Every year, the makers of the leading brands of toothpaste come out with their tips for the holidays, mainly angled at promoting dental hygiene. This year, they targeted fresh holiday breath, and the nation’s foremost fresh breath expert, “Dentist to the Stars” Dr. Harold Katz is crying foul.
“Their tips made no sense at all,” he said. “I can respect them wanting to put out a holiday story that puts their brand names in the public eye, as I know they like to sell toothpaste, but they should be more responsible than to be recommending measures that can actually be harmful to your teeth.”
Instead of following the old time toothpaste manufacturers’ tips, Dr. Katz has his own Five Tips to Fresh Holiday Breath.
“I have no problem with them if they are disseminating useful, common sense tips,” he said. “It’s when they recommend to consumers actions that may actually prove harmful that makes me angry. They shouldn’t be spreading tips that may actually harm people. It’s an irresponsible way to market toothpaste.”
Some of these companies recommend rinsing with Hydrogen peroxide, which can be dangerous. Hydrogen peroxide breaks down into free hydroxyl radicals which can eventually damage oral tissue if used every day.
Other companies recommend their strong tasting mouthwash or toothpaste which can contain alcohol, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (a strong detergent to create suds), Saccharin, and artificial flavors and colors as a marketing gimmick. None of these ingredients attacks the root cause of bad breath: Anaerobic sulfur-producing bacteria that breed beneath your tongue as well as the back of the throat and tonsils.
Katz has his own tips, and they include:
- Drink More Water to help replenish precious saliva. Healthy saliva contains a high concentration of oxygen, which is the natural enemy of the anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Avoid Breath Mints and Gum with Sugar. Sugar feeds the bad breath bacteria, so don’t make them any stronger than they already are. Also avoid dairy foods. The bad breath bacteria love proteins – especially those in dairy foods. (They create nasty sulfur compounds when breaking down proteins).
- Use Oral Products that contain Oxygenating Compounds, the newest therapy to stop bad breath. Brands include TheraBreath and PerioTherapy. More information is available at www.freshbreath.com or www.therabreath.com.
- Keep Your Tongue Clean. GENTLY brush your tongue with a soft nylon toothbrush, but don’t use traditional toothpaste on the brush, because most toothpaste contains the harsh drying agent, sodium lauryl sulfate (which is a fancy term for SOAP).
- Don’t Use Mouthwash Containing Alcohol. Alcohol makes the mouth dry and there is not enough alcohol in those strong tasting mouthwash formulas to kill any bacteria. Anyway, why burn the inside of your mouth during the Holidays!