Trends and fads have long been part of life. All the internet has done is move them along faster. With that having been said, many people still view the internet as an authoritative source of information and accept much of what they see there uncritically. Much of the time this is harmless, but occasionally it can be quite dangerous. This is especially true of health information found online. A lot of it is simply inaccurate, but some of it can pose a risk to your health and well-being. Here, we’re going to take a look at some online trends that are dangerous to your oral health. We’ll learn why these online trends are damaging to your oral health, how you can avoid them, and what you can do instead.
In social media spaces devoted to alternative health, there’s a lot of talk about the supposed benefits of apple cider vinegar. While apple cider vinegar can add a lot of flavor to our foods and may in fact have some health benefits, it’s not good for your teeth. The fact is that apple cider vinegar is acidic, and those acids can eat away at the enamel of our teeth. This in turn leaves teeth at risk of permanent damage including discoloration, cavities, tooth decay, and tooth loss. If you must use apple cider vinegar, either culinarily or for health reasons, avoid exposing your teeth to it directly. As with any acidic food, rinse your mouth with fresh water afterward. It’s important to avoid brushing your teeth directly after consuming acidic foods, as the enamel may still be soft and prone to damage.
Brushing with active charcoal is another health trend spurred on by social media. The theory is that active charcoal removes discoloration from our teeth, making them whiter. The reality, however, is that active charcoal is an abrasive that wears away at the enamel of our teeth and makes them more prone to staining. In addition, consuming active charcoal can interfere with any medications we may be taking. If whiter teeth is the goal, we should instead seek out a professional whitening treatment from our trusted dentist. It’ll give us better results and keep our teeth safe and healthy.
It should go without saying that superglue and hot glue guns ought to be kept well away from our teeth and gums. However, there are people who do try to get creative and glue various objects to their teeth either as part of a Halloween costume or just to try out a different look. This is a bad idea, as superglue can bond with the teeth and cause permanent damage and hot glue can both damage teeth and deliver serious burns to the gums, lips, or face. We should refrain from using any glue in this role, it’s just a bad idea.
There’s another trend floating around in which folks who are unhappy with the shape of their teeth file them down themselves to the desired proportions. This will result in permanent damage and tooth loss. Teeth do not grow back, and any modification to the shape of a tooth should be carried out by a dental professional. There are a variety of cosmetic treatments for misshapen or misspaced teeth available so talk to your dentist if these are of interest to you.
The internet is a good and wonderful thing, and social media has brought people together like never before. However, like any source of information, it should be approached critically. Talk to your health care professionals at Queen City Dental Arts before adopting any health ideas you see online. It may save you a great deal of time and trouble in the long run.