What’s Behind Natural Teeth Whitening Fads? | Columbia SC Cosmetic Dentist

It seems like there is a new headline nearly every week featuring someone who swears their teeth are  whiter and brighter due to their natural home remedy for stain removal. These articles and blog posts  claim that whitening can be cheap, easy, natural and, in some cases, unpleasant.  

It can be tempting to consider trying for brighter, whiter teeth without advice from a dentist; however,  before you pin your hopes on one of these “natural whitening” methods, look at the truth behind some of  the most recent teeth whitening fads. 

Fad 1: Activated charcoal 

Activated charcoal in toothpaste may help remove surface stains on your teeth, but it is more abrasive  than regular toothpaste and offers no tooth decay protection. A British Dental Journal study shows long term use can abrade the enamel on your teeth and cause creator sensitivity.  

Fad 2: Fruits 

Some celebrities have jumped on the fruit-paste bandwagon, prompting people to rub strawberries on  their teeth to make them whiter. Others use pineapple, citrus peels and even swish with apple cider  vinegar.  

However, science does not back up these claims. One recent study found that brushing with a mixture of  baking soda (a known whitener) and strawberries did not whiten teeth. Even worse, the citric acids found  in all these fruits and vinegars can actually be harmful to the enamel on your teeth. 

Fad 2: Hydrogen Peroxide 

Many types of in-office and home teeth whitening contain hydrogen peroxide, it is a special formulation  made just for teeth whitening. Simply swishing from a bottle of hydrogen peroxide will not whiten your  teeth, but it may irritate your gums and mouth. It can also be dangerous if it is accidentally swallowed. 

Fad 3: Oil Pulling 

Oil pulling rose to fame during the coconut oil craze in the mid-2000s, but it is an ancient folk remedy. It  involves swishing a tablespoon of edible oil, such as coconut, sunflower, or olive, in the mouth and  drawing it between teeth for up to 20 minutes a day. The thought is that oil molecules will stick to the oil in  membranes of mouth bacteria. Evidence that this works is purely anecdotal. There is no scientific proof  that oil pulling whitens teeth, but experts do not see harm in the practice.  

If you want safe, sure methods of achieving whiter, brighter teeth, our Columbia SC Cosmetic dentist can offer you  recommendations best suited for your needs. For more information about teeth whitening, contact Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia.

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

How Do You Know When You Have Gum Disease? | Columbia SC Cosmetic Dentist

You may have periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease, and not know it until it has  progressed to its advanced stage. Prompt treatment is essential because the condition can only be  reversed in its early stages. Still, because it shows few, if any, symptoms until it has progressed, many  people wait too long to seek treatment.  

Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults. It develops when the bacteria found in  plaque buildup between the teeth and gums. As the bacteria grow, the gums can become inflamed and  pull away from the teeth. When periodontal disease is not treated promptly, it gets worse, leading to  increased gum recession, infection, and bone loss.  

The Stages of Periodontal Disease 

Gum disease is broken down into four stages: gingivitis, slight periodontal disease, moderate periodontal  disease, and advanced periodontal disease. The longer it progresses, the more difficult it is to treat.  

Gum disease also impacts overall health. Research has found links between periodontal disease and  diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and other serious inflammatory conditions. Researchers are not sure  whether gum disease contributes to other health problems or vice versa, but many studies have shown  conclusive evidence that oral and bodily inflammation are related.  

How to Prevent Gum Disease 

To help prevent periodontal infection, it is essential to practice excellent oral hygiene. This includes  brushing twice a day for two minutes each, flossing, swishing with mouthwash, and scheduling regular  dental examinations.  

While periodontal disease is common, it is tied to certain risk factors: age, genetics, stress, tobacco use,  medications, obesity, teeth grinding (bruxism), and certain inflammatory diseases. 

While symptoms may not appear until later stages of the disease, it is important to watch for the warning  signs of gum disease. Some of these include: 

● Red, swollen, or tender gums 

● Bleeding gums from brushing, flossing, or eating hard foods 

● Loose or separating teeth 

● Pus between gums or teeth 

● Mouth pain or sores 

● Chronic bad breath 

● Gums receding or pulling away from teeth

● Changes in your bite or the fit of dentures 

Periodontal disease may start silently, but it can lead to great damage if it is left untreated. Once it has  progressed, it can be treated but not fully cured. The best way to guard against it and protect your health  is to visit your Columbia SC dentist for a periodontal screening. For more information about gum disease and to  schedule your screening, contact Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia today.

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

We Are Here For You

Dr. Julia K. Mikell
Solo Practitioner

3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

(We are easy to find in Forest Acres at the corner of Harrison Rd. and Budon Ct., near the Zesto’s on Forest Drive.)

(803) 738-1114

Providing Dental Care
For Many Communities Including:

Forest Acres, Fort Jackson, Arcadia Lakes, Lake Katherine, Heathwood, Shandon, Rosewood, Downtown Columbia, Earlewood, Cottontown and the University of South Carolina

Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
Friday: Closed


  • South Carolina State Dental
  • America Dental Association
  • America Dental Association

Dentist in Columbia, SC

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Dentist in Columbia, SC

“My husband and I had our 1st appointment with Dr. Mikell today and we left there feeling like we absolutely made the right choice! She and her staff were professional, kind, competent, and very respectful to us. We feel like this was a fabulous start to a long and happy relationship!”

Erica R. Columbia, SC Dental Patient

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“I really appreciate the staff at Diamond Dental, they're awesome! Dr. Mikell, DDS and Ms. Deborah know me and my kids by name and I feel like where going to visit family and not a dental appointment. We talk and catch up like ole buddies!”

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“Dr. Mikell and her staff are the best! I moved ten years ago, but still drive in to town to have her team take care of my smile. They are the nicest people you will ever find!”

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“Julia and her entire amazing staff are top notch. From routine cleanings to more specific emergency situations, I truly trust this team to take care of me. I am so thankful specifically for their help with a fitted night guard. I sleep better and my teeth are protected! Highly recommend Diamond Dental Studios!”

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