Internet Advice And Your Teeth

Why DIY dentistry is almost always a very bad idea.

What is the first thing that you do if you feel unwell, or suspect that there is something wrong with your teeth? You probably go straight online to try to self diagnose, as many people do.

Whilst it is great being able to find information about your health online, interpreting the information and being able to determine the difference between accurate information and false claims can be difficult.

Some of the false information is available because, quite bluntly, it makes money for the person claiming it. Other information may have been uploaded by someone with the best of intentions, but unfortunately, this also often results in damage to the teeth and gums.

In today’s blog, The Lodge Dental Suite team take a look at some of the more common dental claims that can cause harm which are commonly found on the internet.

Teeth whitening

This is one of the most common searches relating to cosmetic dentistry. Because many of the suggested methods seem relatively harmless and easy to try, it is probably not surprising that people try to save themselves a few pounds by attempting this themselves. Unfortunately, even such a non invasive treatment as teeth whitening can be very damaging if you do it yourself. One of the most common suggestions is to use lemon juice to whiten the teeth. Not only will this not work, but the high levels of acid will cause harm, damaging the enamel on your teeth.

Dental bands

Largely, although not exclusively, specific to the USA;  this craze resulted in many teenagers’ teeth being badly damaged. The idea is to use a series of elastic bands to reposition crooked teeth. Needless to say, this simply does not work and can make the problem much worse than it originally was. Modern orthodontics are available for teenagers, where they are a suitable candidate. Please contact our Cheshunt practice for more information.

Charcoal toothpaste

This one is very recent and has been endorsed by a number of celebrities, leading to its popularity. As with lemon juice, the aim is to make the teeth brighter. It is highly unlikely that much, if any, improvement will be seen, and there are two aspects to this practise that can be damaging. Firstly, charcoal toothpastes generally do not contain fluoride, an ingredient that helps to strengthen and protect the enamel on your teeth. Secondly, the gritty texture of charcoal will act as an abrasive and is likely to cause damage to the very same enamel.

DIY dental kits

We thought that we would mention these DIY dental kits which can be bought from chemists. These usually contain items such as a dental adhesive and a small quantity of ready made amalgam. These can be useful and are really meant for emergency use only. If you were in a remote part of the world and a filling came out, or you broke a tooth and were unable to find a suitable dentist, they are useful for a temporary repair. Placing your own dental fillings is difficult however, and there are likely to be gaps between the filling and the tooth where bacteria will multiply and decay set in. Make sure, if you use one of these kits, to be seen by your regular dentist, once back home, to have the treatment done properly.

If you have seen any information, such as the above, on the internet, and would like us to discuss it on our blog, please let us know. You can email us via the contact page on our website, or call The Lodge Dental Suite on 01992 643388.