In the age of the Internet, one can get overwhelmed with endless claims of unfounded pseudoscience especially when it comes to health and medicine. Even when it comes to teeth and gums, there are numerous claims out there that are surprisingly gaining popularity these days that are not accurate. I am writing this blog to explore some of these dental myths and explain how some of them can be rather dangerous.
Oil pulling, instead of brushing:
Some claim that swishing your mouth with oil, such as olive or coconut oil, can replace the conventional accepted method of tooth brushing with fluoridated toothpaste. Some even encourage the public to “abandon the toothbrush altogether.” While it is true that some essential oils, NOT including olive oil or coconut oil, can stop the growth of bacteria, they are still not able to kill or get rid of bacteria and germs in our mouth.
As proven by countless scientific studies done on this matter, without the actual mechanical and repetitive motions from tooth brushing, plaque and calculus are simply not washed away, and they do not magically get washed away with olive oil!
Green tea extracts can replace toothpaste:
While it’s true that some studies done recently on this matter have shown that drinking green tea can stop the growth of bacteria in your mouth, again, this will not kill the current bacteria in your mouth. While it’s true that green tea is excellent in warming the body in cold weather and calming the mind from time to time, it is not and should not be the primary agent for oral hygiene.
Chewing gum instead of brushing in the morning freshens the breath:
There are even some blogs written about the effects of chewing gum and how it can actually replace tooth brushing. This is simply not true. Chewing gum can certainly increase the salivary flow in our mouth and more saliva can be effective in preventing new cavities. However, studies have clearly indicated that chewing gum alone is not an effective oral hygiene method. If you do decide to chew gum from time to time, make sure it is sugar-free. An added bonus is if you chew gum containing xylitol, a sugar-alcohol substance that can be somewhat effective in cavity prevention.
There are countless other claims like the aforementioned ones. Some interesting ones include swishing with whiskey, using hot sauce to fight cavities, and consuming bone-broth.
Weeding through these dental myths will always lead you back to one thing, as long as you stick to your conventional oral hygiene routine (as recommended by the ADA) brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing once a day, and most importantly showing up for your regular cleanings and check-ups every six months at Tremont Dental Care in the South End of Boston you will achieve your best smile.