1. Why should someone consider using natural dental products?
Many people have started eating organic food and using natural house cleaning products to cut out the unwanted chemicals and pesticides in their lives, but they don’t realize they are putting chemicals into their mouths two times a day by using regular toothpastes and mouth rinses. Many mainstream products contain alcohol and other harmful chemicals like the foaming agent sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a common ingredient found in toothpastes, shampoos and detergents. Natural products contain effective ingredients like grapefruit seed extract, menthol and xylitol that cleanse the mouth, while peppermint and sage oils help prevent gingivitis and reduce/prevent plaque.
In our society people like to have white teeth. The hottest trend in natural oral care is undoubtedly the emergence of natural toothpaste that also whitens teeth. These products are sold in stores and online by many natural oral care companies, although The Natural Dentist is what I tend to recommend to my patients. A majority of mainstream teeth whitening products, including toothpastes, mouth rinses and professionally-applied whitening gels, contain hydrogen peroxide. Many patients have reported discomfort in using those products. Hydrogen peroxide can be very harsh on gums, and also cause tooth sensitivity, which is why natural oral care suppliers manufacture their natural toothpaste and natural oral care products without bleach and other harsh ingredients.
2. What are the chemical’s/ingredients that whiten teeth?
The most common chemical used to whiten teeth is hydrogen peroxide. Natural teeth whitening toothpastes use abrasives such as silica to gently remove stains. In addition, The Natural Dentist Pre-Brush Whitening Antigingivitis Rinse uses bamboo powder, a natural silica, to help remove stains and keep teeth white when used before brushing. The bamboo powder sticks to teeth and helps remove stains when brushing. These products effectively clean and whiten teeth often better than other teeth whitening solutions.
3. Are Natural Whiteners safer to use?
Removing surface stains from the teeth is the real key to keeping them white and healthy looking. Most whitening products contain hydrogen peroxide and the concentration of this ingredient determines the efficiency as well as the safety. Natural whiteners are safer to use because they don’t contain any harsh chemicals yet give the consumer wanted results.
My favorite product from The Natural Dentist is the Healthy Teeth and Gums Whitening Toothpaste. In addition to whitening, this toothpaste also contains aloe vera gel and grapefruit seed extract to naturally clean and moisturize my mouth!
4. Are there safe methods to whitening your teeth? I feel like using a UV light is a pretty dangerous way to whiten your teeth, is that true?
Many people have a misconception regarding UV light whitening systems like the Zoom2 Whitening System. Information from the manufacturer indicates the wavelength of the light emitted from the bleaching unit is in the visible, violet light portion of the spectrum, with a small overlap into UVA (which is considered to be the safest type of UV). The company believes that light of this specific wavelength is completely safe for the patient, although in my opinion it really is not very healthy for the teeth.
If you want to bleach your teeth permanently you shouldn’t do it on your own. I recommend you speak with your dentist first so they can suggest something that is best for you. Be careful when blindly choosing products at a drug store because there are many side effects that you may not be aware of.
5. When it comes to children, what is the most important way we can be caring for their teeth?
It’s a good idea to get in the habit of cleaning your baby’s gums even before teeth emerge; there are special baby brushes available at most stores. This way your baby gets used to the procedure and it becomes routine — this might help prevent children from rebelling against brushing their teeth in the future. Once teeth start erupting it is very important to start using a toothbrush with toothpaste. Once they are old enough to spit, they should brush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day to strengthen teeth and protect against acid erosion.
Also, once teeth start erupting do not let your child fall asleep while sucking on a bottle. The fluid from the bottle tends to stay in contact with the teeth, and sugars present in milk, juice and most other drinks will cause cavities.
6. What changes do we need to be looking for as they get older when it comes to dental care?
As children get older parents need to teach them how to use dental floss, which is important for healthy teeth and gums. This establishes good oral hygiene habits that will ensure your child’s dental health for many years to come. Mouthwash is also an important addition to oral care, and kids can use it as soon as they get mature enough not to swallow it.
Adults can lead by their example and make brushing their teeth into a family event where all members thoroughly brush, floss and use mouth rinse. When children grow up caring for their teeth and gums, they will most likely continue to be conscientious into their adult years.
About Inna V. Shimanovsky, DMD
Dr. Shimanovsky graduated from the highly regarded Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry in 2000. Since becoming a dentist Dr. Shimanovsky has continuously attended advanced education seminars and hands-on classes to keep abreast of latest developments and techniques in various aspects of dentistry, including a course with the prestigious Aesthetic Advantage Institute of New York. She is currently an active member of American Dental Association, Oregon Dental Association, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry and International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology (IAOMT). Dr Shimanovsky offers all phases of dental care with special emphasis on cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry; she takes great pride in providing quality oral healthcare in a supportive and pain-free environment. In her spare time, Dr. Shimanovsky enjoys spending time with her husband and two children.