Don’t Fall for the Trends:
These Dental Hacks Cause Harm

With the popularity of Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest ads on the rise, there’s no doubt that you’ve come across a dental product or tip that you’re dying to try. I mean, who wants to spend lots of money on getting your teeth professionally whitened when you can use a simple, cheap solution that you can buy right at the convenience of your home?! Well, what if we told you that these dental trends are definitely not all they are cracked up to be, and they might even cause permanent damage to your pearly whites?! After years of providing orthodontic services, our team at Ortho South wants to keep you in the know about the dangers of internet dental trends.

Black and White Color Toothpaste squeezed into shape of question marks with wooden toothbrush

Here’s what to say NO to when it comes to these too-good-to-be-true trends:


1.  Boutique Toothpastes

While many of us love boutique fitness classes and boutique salons, the one boutique thing you should avoid at all costs is trendy, boutique toothpaste. Yes, these toothpastes sound delicious with weird and wonderful flavors ranging from green tea and aloe vera to fennel and wasabi, but the flavors are not worth losing the most important ingredient in traditional toothpastes: fluoride. Many toothpaste products market themselves as “natural” because they leave out fluoride, claiming that fluoride-free toothpaste is better for your teeth, but this cannot be further from the truth. In reality, fluoride is actually a naturally occurring mineral that is the only effective defense against cavities. You should never buy any toothpaste that doesn’t include the ADA Seal of Acceptance, since only products with the seal have been clinically tested and proven to be safe and effective. 


2. Teeth Whitening Kits with Bleach

We’ve all seen these kits before—they include trays and a little syringe used to shoot bleach into the tray, and then the tray then gets popped into your mouth and sits against teeth for thirty minutes to bleach teeth for a brighter, whiter smile. What’s the problem with that?! The main issue is that the bleach used in these products is so strong that it can cause permanent damage to teeth by eating away the enamel and literally chemically burning your gums, leaving painful white spots and causing major sensitivity. Some people have had such bad burns from these kits that surgery is required to replace gum tissue to the affected area. If you’re buying a teeth whitening kit online, you may not even know what is in the products you’re using, so it’s best to ditch these kits completely to avoid some serious oral damage. If you’d like to know more about safe, effective teeth-whitening solutions contact us at today!


3. Swishing with Ayurvedic Oils

Known widely as “oil pulling”, this practice involves placing one to two tablespoons of cold-pressed oil into the mouth and gently pulling it through the teeth by swishing, sipping, and sucking the oil for 15 to 20 minutes. Warmed coconut oil is the most common oil used in oil pulling, but sesame and sunflower oils are also used in this dental hack. Oil pulling is supposed to clean and whiten teeth and prevent the build-up of plaque, but there’s just not enough evidence out there that proves its effectiveness. In fact, one study even linked repeated sesame oil-pulling with a rare form of pneumonia because oil was breathed into the lungs. Avoid these problems and the horror of having oil sitting in your mouth for 20 minutes by simply using a trusted fluoride-based mouthwash instead.


4. Rubbing Charcoal on Teeth

You have probably seen your fair share of Instagram models and celebrities with a big, black grin on their faces from this one. This trend involves taking a paste made of charcoal and rubbing it on teeth to make them appear gleaming and sparkling white. It’s slated to lift stains away, but in reality, all this trend does is abrasively remove the enamel of your teeth, leaving behind the yellowy dentine to show through and causing major sensitivity. Skip the charcoal and simply brush your teeth regularly with an ADA-approved whitening toothpaste to see real and safe results.


Don’t be deceived by the online trends prevalent everywhere on social media, there are only a few tried-and-true methods to keep your teeth looking white and beautiful. Regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing will keep your teeth looking lovely, but if you want a little extra sparkle in your smile, it’s safest to visit your dentist for an in-office whitening treatment that’s controlled by professionals for effective results.


Have more questions about dental trends, please feel free to contact us via our website or simply call 205-664-4140 to talk to one of our friendly smile experts.


We are always here to help you with any of your orthodontic needs.

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