorptive properties, specifically for trapping chemicals and removing unwanted toxins.
What’s worse than brushing black charcoal on your teeth? Probably knowing that there’s no scientific evidence that teeth are whiter or brighter after use. More importantly, because the abrasiveness of the activated charcoal varies, the tooth enamel may become susceptible to wear, deterioration and erosion–resulting in unwanted sensitivity or worse, cavities.
Oil pulling has been used to treat various health issues for thousands of years and has become the it trend in oral health the last few years.
What it claims:
The belief is that toxins and bacteria are trapped or “pulled” by the oil, while also treating dry mouth to minimize inflammation of the gum tissue.
Although, there are few studies and very limited evidence that shows oil pulling helps in the treatment of gingivitis and bad breath, there is also no reliable scientific data that oil pulling results in whiter teeth. However, oil pulling requires a lot of time and effort – try swishing water in your mouth for 10 minutes and see how tired you are afterwards. Thus, if you elect to utilize oil pulling, it should be done after all traditional, proven techniques (such as brushing, flossing and/or water picks have been used first.
If a brighter smile is what you want, contact a TDA member dentist and discuss your options for in office treatments and payment options. These options will be safer and get you better results than something you see on the internet.