12 May Dentists Want You to Stop Following These Internet Trends
The internet is hopping with advice for do-it-yourself tricks on just about everything including dental care. When it comes to seeking information on the web, know the difference between medical facts and personal opinions. Assuming that everything you read is true and tested can lead to long-term consequences for your health and wallet. Here are some recent dental-related internet trends that dentists do not want you to follow.
GIVING BAD ADVICE
There are over 1.3 billion existing websites and with that comes a whole lot of misinformation by individuals and non-experts. Here is what we’ve seen and why you should avoid these suggestions.
Straightening Teeth with a Nail File
Social media is buzzing with individuals showing how to smooth teeth using a regular emery board or metal nail file. This cringe-worthy action causes irreparable damage to the enamel. Enamel is the outer shell of teeth that protects the dentin, nerves, and cells inside the tooth. A nail file removes the enamel, causing sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, and exposing the internal structure to bacteria leading to further damage. It is uncommon that a dentist will file teeth for this same reason. Known as an enameloplasty, it is only used in rare circumstances. Once enamel is lost, it cannot be replaced, and exposed teeth will require restorative work such as a crown or tooth replacement.
DIY Tooth Whitening
Smiles are beautiful in every form and tooth whitening is a popular treatment. Professional dental whitening provides the best results safely. Dentists can also provide at-home solutions with instructions for proper usage. Retailers carry tooth whitening strips from well-known brands. Less effective than in-office whitening, they are still effective. However, here is what does not work:
Charcoal is a popular product in bath and beauty products including toothpaste. Made from high-carbon materials like coconut shells, peat, bone char, olive pits, or sawdust, charcoal is an abrasive substance that can wear down enamel. Charcoal does not contain fluoride leaving teeth vulnerable to tooth decay.
While it has been touted as a solution for whitening teeth, lemon juice is simply too acidic to leave on teeth, effectively dissolving enamel. Brushing teeth is recommended after consuming acidic foods and beverages to prevent erosion, so please do not use lemon juice to whiten teeth.
Many kinds of toothpaste contain hydrogen peroxide as a whitening ingredient. The type of peroxide used in toothpaste formulas is different from the peroxide purchased full strength in a bottle. Food-grade hydrogen peroxide contains 35% peroxide. This potent percentage damages teeth and can also cause serious gastrointestinal issues.
Pulling coconut oil is an ancient ayurvedic practice used to detoxify the mouth. To pull the oil, users swish a tablespoon of it in their mouth for 15 to 20 minutes. The idea is bacteria are caught up in the oil and dissolved. While oil pulling is not dangerous, it is not a replacement for regular oral hygiene. Oil pulling cannot resolve issues with gum disease including soreness, swelling, and bleeding. Left unchecked, it can transition to periodontal disease, a systemic condition that can affect other organs.
Yes, it’s out there, individuals trying to straighten their own teeth using paper clips, self-molded mouth guards, and even rubber bands. This is a straight-out ‘no’. A true orthodontist takes several aspects into account before making braces including overbites and underbites, jaw size, tooth gaps, and alignment. Trying this on your own will cause serious and potentially permanent damage to the mouth, jaw, and other areas of your body.
Seek Professional Advice
Social media platforms are a great place to hear new music, watch videos, find new recipes, watch your favorite celebrity, laugh, and be entertained. But when it comes to medical advice, rely on the experts such as the American Dental Association or another credible medical website. The best advice is to simply call your dentist and ask.
At Imperial Dental Center, our goal is to provide the best oral care to our patients to ensure you are getting results that are safe for your teeth. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Dragana Angelova
We Love to See You Smile