SOCIAL media is full of health and wellness trends.
Whether it’s ‘what I eat in a day’ videos or snappy workout reels, it seems there really is something for everyone.
But one expert has warned that some of these trends could actually be harmful for our dental health.
Dr Khaled Kasem, Chief Orthodontist of orthodontic chain Impress said in the age of life hacks and wellness trends, it can be difficult to determine the truth from the fantasy when navigating health advice online.
He said there are five in particular that could be damaging your teeth and causing you pain.
1. Lemon water
We’ve all seen the videos popping up on TikTok focusing on the benefits of lemon water.
While it can help hydrate you and is a good source of vitamin C, it can also support skin health and aid digestion.
But Dr Kasem said that drinking too much could damage your teeth.
“Lemon juice is very acidic and can erode enamel, making your teeth susceptible to gum disease and decay over time.
“Therefore, if it is one of your daily rituals, it’s best to drink it through a straw to help protect your teeth.
“If you’re showing any signs of mouth sores, steer clear of it all together, as the acidity can cause irritation and inflammation,” he said.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Many influencers swear by apple cider vinegar for its detoxing and weight-loss benefits.
But because of its high acidity, drinking a lot of apple cider vinegar can not only damage your teeth, but also upset your stomach and throat in the process, Dr. Kasem said.
He explained that similarly to lemon water, high levels of acid can directly cause erosion to your tooth enamel.
“Without this protective layer your teeth are open to the dangers of decay and permanent staining.
“Before trying apple cider vinegar, consider whether it’s worth jeopardising the colour, and overall health, of your teeth,” he added.
3. Charcoal toothpaste
One tooth whitening hack taking over the internet is charcoal toothpaste.
Dr Kasem said that while it can temporarily brighten your smile, the truth is it can do more harm than good.
“Charcoal toothpaste does lift a light surface of staining, giving your teeth a temporary glow, however it can be abrasive and damage the enamel on your teeth.
“If the particles become embedded in the cracks of your enamel, it can cause your teeth to crack and may result in an expensive trip to the dentist – not ideal when you’re searching for that Hollywood smile.”
Instead, Dr Kasem advises using standard whitening toothpaste which will do the trick in temporarily whitening your teeth.
“If you’re hoping to achieve a permanently brighter, white smile, it’s best to consult a dental professional as not only will it be much more effective, but it will also be safer, too,” he said.
4. Juice cleanses
Videos promoting ‘eating clean’ are everywhere – and that includes juice cleanses.
However, Dr Kasem said that while they might help you get your five-a-day, they could be harming your mouth.
“That’s because our teeth are designed to chew and breakdown starches into saliva before we swallow, whereas drinking juice directly allows the sugar to build up and get stuck in the crevices of your teeth.
“Overexposure to juicing can lead to complications such as cavities, crumbling molars, and even tooth decay, so if you’re wanting to try juicing, make sure to do it as part of a balanced diet between solids and liquids,” he said.
5. Smaller meals, more often
Many people have realized the benefits of eating small meals every few hours but doing so can put your teeth at risk, Dr. Kasem said.
He said that the smaller break in between meals gives your mouth less time to break down the foods you’ve just eaten, resulting in a build-up of bacteria and acid on your teeth and gums – over exposure to this can result in cavities in your teeth.
“We’d always recommend eating three meals a day where possible, brushing once after breakfast and once after your evening meal, because eating little and often without a substantial break and clean, increases your chances of developing tooth decay and even gum disease,” he added.
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