6 Deadly Dental Fads That Just Don't Work

Fads and trends have always had a unique place in society. However, some trends can end up doing more harm than good. In our social media-driven world, many e-celebrities and health gurus often spread word of brand new and effective oral health treatments. While some suggested routines may seem good, some other fads that have popped up in recent years have only caused problems for dentists and patients alike. Here are some dental health fads that you’re better off avoiding altogether.


Activated charcoal has become a huge hit with many in recent years. This unique substance, which is made from burning natural ingredients at high temperatures, can be found in all kind of products, such as toothpaste and toothbrushes. Many see activated charcoal as a miracle substance designed to eliminate all kinds of toxins and dirt, which is probably why toothpaste brands have been using it more and more in their products.

Brushing with activated charcoal may not be that great for your teeth. For one, there aren’t any studies that can prove it’s as good at protecting teeth as people say. The ingredients in activated charcoal also aren’t that safe for teeth and gums as they can be quite abrasive. When you brush with activated toothpastes and toothbrushes, you only end up stripping away the minerals that are essential to your teeth. This can put you at risk of several painful oral health problems, such as cavities and tooth decay.


DIY teeth whiteners and mouthwashes may seem like good money-savers at first, but they really aren’t worth the risk to your health. Toothpastes and other dental products that are sold on the market have to undergo rigorous testing before they can be considered safe for public use. On top of that, effective dental hygiene products contain specialized ingredients that can’t be replicated with home ingredients, such as fluoride.

Another reason to avoid DIY cleaning agents is that they are made of ingredients that aren’t really safe for your teeth. For instance, many DIY teeth whitening kits contain bleaching agents that are way too abrasive and unsafe for your oral health.

In the end, it’s much safer to stick to products that are recommended by your dentist. Sure, their prices may be a bit high, but they’re guaranteed not to cause any harmful side effects or damage your teeth.


Stronger doesn’t necessarily mean better when it comes to dental cleaning. Lemon juice and baking soda are touted as effective DIY dental care solutions due to their ability to scrub off stubborn stains and dirt. However, these two products are in fact highly abrasive and unsafe for your oral health.

Lemon juice is highly acidic. When you spread it all over your teeth, you risk melting away precious enamel. The more enamel you strip away, the more vulnerable your inner dentin and pulp become. The same can also apply for baking soda, which damages tooth enamel in addition to stripping away stains. While some have said that using these products together neutralizes their high acidity, there still isn’t any definitive proof that lemon juice and baking soda solutions make good dental cleaning agents. It’s much safer to stick to cleaning products that are professionally made, tested, and non-abrasive instead.


Oil-pulling is a popular and ancient practice that involves swishing a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for several minutes in order to cleanse your mouth of dirt, plaque, and bacteria. This practice can supposedly lead to tons of benefits for your oral health, such as better breath and healthier gums. Even though many praise oil-pulling and tout it as a great DIY dental care treatment option, professional dentists disagree.

There isn’t any scientific evidence that proves oil-pulling really works wonders for your oral health. It’s also important to note that this practice was done before dietary practices evolved into what they are now. Oil-pulling may have worked for societies that did not ingest sugary and starchy meals every day, but it probably isn’t as effective for a century that relies heavily on food laden with starches, sugars, and artificial ingredients.

Swishing oil in your mouth every day can pose some risks to your oral and overall health. To avoid any unnecessary pain or hospital bills, stick to treatments that are recommended by your dentist.


Fluoride-free toothpastes have become popular with those wishing to prevent complications from fluorosis—a cosmetic condition caused by overexposure to fluoride. However, these toothpastes aren’t an effective tool for preventing cavities and strengthening teeth. Without fluoride, your teeth will only lack the essential minerals needed to reverse signs of early decay and protect dentin.

You need not worry about any potential risk of fluorosis. Most toothpastes are made with only safe and minimal dosages of fluoride. Your health will benefit much more from daily brushing with fluoride toothpaste than from brushing with ineffective fluoride-free alternatives.


Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical compound that many dentists use for professional cleanings. Although it has been proven to remove dirt and plaque, it may not be that safe to use at home. Dentists are trained for several years to use various compounds and substances in effective yet safe ways. Accidentally swallowing hydrogen peroxide can put you at risk of serious health problems, such as irritated gums and internal bleeding.

That being said, many drug stores do offer diluted hydrogen peroxide. These compounds use safer concentrations in order to clean teeth without posing any risk to your health. You can try using these products at home if needed, but be sure to consult your dentist first. You should also only stick to products that are labeled as safe and effective. To lessen any serious risks to your health, consider using whitening products that use safe doses of hydrogen peroxide instead of using the compound by itself. 

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