We all love a social media hack – but some of them should be taken with a pinch of salt, especially when they affect your health.
Many of us are trying to live healthier after the pandemic and it can be struggle to differentiate between real health advice from experts and so called ‘life hacks’ propagated by social media ‘influencers’.
A lot of health advice trending on social media is not actually based on what qualified experts are actually saying, and in some cases, even contradicts what most doctors would recommend.
When it comes to dental health, there’s plenty of bad advice going around the various online platforms where people like to congregate, and a lot of it could lead us to doing more harm than good to our teeth.
READ MORE: Should you brush your teeth before or after breakfast? A dentist shares their advice
Speaking to The Sun, one dental expert, Dr Khaled Kasem, Chief Orthodontist of orthodontic chain Impress, listed five trends that could lead to severe tooth pain.
1. Lemon water
Although lemons are generally good for you, Dr Kasem warns that the acidity in lemon water could lead to the erosion of enamel, the thin outer covering of the tooth, leaving you teeth “susceptible to gum disease and decay over time.”
Explaining that lemon water should be drunk through a straw if it is a daily ritual, people with mouth sores are better off steering clear of lemon water all together “as the acidity can cause irritation and inflammation.”
2. Apple cider vinegar
Similar to lemon water, apple cider vinegar is also highly acidic and can lead to the erosion of tooth enamel, Dr Kasem warns. Not only that, it can also upset your stomach and throat, he adds.
He says: "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.”
3. Charcoal toothpaste
Dr Kasem also warns against overdoing it with the charcoal toothpaste, which has recently become increasingly popular thanks to its promotion by social media influencers as a way to whiten your teeth.
While the dental health expert concedes that charcoal toothpaste can temporarily give your teeth a temporary glow by lifting a light surface of staining, particles of charcoal can become embedded in the cracks of your enamel and cause your teeth to crack.
4. Juice cleanses
Despite helping you stick to your five-a-day, fruit cleanses could actually result in sugar building up and getting stuck in the crevices of your teeth, Dr Kasem warns.
He adds: "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.”
5. Smaller meals, more often
Dieticians might advise eating smaller meals more often will help speed up your metabolism, but from a dental health perspective, this method gives your mouth less time to break down the foods you ate in your previous meal, resulting in a build-up of bacteria and acid on your teeth and gums that could lead to cavities.
Dr Kasem advises: "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.”
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