One of the latest consumer trends is pursuing “natural” products. There are a number of natural dental products you can find online. The question is do they work and are there any benefits (or risks) of using them?
The fact of the matter is that most of these natural dental solutions have not been tested in laboratory settings for effectiveness. This is different from many traditional dental products that have been tested and have been shown to be beneficial, such as fluoride-containing products. Still, there are many people who don’t like things like fluoride. They may argue that fluoride can cause toxicity in the body, but this only happens at very high doses.
Those who prefer natural remedies have come up with some interesting products. Some of them may be beneficial, but some don’t work at all, others don’t work as well, and some can cause real damage to your teeth and body. Below are some comments about various proposed “natural” products.
Charcoal as an Alternative to Toothpaste
Some people believe that dry activated charcoal is a good alternative to commercial toothpaste. There is, however, no peer-reviewed evidence to suggest that activated charcoal does any good for teeth. Those who ingested small quantities of poison, however, will find they make it safely through the night (probably). Secondly, using dry scrubs like this causes surface damage to the tooth’s enamel. Fluoride strengthens the tooth enamel, but scrubs like charcoal can rub it clean off causing the teeth to yellow, since it’s the enamel that gives them their whiteness.
Turmeric vs. Toothpaste
Turmeric is another popular option for those who refuse commercial toothpastes. It does not have any fluoride in it, which represents it’s one positive attribute concerning teeth whitening. It’s not that we know that turmeric has no effect on tooth whitening, but no one has ever studied the effects of turmeric on teeth. On the other hand, the whiteness of your teeth is caused by tooth enamel which is made stronger by fluoride.
If you like putting turmeric in your mouth, however, you can keep doing so. Turmeric has shown some efficacy as an antimicrobial which makes it useful for treating gingivitis, killing the bacteria in plaque, and reducing inflammation in the guns. Just be sure to brush your teeth with something that has fluoride, so that they actually become whiter.
But I Want to Avoid Fluoride!
Fluoride is useful to the human body for two reasons. It strengthens teeth and it strengthens bones. However, like all substances, taken in quantities beyond the recommended dosage, fluoride can cause health problems. While it’s possible to get too much fluoride from toothpaste, it is unlikely. There are still some areas of the U.S. that put fluoride into drinking water. If that’s the case where you live, then you may want to talk to a doctor about using fluoride for your teeth. Chances are, that won’t be an issue.
Since the function of fluoride is to increase the strength of teeth and bones, the only alternative to fluoride use is to strengthen the teeth and bones while cleaning the teeth. This can be accomplished with a diet rich in calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. But without strengthening the enamel, which makes teeth white, you can only clean stains, so discolored teeth are inevitable.
Talk to a Flagstaff, AZ Dentist Today
If you’re concerned about fluoride or other dental treatments, please feel free to give us a call at Peak Family Dental Care in Flagstaff to discuss your concerns. We may have an alternative that works just for you. Call today to learn more!