In this day and age, holistic medicine has become popular. This can be seen by a quick search in the Internet for “holistic medicine.” Holistic medicine comes in all shapes and forms from what to eat and what not to eat to yoga and pressure points. The biggest claim with holistic medicine is that, you can avoid seeing the doctor by allowing your body to heal itself naturally. This holistic self-care is also being more frequently found in dental care. Home dental health remedies have been around for centuries. While some home dental remedies do work, others are simply gimmicks that cause more harm to your teeth. With the advancements in dental care, many of these home remedies are no longer necessary or effective.
There are home dental remedies for almost every kind of oral hygiene issue. For the sake of time, remedies addressing teeth whitening and toothache relief will be discussed as they are the two most common and popular dental issues.
Teeth Whitening Home Remedies
It is still a common belief (which is not always true) that whiter teeth mean healthier teeth. People have been trying to whiten their teeth for centuries. More modern home teeth whitening remedies call for certain liquids and foods which are believed to whiten teeth and make them healthier.
Home Remedy Myth: A popular home teeth whitening remedy involves rinsing one’s mouth with apple cider vinegar and water. The vinegar and water mix will make the teeth whiter and protect your teeth and gums from bad bacteria.
Verdict: This home tooth whitening remedy won’t work. The vinegar is a weak acid when it hits the teeth. The acid eats away at the tooth enamel, making more vulnerable to damage and decay.
Home Remedy Myth: The practice of “oil pulling” has been around for thousands of years and is practiced and endorsed by many celebrities today. In this practice, one swishes a tablespoon of either coconut, olive or sesame oil inside one’s mouth for 20 minutes. The belief that the oil in the rinse will attach itself to the oil of the harmful bacteria in the mouth. When you spit the rinse out, you are also ridding your mouth of harmful bacteria and microorganisms.
Verdict: This home remedy is ineffective in whitening teeth by itself. The swishing of the oil can break up and dislodge food particles and surface stains of teeth. There is yet to be any evidence that it destroys bacteria. When a thorough brushing session follows this “oil pulling,” your teeth may appear whiter and cleaner.
Home Remedy Myth: Adding a paste made of turmeric powder and water to one’s toothbrush is said to scrub off the germs, plaque and bacteria coating the outside of the teeth. Brushing with the turmeric should be at least 2 minutes long.
Verdict: This home dental remedy is a disaster. Instead of whitening the teeth, the yellow spices of turmeric will actually stain your teeth instead of cleaning them.
Home Remedy Myth: The manganese, potassium and magnesium of bananas will remove the stains from the teeth. Simply rub the inside of a banana peel against your teeth for two minutes. Within weeks, your teeth will be noticeably whiter.
Verdict: The nutrients found in banana peels does remove the surface stains of teeth. It doesn’t, however, “deep clean” on or around the teeth.
Aspirin Against An Aching Tooth
Home Remedy Myth: If you have a toothache, simply put an aspirin tablet next to the tooth and the pain will go away.
Verdict: This home toothache remedy should be avoided because the ingredients of the aspirin can damage the enamel of your teeth and the tissues of your gums, tongue and cheeks. The toothache will not go away when aspirin is applied next to the tooth.
Hold Some Ice
Home Remedy Myth: Hold some ice cubes in the hand that is on the same side as your toothache is. Rub the ice cube along the area between your thumb and forefinger for 5 minutes or until the area is numb. This will reduce your toothache pain.
Verdict: This odd remedy does work in reducing toothache pain. Researchers believe that the ice stops the pain signals that go to the brain.
Home Dental Myth: Rubbing a small amount of clove oil onto the sore tooth or gums and the pain will subside.
Verdict: This home toothache remedy does work in relieving toothache pain. The numbing action from the clove oil has been found to be just as effective as benzocaine, the numbing ingredient found in many over-the-counter numbing gels.
Home Dental Myth: Rinsing your mouth with 8 ounces of warm salt water will alleviate the pain and clean your mouth.
Verdict: This is the best things dentists recommend patients to do before getting professional treatment for dental emergencies. The rinse breaks loose food particles and plaque, washes germs off the surface of teeth and it provides basic antiseptic healing.
Home Dental Myth: Chewing or placing chopped pieces of garlic on your teeth will emit allicin, a natural disease fighting acid. While it doesn’t ease the toothache pain, it helps fight the germs, infection and bacteria that is causing the pain.
Verdict: While is not clear that is eases toothache pain, the oil from the garlic has been found to heal diseased teeth.
Home Dental Myth: Swishing one’s mouth with hydrogen peroxide will ease the toothache pain and fight germs.
Verdict: There is no evidence that swishing with hydrogen peroxide will alleviate dental pain, it has been proven to be an effective germ fighter. Be sure to add water to the hydrogen peroxide because using it full-strength will cause harm and damage to your teeth and gums.
Home Dental Myth: Believe it or not, there is a Toothache Tree that can be found all over the world. The oil from the tree is mixed into many different things, such as teas and is believed to relieve one’s toothache pain.
Verdict: Though the name seems to make it a slam-dunk toothache remedy, there is no scientific research showing that it reduces toothache pain.
Going to the dentist may not be fun, but regular dental cleanings and check-ups are important in maintaining a bright, healthy, pain-free smile. Home remedies accompanied with good dental hygiene habits can whiten teeth and temporaily relieve toothache pain. Professional dental treatment, however, is the best way to get the deep cleaning your teeth need to be white and healthy. If you have dental pain or want a white smile, contact Hazzouri Dental today to schedule an appointment.