The first toothpaste that began utilizing the claim, “whitens teeth” was Rembrandt in 1989. Their toothpaste contains baking soda, which has been used for hundreds of years as a tooth-whitening agent.
Since then, whitening toothpastes have become some of the best selling toothpastes in the U.S. One need only stroll down any toothpaste aisle in their local pharmacy to see the array of whitening claims that decorate most of the best selling brands out there. But the whitening craze doesn’t stop there. At home whitening strips have become a billion dollar industry worldwide, and even mouthwashes are now claiming whitening effects to garner sales.
The truth is, the chemical agents that most of these products contain in order to deliver “optic white” effects on your teeth are downright terrible for you if used on a regular basis. Even baking soda, which removes tooth enamel, should not be used on your teeth more than once a week, and yet can be found in various daily use toothpaste formulas.
The reason this should be discouraged is because it causes tooth sensitivity. This has become an epidemic in recent years. These abrasive formulas are using baking soda to strip the enamel from your teeth, or peroxide to weaken it. That’s how they get rid of the stains. And though it works, it also works against your tooth strength.
Having white teeth is clearly a desirable and attractive quality, so what can be done to achieve it without ruining enamel in the process?
There are various foods that have a whitening effect on teeth. Many fruits such as strawberries, pineapple, and apples combine malic acid, which whitens with a high fiber content that acts like a gentle scrub. They also increase saliva flow, which helps remove stains. Carrots and broccoli also have this scrubbing action and have tooth-strengthening properties like iron and vitamin A.
Sea salt also has whitening properties. Not only does it work as a natural scrub, but, in addition, it contains phosphorous and iron to strengthen teeth. Further, some sea salts, like the salt from the Dead Sea, also contain trace elements of sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda. This amount is quite safe for daily use, and still highly effective.
This is one of the many reasons I have chosen to include Dead Sea salt in my oral hygiene product line as a key component.
The main purpose of showcasing all of these trends is to draw attention to the fact that when there are increases in one particular area, it changes that area. The increases in consumption of dark juices, coffee due to the Starbucks boom, green tea and red wine for health reasons have all led to a epidemic of staining, which has led to increased whitening, which has led to sensitive teeth, weak enamel and then unnecessary dental work. It is a domino effect, and the problem is everywhere.
Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentist Kourosh Maddahi
International Best Selling Author of The Hidden Epidemics
About Oral Essentials:
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