Trending: Whitening Teeth with Charcoal

Challenging Activated Charcoal

With heightened awareness about oral health these days, that comes along with healthy living, natural foods, active lifestyle, and the like, it’s little wonder that consumers are deluged with lots of brands, advertisements, and influencers riding on the bandwagon of dental health. One such trend, which began not too long ago and is buzzing again, is activated charcoal toothpaste for whitening teeth.

No, it’s not the same as the charcoal we commonly use to barbecue meats. Activated charcoal has been safely used in the treatment of drug overdoses, poisoning, bloating and flatulence, lowering cholesterol, and even preventing hangovers. It’s considered as a universal antidote. Any organic material with a high carbon content like coal, wood, peat, coconut shells, sawdust and others can be made into activated carbon. The material is grinded, binded for hardness, recompacted and crushed to desired size. The resultant product is very porous and can trap toxins and chemicals in its millions of tiny pores. Amazingly, one pound of carbon has a surface area equivalent to six football fields.

How does activated charcoal toothpaste whiten teeth?

Activated carbon whitens teeth by adsorption, not absorption. Adsorption is the adhesion of atoms, ions or molecules from a gas, liquid or dissolved solid to a surface. The compound adsorps plaque and microscopic debris that stain teeth, whitening them. It changes the pH balance in the mouth, helping prevent cavities, bad breath and gum disease.

It’s a brilliant idea and though it technically works, it’s the long-term effects that experts are worried about. Charcoal toothpaste is good as a pre-treatment before home whitening kits, it shouldn’t be an everyday toothpaste. Due to its abrasiveness, it can wear the enamel, especially at the gum line of the tooth. Enamel is thinnest here and can cause sensitivity and irreversible enamel loss. Use this to make a quick polish of your teeth, but shouldn’t be overused. You might be an aggressive brusher and with everyday use, you can have irreversible enamel loss in a matter of few uses.

Sure, you can use charcoal toothpaste but do so in moderation. Otherwise, it’s like applying sandpaper on your teeth. Rather trust your regular fluoride toothpaste, your floss and mouth rinses for daily care.

Ask our Bellingham Dentist about Charcoal Toothpaste

Learn more about the benefits and risks with use of charcoal toothpaste from your Bellingham dentist. Remember, moderation is key in oral health protection.

Blood on Toothbrush and Floss?

Concerned about the blood?

If blood regularly shows up on your toothbrush or dental floss, it requires some serious concern. Let’s look at some instances that can cause gums to bleed and how you can put a stop to it.

Reasons Why Gums Bleed

You might have gingivitis. It’s a mild form of swelling, tenderness or inflamed gums. It’s totally treatable and reversible if addressed quickly enough. In most cases gingivitis is painless and that’s the reason why it is mostly ignored. If left to progress it can lead to periodontal disease. Gum tissue is destroyed and can lead to loss of teeth. Good oral hygiene practices and dental visits can keep gingivitis at bay.

You are a smoker. Chronic smokers can suffer from bleeding gums. Smoking can lead to periodontal disease as cigarette toxins can irritate the gums and teeth. Oral hygiene routine may not be enough. Likewise, you can compromise your health, lower you immune response to infection with decrease oxygen supply to your gums. Better to quit as early as you can.

You suffer from a poor diet. Having a balanced diet is an excellent defense and maintains a healthy body and mouth. Look over your present diet and see if it lacks important vitamins and minerals from their proper food sources. Your gums need their nutrition to maintain their natural consistency, shape and color.

You are undergoing hormonal changes. Women experience hormonal changes brought on by menstrual cycles and pregnancies which can lead to sensitive, bleeding gums. It can lead to gingivitis or periodontal disease. Must ask your dentist for advice on how to adapt your oral health routine.

You are taking certain medications. Be aware that many drugs can affect mouth health, like increasing the risk for bleeding gums. Anticonvulsants can cause gum swelling, high blood pressure meds and immuno- suppressants can cause gum inflammation and bleeding, while antihistamines, sedatives, antidepressants can cause dry mouth, a trigger for gum problems. Your dentist will still encourage you to keep up with good oral hygiene and keep hydrated. Ask your doctor about meds that do not impact much on your gums.

You have poor hygiene practices. This can’t be more emphasized. Regular and proper brushing and flossing are the cornerstone of good oral health.

Treating Bleeding Gums in Bellingham

If you experience that your gums bleed consistently, it’s about time you pay your Bellingham dentist a visit. The condition may be cause for concern but your apt response can help you reverse the effects in time.

The Last Straw: Did It Really Help Your Teeth?

The Problem With One-Use Plastic Straws

Did you know that 500 million plastic straws are used daily in the US? It may or may not count the unknown number that are washed up into our oceans and do much damage to the marine environment. And to think that these one-use plastic items are not degradable, at least in the next 300 years. Also, these products fill up our landfills, consuming space and wasting resources for disposal. While disposable plastics feed our growing desire for convenience, millions and millions of homes, restaurants, hotels and others the world over are contributing to a major environmental hazard that is already upon us.

Plastic Straw Ban

Many cities have already banned the use of plastic straws at public establishments, yet there are quarters of dissent. For example, many people use straws to drink their sugary beverages, including coffee and tea and wine, to prevent staining their teeth. What do dentists say about that? Dentists once believed that drinking from straws reduces the contact between liquids that stain and the teeth, which prevents teeth going yellow. However, things have changed a bit.

Some dentists point out that sipping with straws can avoid direct contact between the drink and the teeth, other activities or habits can discolor teeth as well. Eating curry, tomato sauce, soy sauce can stain teeth, as well as smoking and chewing tobacco, and treatments like chemotherapy. So drinking with a straw certainly isn’t going to prevent discoloration itself and can’t be said to protect teeth entirely.

Aftercare is more important than resorting to straws. Rinsing your mouth with water immediately after drinking something that stains is much more helpful and must be habitual. Tooth brushing, mouthwash rinses and chewing on sugarless gum remove stains better.

Plastic disposable straws are much more beneficial to people who have disabilities. If you need to drink with a straw, for convenience, then use an eco-friendly straw or your own personal straw that’s reusable. Or better scrap it all together, and know you are saving our oceans doing that.

Helping The Environment Bellingham Way

So if you think using plastic straws can help your teeth from staining, get into the healthier, eco-friendly habit of mouth-rinsing and tooth brushing instead. It’s so much more chic, says your Bellingham dentist.