The internet makes it easy to keep up with the latest trends, but oftentimes the information you find online is incomplete or inaccurate. There are a few going around right now that are viewed by many people as healthy but in reality can take a toll on your oral health. It’s important to have all the facts before you try out anything that could affect your smile. Here’s the truth behind 4 popular trends that are bad for your teeth.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Drinking or gargling with apple cider vinegar is supposed to have all kinds of benefits, such as calming an upset stomach, relieving a sore throat, or helping you lose weight. But whatever the advantages are, it should be noted that apple cider vinegar is also highly acidic. This means that it can cause the teeth to weaken significantly if you drink it too often, which can potentially lead to cavities.
If you do choose to drink apple cider vinegar for whatever reason, you should be proactive about protecting your smile from acid attacks. Once you’re done with the cider, rinse your mouth with water to get rid of any leftover liquid and return the pH of your mouth to normal.
2. Lemon Juice Cleanse
A juice cleanse is when you consume nothing but fruit and vegetable juice to lose weight and “detoxify” your body. One particularly well-known example is the Master Cleanse, which is based around drinking a special “lemonade” made up of lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water. Unfortunately, lemon juice is extremely acidic, and maple syrup is loaded with sugar; this means the lemonade can very easily wreak havoc on your oral health, especially if it’s all you’re drinking.
3. Sparkling Water
Many people take up sparkling water as an alternative to soda. And to be sure, compared to soda it’s less harmful to your teeth. That said, it is still somewhat acidic, particularly if citric acid has been added. Sipping sparkling water throughout the day creates a low pH balance in your mouth, which increases your risk of tooth decay. It’s best to enjoy sparkling water during a meal, which is when your mouth produces more saliva that can balance out any acids.
4. Activated Charcoal
Applying activated charcoal to the teeth is supposed to help get rid of toxins and stains, leading to a whiter, healthier grin. However, according to the American Dental Association, there’s insufficient evidence to say that it has these benefits. Meanwhile, the abrasive nature of charcoal means that it can easily wear down your enamel, causing permanent damage. It’s best to avoid this particular trend altogether, as the certain risks far outweigh the uncertain benefits.
Are there any other trends you’ve been thinking about that might affect your smile? Make sure you talk to your dentist in San Marcos before you try anything new. They can give you a heads up on any oral health risks you might be taking and give you some tips for protecting your grin in the long term.
About the Author
Dr. J. Robert Donnelly achieved his Doctorate of Dental Surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center, and he has attained status as a Master of the Academy of General Dentistry. He has completed countless hours of continuing dental education, letting him offer great insight into the oral health of his patients. If you’re curious about how the latest trend might affect your oral health, or if you need to schedule a consultation, you can get in touch with Dr. Donnelly at San Marcos Gentle Dental by visiting his website or calling (512) 396-5225.