Just like everything else, new trends in dentistry crop up once in a while. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to stay on top of trends. From cold brewing coffee to balayaging your hair, it’s always fun to experiment with something new. Not all trends are created equal, though — particularly if they cause more harm than good. Unfortunately, some of the most current trends in dentistry are doing just that. What are they and is the damage already done?
In a World Full of Trends, Remain a Classic
We can’t help but be influenced by all of the images we’re inundated with from day to day, which is why I completely understand why it’s easy to get caught up in trends. If you’re doing any of the following, however, take caution:
Brushing with charcoal — I see promotions for this is EVERYWHERE! While it’s true that the porous quality of charcoal can help it bond to and remove surface stains, the benefits are only temporary. The danger is in its abrasiveness, as it can damage your enamel, which is your first defense against tooth decay and pain. When the enamel is scrubbed away by abrasive agents like charcoal, the yellowish dentin layer shows through, defeating the purpose of whitening in the first place. If you want brilliant white teeth, it’s better to seek the help of a professional (like me).
Using fluoride-free Toothpaste — Fluoride is the single most effective way to prevent cavities, so when you use a toothpaste without it, you’re asking for trouble. Yes, other toothpastes can remove debris from your teeth, but they cannot protect your teeth. For those who worry that fluoride may not be safe, know that it must be ingested in vast amounts to be harmful. If you follow the directions on your tube of fluoridated toothpaste, you’ll be perfectly fine.
Piercing your tongue or lips — While this trend has been around for years, the fact that piercings no longer have a stigma attached has it on the rise. There are two major problems with tongue or lip piercings: They invite bacteria, which can increase the likelihood of gum disease, and they can actually chip, crack, or break your teeth. If you want a new piercing, opt for a body part that is nowhere near your smile.
DIY dentistry — Just because you can buy dental tools from Amazon doesn’t mean that you should. When we use our professional equipment on your teeth, we know exactly what we’re looking for, where to use which tool, and how much pressure to use on that particular area. Keep in mind, we’re all highly trained professionals who have studied for years (and continue our education, for that matter) to know how to protect your teeth. The only dental tools in your arsenal should be a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and maybe a tongue scraper; leave the other stuff to us.
If you’re guilty of any of the above trends, stop before you cause permanent damage to your teeth. If you’re worried that you’ve already harmed your smile, come by my office for an examination. I promise, no judgment or lectures — just compassionate and comfortable dental care. I look forward to seeing you!