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Traveling & Oral Care Tips

Records have it that most families travel during the holiday season, especially around the last few weeks of the year and New Years Day. While traveling, some basic precautions must be followed to ensure good oral health. No matter where we are, our dental health is important.

  • Cleaning/checkup before you travel. It is advised that you go to your dentist for a checkup. Small cavities that may seem to be painless might later result in further decay.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste. It is recommended to use toothbrush and toothpaste with the American Dental Association (ADA) seal on it. Toothbrushes and toothpaste with this seal have met the highest standard specified by the ADA. Toothbrushes to be used must have a small head and soft bristles so that they can reach the back molars while brushing and not cause any irritation of the gums. Large heads and hard bristles may cause inconvenience in brushing and cause irritation of the gums; this might result in bleeding.
  • Dental care abroad. Dental treatments in the US are held to strict standards (which include prevention of blood-borne pathogens, hand hygiene, personal protective equipment (PPE), sterilization and disinfection, dental waterlines, water quality and all) by the CDC. Also, medicines to be administered by dentists must meet the Federal Drug Administration (FDA). With these, US dental procedures can be considered safe.
  • Insurance. If traveling for a prolonged length time, it is best to find a dentist in case of dental emergencies. You can consult your dental insurance provider, who will give you a list of the eligible dentists in the area you will be visiting so that when any dental emergency occurs, you can always seek dental treatment from a dentist who is already covered by your insurance.

DIY Teeth Whitening Trends: Fact or Fiction?

Popular trends have such a powerful impact on the choices society makes. Cultural influences impact fashion, the most sought-after holiday toys, modern slang and the hottest fad diets.

Most of the time fads are harmless, they are usually short-lived and are ever-changing. But when trends affect our health and wellness, we need to examine them more seriously before jumping on the bandwagon.

Do-It-Yourself Teeth Whitening

Recently, DIY teeth whitening has become a trendy approach, as more and more people seek cost-effective ways to brighten their smiles.

  • Charcoal Versus Tooth Enamel

Although It may sound counterproductive to spread black powder on discolored teeth to make the surface whiter, there is some logic behind the method. Charcoal is a very porous material often used in medical settings to absorb and neutralize toxins. The theory is that the same detox activity will also work on teeth. The problem is, charcoal is not only a porous substance, it is abrasive. While the treatment absorbs harmful germs and bacteria in the mouth, it might damage tooth enamel in the process. You might want to pass on this DIY teeth whitening trend until more research is done.

  • Lemon Juice: Dissolving Stains or Dissolving Teeth?

Tooth enamel is the single hardest substance in the human body, but it is also very susceptible to acid erosion. Saliva helps maintain a healthy pH level in the mouth that protect teeth enamel from harm. However, every time you consume acidic food or drink that balanced pH gets disrupted, leaving your teeth vulnerable. Therefore, using high-acid lemon juice to attempt to whiten teeth is likely to only damage them for forever.

  • Oil Pulling: An Ancient Folk Remedy

Oil pulling is the ancient practice of swishing olive, sesame, coconut or some other detoxifying oil inside the oral cavity for as long as twenty minutes. Advocates claim that oil pulling has many health benefits, including DIY teeth whitening.  But the ADA doesn’t recommend the trend because it is not backed by scientific evidence.

  • Strawberries and Bananas

Ripe strawberries contain both citric and malic acids that can brighten the appearance of teeth. Bananas contain healthy teeth nutrients such as magnesium, manganese, and potassium, and can aid in removing surface stains. These two fruits offer some DIY teeth whitening benefits, but both are high in sugar. If you try out this approach, be sure to brush your teeth after consuming them.

Opt for Proven Teeth Whitening Methods

DIY teeth whitening trends will always come and go. Occasionally, there will be some remedies worth trying, like eating strawberries and bananas for whiter teeth. But the best approach is always to choose methods approved by your dentist. Practice good oral hygiene habits, limit sugary foods and drinks and keep up with routine dental visits. If your dental care practices do not leave your teeth as white you want, discuss professional teeth whitening solutions with our dentist.

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