It seems like you can’t go very far these days (especially on social media) without hearing someone touting the health benefits of apple cider vinegar.
The truth is, there actually are a lot of good uses for apple cider vinegar, and some of them are quite healthy and perfectly safe. But being healthy for the body and good for the teeth are two different things.
As a dental practice with an integrative approach, we oftentimes have patients ask us if using apple cider vinegar on their teeth is healthy.
After all, there are a lot of articles floating around the web touting apple cider vinegar as some sort of “miracle” treatment for whitening teeth or removing stubborn plaque.
In fact, a recent CNN article discussed the use of apple cider vinegar and whitening toothpaste, and we thought it would be a good idea to weigh in and give you our opinion as to why apple cider vinegar and whitening toothpastes aren’t ideal for your teeth and overall oral health.
The claims of apple cider vinegar (and the truth)
For the purpose of this article, we are going to focus just on the claims and suggestions that have been made specifically regarding teeth and oral health.
For starters, some people claim that putting a small amount of apple cider vinegar on your teeth can help remove stains. While that may be true, it’s not worth the risk, because you are putting acid on your teeth and taking off enamel with the stains!.
If you care at all about your dental health, you should avoid having your teeth come in contact with acids. Removing stains from your teeth won’t do a whole lot of good if you damage your teeth in the process! If you want the benefits of apple cider vinegar without damaging your teeth, use the capsule form.
If you are looking to maintain a bright white smile and healthy teeth, the best things you can do are: brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes, and floss every day. Consistency is the key to avoiding plaque, gingivitis, and dental decay; not some “miracle” cure that is really just an acid that will harm your tooth enamel.
What about whitening toothpaste? Is that okay?
At Lifetime Smiles, we don’t just accept things at face value. Sure, whitening toothpastes are widely used, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they should be.
When choosing a toothpaste, it’s very important to make sure that it isn’t too abrasive. If a toothpaste is too abrasive, it can actually damage your teeth over time.
After doing a lot of our own research, we believe (and recommend to our patients) using a toothpaste with an RDA under 70. In a nutshell, this means use a toothpaste that is very low on the abrasiveness scale.
Here’s a link to a toothpaste chart that we’ve compiled for our patients:
Also, if you would like to get more details on what you should be looking for when selecting a toothpaste, you may find this resource we’ve put together quite helpful:
The bottom line…
Keeping your teeth and gums healthy isn’t exactly rocket science, but what it does require is a consistent oral hygiene routine. Additionally, visit a dentist who regularly is focused, not just on fixing problems, but actually preventing them from ever occurring.
At Lifetime Smiles, our integrative approach is designed to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and avoid problems before they start.
You can think of it like preventative maintenance for your car. If you change the oil at the appropriate intervals as suggested by the manufacturer, and stay on top of all other issues that could potentially cause your vehicle to malfunction or breakdown, your chances of keeping your vehicle in great shape for many, many years to come are fantastic.
It’s much the same way with your mouth. While there are no guarantees, if you follow our advice and visit us regularly, you’ll be on the path to better oral health and a brighter, healthier smile for years to come.
If you’re in or around the Johns Creek area, and are interested in working with an integrative dentist, give our office a call today to schedule your appointment.