5 trends that could harm your oral health

Daily tooth brushing and flossing are proven practices for keeping your teeth and gums healthy. But, new products and ideas become popular with promises to improve dental health and fight decay. However, not all of these ideas are effective. Review five trends that could harm your oral health.

  1. Lemon water – Lemons are naturally rich in vitamin C, which your body needs to heal. Many people add lemon to a glass of water to boost the flavor. However, since lemons contain high amounts of acid, use a straw to drink it. This will keep acids from adhering to your teeth and damaging the enamel.

    Dentists also advise that after drinking or eating acidic foods, you should swish regular water around in your mouth, chew sugar-free gum, or eat a piece of cheese. After eating something acidic, remember to wait at least 30 minutes before brushing your teeth. The reason is, acidity weakens tooth enamel, and brushing too soon can damage it.

  2. Fluoride-free toothpaste – Research shows that adding fluoride to water or toothpaste helps prevent tooth decay without harmful side effects. However, since many people believe that fluoride upsets hormones and causes health issues, new fluoride-free toothpastes are available. Dentists report that fluoride-free toothpaste may freshen breath, remove stains and kill bacteria, but it won’t protect your teeth from decay.
  3. Apple cider vinegar – Commonly used in natural cough syrups, diets and cleaning products, some people now are using apple cider vinegar when brushing their teeth, or as a mouth rinse. While vinegar may remove stains and plaque, it also could harm tooth enamel, and make teeth more yellow.
  4. Charcoal toothpaste – A new product on the market, charcoal toothpaste promises to whiten teeth. While some charcoal toothpaste products may contain abrasive ingredients that could help remove minor stains, it doesn’t contain enough fluoride to fight tooth decay. Overuse of this toothpaste also could damage tooth enamel.
  5. Oil pulling – Swishing oil in the mouth has been a popular practice for thousands of years. Some people claim that swishing with coconut or sesame oil for about 20 minutes each day is effective in fighting tooth decay. Scientists confirm that these oils can lubricate dental tissues, and remove minor stains, but oil pulling won’t whiten teeth or prevent decay.

New Zealand Herald

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