As more and more people begin to use new teeth whitening products, dentists are increasingly becoming worried about the damage you are causing.
We do some pretty weird things all in the name of beauty, like rubbing charcoal on our teeth, or the latest one, buying clip on veneers off the internet.
But some teeth whitening products are stripping the goodness out, that your teeth need!
Dentist Dr Richard Marques, from Wimpole Street Dental in London commented:
“Some trends sound natural, but can have bad consequences for teeth, we’re all more aware of our teeth and our smiles now because of selfie culture. It makes us very self-critical, which can lead us to try out some risky things.”
What does my dentist want me to avoid doing to my teeth?
Any organic or boutique style toothpaste is lacking one key ingredient, That key ingredient is fluoride. This applies to Aloe-Vera and the strange one, Wasabi toothpaste!
Fluoride is needed in a western sugary diet as it combats tooth decay caused by sugary foods, a dentist recommends people aged six years plus use toothpaste with around 1,350-1,500 parts per million of fluoride.
Dr Marques said:
“I saw a patient who’d switched to herbal toothpaste and she had developed a large cavity plus damage to two other teeth, despite having had perfectly healthy teeth before.”
What about whitening kits, are they ok for my teeth?
Teeth whitening kits are becoming a bit of a problem, well I say a bit, they are a problem!
A large percentage of kits contain high amounts of Hydrogen Peroxide, and are illegal. In the UK the legal amount of Hydrogen peroxide that is allowed in a kit is just 0.1 percent, where as Dentists are legally allowed to use 6 percent.
To stop you getting confused and to understand how these kits are labelled, most use something called Carbamide Peroxide as their percentage.
Carbamide Peroxide contains Hydrogen Peroxide mixed at a ratio of 1:3, so if a gel kit contains 35% CP then the kit is illegal and contains 11.7 percent Hydrogen Peroxide! That is twice the legal limit for a dentist, never mind a consumer like you an i.
The problem here is that more and more dentists are reporting that they have patients coming in, that have completely eroded their teeth’s enamel (the stuff that protects your teeth) and also eroded their gums so severely that nothing but surgery is an option.
This kind of surgery doesn’t sound to pleasant as it involves taking bits of flesh from your palate to transplant to the damaged area of your gums.
“If you’re buying online you can’t be sure what percentage the products are. Some even have chlorine dioxide in them, which is illegal.” Said cosmetic dentist Dr Uchenna Okoye, from London Smiling.
Are custom made clip-on veneers ok to use?
A rapidly growing trend amongst Instagrammers for giving them that perfect smile in their photo’s, clip on veneers don’t have any other purpose than vanity. You can’t eat with them in or drink, and sometimes you can’t even speak properly.
The problem with clip-on veneers is that they actually do damage your teeth, Dr Marques said:
“They can cause decay because food gets trapped underneath, and plaque and bacteria are held against the teeth as you wear them. Teeth can be damaged even if you only wear them for an hour, as teeth are deprived of the cleansing action of saliva.”
Is charcoal toothpaste good for my teeth? Or does it do damage?
Most of us have probably heard of charcoal toothpaste by now, social media sites exploded with this new fad a few months back!
Celebrities have a bit of a part in this, some even swear by it, saying the toothpaste removes toxins and makes your teeth pearly white.
The issue dentists have here is that charcoal is really abrasive and will rub away your enamel with prolonged use. Rubbing away your enamel not only leaves your teeth vulnerable to acids and decay, but it also reveals the soft yellowish dentine underneath.
So really you might look smiley white in the short term, but in the long term you are going to have a horrible yellowish look to your pride and joys.
You only have 1 set of enamel, yep, once it’s gone, it is gone! Enamel does not grow back!
OHF chief executive Dr Nigel Carter commented:
“We believe shoppers may be being misled as much of the time the celebrity [promoting it] has had professional tooth whitening and their white smiles are not a direct result of using the product”
If you really must use charcoal toothpaste, don’t use it with a toothbrush, use your finger to gently rub it over your teeth. Doing it this way minimises the abrasiveness of the product making it less likely to do harmful damage to your teeth.
What about AYURVEDIC OILS like coconut oil, is it bad for my teeth?
Now not a lot of you are probably familiar with this technique, it involves using oils such as coconut, sunflower and Sesame oil, etc.
Many people in the ‘wellness’ community love this, you swish and pull the oils around your mouth, in and out of your teeth for around 20 minutes.
This technique supposedly cleans and whitens teeth, and some even say it cures sore throats! Nope!
This kind of madness has even been linked to a rare form of pneumonia! Yes you heard right, this is because some of the oil is actually breathed into your lungs whilst your casually swishing away for 20 odd minutes.
Apart from the scary pneumonia thing, swishing oils can actually help with plaque by stopping it from sticking to the teeth, but I wouldn’t recommend it. Try using a cup of warm salt water instead, it is anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Apple cider vinegar is another celebrity favourite, but it does harm your teeth.
The problem with this is as it states in black and white is that it is a vinegar, we all know vinegar is an acid right? Acid erodes enamel!
Apart from the fact Apple Cider vinegar or any vinegar in-fact stinks, Apple Cider vinegar tastes foul too resulting in you wanting to clean your teeth with regular toothpaste straight after!
Doing this is a very bad idea! Why? well the acid in the vinegar has softened your tooth enamel, and brushing it with a bristle toothbrush is going to rub away at that precious commodity that you need.
We recommend you wait at least an hour after using vinegar before brushing, this is also true for any kind of acidic drinks likes sodas!
Now last but not least, teeth strips. If you are a resident in the UK strips are illegal and have been banned! But if you come from America then you can use this product as the USA guidelines allow much higher percentages of Hydrogen Peroxide levels than the UK.
So much more so that the legal limit in the US is around 10-14 percent, where as the UK is just 0.1 percent, big difference there isn’t it.
Some products actually contain a whopping 20 percent Hydrogen Peroxide, we all know what this can do don’t we from earlier on in this article.
Yes, products that are really strong destroy your tooth’s enamel and burn away your gums, resulting in surgery.
That’s all folks! If you liked this article then please share and leave a comment below, Thanks.