Charcoal is all the rage. Is it good for our teeth?

Activated charcoal is a beauty and health trend ingredient that has found its way into everything from ice cream to toothpaste. My brother, who lives in Brooklyn, has been brushing his teeth with powdered activated charcoal. As an effective ingredient in oral care, I have my doubts. The Journal of the American Dental Association recently published an article on the efficacy and benefits of charcoal toothpaste, and the results of the study did not prove it to be the panacea for oral health.

Charcoal is abrasive, and may in fact be too abrasive to the teeth. Brushing with it can strip away precious enamel (the mineral substance that makes teeth white and strong) and enamel doesn’t grow back once its lost.

Furthermore, the charcoal toothpastes on the market don’t contain fluoride, a substance the American Dental Association indicates as preventative against dental tooth decay.

While more research can be done on charcoal toothpaste, as of now Richards Frankel Dentistry would not promote daily use of it. However, l did enjoy some delicious charcoal ice cream this summer in Toronto….it turned my tongue black!

You heard it from the dentist’s mouth!

Best, Dr. Margaret Frankel

New Recommendations for Infants and Expectant Mothers!

 

I want to share some INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT INFORMATION with you that was recently released by the American Academy of Pediatrics and American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Infants need to visit the dentist, and infants need fluoride to make their teeth stronger! Even though baby teeth do fall out to give way to permanent adult teeth, they need to remain healthy as they can affect the health of the adult teeth underneath. And, pregnant mothers need to have a healthy oral environment so that they reduce the amount of dangerous bacteria they pass onto baby.

 

The Chicago Tribune‘s Danielle Braf reported on new recommendations for expecting mothers and children, and several were regarding oral care for both mothers and infants.  According to the Tribune’s article, The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that infants are exposed to fluoride toothpaste once their teeth begin to come in, and that babies ingest  fluoridated tap water rather than bottled water, and that mothers receive routine oral health assessments during pregnancy.

 

  • How do you administer fluoride toothpaste to infants? Rub a grain-of-rice sized toothpaste on an infant’s teeth and let it stay there. Fluoride helps strengthen the tooth and prevents cavities.
  • Use fluoridated tap water in sippy cups, or in bottles. Bottled water doesn’t contain fluoride.

In 2013, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended that routine oral health assessments should be done during pregnancy, and they published that dental X-rays also are safe throughout pregnancy.

Pregnancy can result in changes in gums and teeth, and cavity-causing bacteria can be transmitted from mother to baby. About 40 percent of pregnant women in the United States have some form of periodontal disease, including inflammation of the gums, cavities and periodontics, so it’s important that they continue to have dental work done throughout their pregnancies. Root canals and filling cavities is permitted and encouraged during pregnancy!

I hope this helps you take care of yourself and your little ones!

Best, Dr. Frankel

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Our littlest patients love to brush!!

Just a reminder to make sure your kids begin practicing good oral hygiene habits from a young age! Our littlest patients love to brush!

  • Don’t put your children to sleep with a bottle of milk or juice. The liquid can stay in their mouth after they fall asleep and cause tooth decay.
  • Wipe your child’s gums off with a gauze after they eat or drink.  After their teeth have come in, its time for them to brush!
  • Keep sugary beverages to a minimum. Sugar causes cavities!
  • Say adios to sippy cups by age 3. Start phasing them out between the ages of 2-3. Sippy cups can cause/perpetuate a sucking disorder, and change the shape of a child’s mouth if used to long.
  • Fluoride is a good way to combat tooth decay. It can be administered by your dentist, Richards Frankel Dentistry!

Thank you to our families who send us adorable photos of their kids brushing, keep them coming!