Charcoal or activated carbon as toothpaste?
More and more often you see toothpaste with active charcoal on the shelves of stores. It’s being advertised or sold as a bleaching tool. It’d absorb and remove stubborn stains off the teeth. Yet, it isn’t as safe as it seems. Toothpaste with charcoal is often quite coarse. It’s so abrasive that the gums may get damaged.
In addition, according to research by the University of Manchester Dental School, particles from the charcoal toothpaste can become entangled in the gums. These charcoal particles can get entangled in your dental fillings. The bleaching effect of the toothpaste is negligible. It only ensures removal of extrinsic discoloration. That means that teeth which of itself are a bit darker wouldn’t become whiter. Would you like to have whiter teeth? Make an appointment with your dentist or dental hygienist: they can advise you on the bleaching of your teeth.
Brushing your teeth with baking soda
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is often added to homemade toothpastes. This means that it’s also used as leavening agent, stimulating the salivary glands. Increased saliva release provides an enhanced acid neutralising effect in the mouth. This means that your mouth is ‘flushed’ better and you’re less likely to have cavities. People undergoing chemotherapy, are often advised to make toothpaste or mouthwashes with added sodium bicarbonate themselves.
Baking soda also helps to improve the breath odour and it has a light bleaching effect on teeth. Oral care products with sodium bicarbonate are certainly making sense for your oral health. Daily chewing on gum with baking soda contributes to the buffering effect of the mouth and ensures better quality of the saliva. Baking soda isn’t just good for a fluffy cake but for a healthy mouth as well!
There are lots of toothpastes that work antibacterial. These affect the mouth flora because harmful bacteria are inhibited or killed. Antibacterial agents (such as chlorhexidine) can be used for a short period of time because they increase the risk of fungal infections among others. This is because antibacterial agents not only kill harmful bacteria but the good mouth bacteria too.
The mouth flora can also be affected naturally. Toothpastes with enzymes support the good bacteria present in the oral cavity. It helps preventing the formation of cavities. In addition, it helps some people who regularly are affected by canker sores. Advantage of this is that these toothpastes can be used for long periods of time.
Other people have benefitted from active oxygen. Brushing with a low concentration of active oxygen causes harmful (anaerobic) bacteria to be killed off in a natural way. However, toothpaste with oxygen can be used for an extensive time. The good (aerobic) bacteria aren’t killed off, making the mouth flora balanced as much as possible. Besides that, oxygen stimulates the body cells and helps in the healing of wounds in the mouth. People, who regularly have biting spots or canker sores, have made it known that they greatly benefit from toothpaste with active oxygen.
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