Should You Use Salt as a Toothpaste Replacement?
Natural oral health care products have been rising in popularity. Some people prefer the ease of reaching into their pantry for a cheap dental cleaner. Others may get excited about the prospect of using salt after watching a social media video that claims it whitens better than other products.
How Safe is Salt as a Toothpaste Replacement?
Salt does have some benefits for your oral health. We’ll occasionally suggest using a mild saltwater solution to ease the pain of canker sores or other oral wounds.
Other than that, it is better to use a dentist-approved toothpaste for your every day oral hygiene routine. Knowing why salt can damage your teeth makes it easier to choose a better option for getting them clean.
Watch Out for Enamel Abrasion
Salt can help to whiten your teeth. The tiny crystals have naturally abrasive qualities. As you rub the salt across your teeth with your brush, it scrapes away surface stains and tartar.
The problem is that this abrasive effect can be too strong. Tooth enamel is susceptible to damage if you aggressively rub salt across the surface.
Enamel abrasion sets you up for future dental problems. Removing the top surface of your teeth exposes the underlying dentin.
The dentin lacks the strength of the outer enamel. This means that you’ll experience greater tooth sensitivity, which may make it hard to enjoy hot or cold food or drinks.
The dentin is also yellower than the enamel. If you have enamel abrasion, then your teeth will always look yellow unless they get covered up with a restoration such as crowns or veneers.
Consider the Lack of Fluoride
Fluoride is a natural mineral that is found in the soil, water and air. For years, it has been added to the public water supply to help support dental health. If you use salt for toothpaste, then you might not be getting enough fluoride on your teeth.
We generally recommend brushing your teeth at least twice a day with a toothpaste that contains fluoride. In some cases, we may also prescribe prescription toothpaste and mouth rinses that have extra fluoride.
These special dental products go much further than salt for preventing serious tooth decay.
Choose Safer Whitening Treatments
If you’ve already used salt, then try not to worry. Most likely, you didn’t do major damage if it was only one or two times. If there is some enamel abrasion, we can help you choose the best restoration to stop tooth sensitivity.
Your dentist also has safe options to make your teeth whiter.
Dentist-approved teeth whitening methods are designed to lift stains without damaging your teeth. You’ll also see a noticeable improvement in the color of your teeth after your first treatment.
With salt, you could brush for weeks before seeing deep stains lift. You can even choose from in-office or at-home treatments that come with your dentist’s approval.
The fact that you are thinking about using salt to clean your teeth is a good sign that you are interested in improving your oral health.
Making a commitment to brush and floss regularly with a safe and gentle toothpaste helps you to achieve the goal of a prettier smile.
If you still have concerns about how white your teeth are, schedule an appointment. Getting a professional cleaning or teeth whitening service will improve your smile while protecting your oral health.