Natural Mouthwash Offers Safe Alternative to Tooth Whiteners
The quest for a whiter smile has led to a new boom in cosmetic dental products, from over-the-counter bleaching agents to laser whitening systems. It has also led to unnecessary damage to people’s teeth, plus the potential for larger health problems, says Dr. Lewis Gross, owner of Tribeca Center for Holistic and Integrative Dentistry.
“Over-the counter bleaching agents, such as whitening strips or in-office one-hour laser whitening, use concentrated peroxide, which denatures and dehydrates the tooth enamel,” he says. “If the user’s gums are receded, the exposed root tubules are stripped of their protective coating, making the teeth extremely cold sensitive and prone to future root canal.”
Bleaching is also a temporary fix, as stains always return, he notes. “People who continuously bleach their teeth are at serious risk of permanent damage. As a holistic dentist for almost 40 years, I believe that swallowing an at-home caustic bleaching product all night increases the risk of oral cancer, esophageal ulceration and digestive inflammation.
A natural answer
To counter what he considers a worrisome trend in dentistry, Gross developed a breath-freshening mouthwash that also acts as a natural tooth whitener. It does not contain bleach, which is caustic, or abrasives, which can damage teeth—especially in people with receding gums—by acting like sandpaper.
“Alka-White is an anti-acid,” explains. “It creates an alkaline salivary environment that is antibacterial, freshens breath and gently whitens teeth by removing stains. It will not artificially change the natural color of a tooth.”
Among the natural ingredients in Alka-White are baking soda, coconut oil and essential oils and spices. There is also a version containing turmeric.
Unlike liquid mouthwashes, this one comes in a portable tablet form, Gross adds. “You can break off pieces of the tablet and put it directly in your mouth, or you can drop a whole tablet in warm water,” he says. “It acts as an effervescent mouthwash, so it cleans all the nooks and crannies of the entire oral cavity through a 30-second oil pulling. Then, to white the teeth, you brush with the remaining paste.”
A pioneering spirit
Gross has been a pioneer for natural oral health in NYC, choosing the less-invasive, whole-body approach to dentistry long before it became mainstream. So it makes sense that he would show his pioneering spirit with this tooth-whitening mouthwash, which he says is the first of its kind.
Tribeca Center for Holistic and Integrative Dentistry is located at 17 Park Place, Tribeca, NY. For more information, contact Dr. Gross at 212-732-2200 or visit Holistic-Dentists.com and mention Natural Awakenings.