Question: I read a lot of things about dental care on Facebook. How come my dentist doesn’t talk to me about things like oil pulling, whitening with charcoal, and the dangers of fluoride?

Answer: Social media like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest have fundamentally changed the way we receive our information. We have embraced the instant age where just about any subject is at the tip of our fingers on our phones, I-pads and laptops. I personally love Facebook and spend too much time being friends with people I have never met in person. I also receive the posts about dental care, so I know what you are talking about. Some of these types of “healthcare” posts are very informative and thought provoking. Others, I think are posted more for shock value.

For example, you can always try the method of whitening your teeth with charcoal. It is inexpensive, and probably works as well as whitening toothpastes. But why? Does oil pulling work? Sure, if you look at the literature, oil pulling works as well as brushing for 2 minutes twice a day and flossing. So if you really hate the normal routine, do oil pulling, which means swishing with coconut oil for twenty (yes it has to be twenty) minutes every day for the rest of your life. If you have that kind of dedication, why not just brush and floss? You will save about 15 minutes a day!

As far as fluoride goes, I have written extensively about this in previous articles. The facts are these. The research showing the horrors of fluoride are faulty. They used data from places where the natural concentration is thousands of times higher than what we have added to our public water supply. Of course, too much of anything can be bad. In recommended doses fluoride has been one of the biggest health benefits of our time. It makes teeth stronger and helps them resist the decay process. It has lowered the amount of tooth decay by 25% for all populations. That is great since tooth decay has historically been one of the biggest health problems for children.

So, enjoy all those cute cat videos on Facebook. Talk to your dentist about dentistry and oral health. If you have any questions, visit our Facebook page!