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06 / 04 / 2018

Social Media, Search Engines And Your Teeth

Why You Should Avoid Advice From Sometimes Unreliable Sources

We have probably all done it; watching TV with a laptop in front of us and suddenly thinking, ‘I wonder why my gums are itching’, or some other almost idle thought that pops into our head.

The first thing that many of us do is to search online for it, and for sure, there will be a lot of information that appears instantly on our screens. Whilst some of this may contain good advice, the reality is that some most certainly will not.

The same applies to social media. One of the biggest dangers there is that ‘fake news’ or sensationalist cures are quite likely to be shared around, often with the best of intentions.

Unfortunately, many of these are what are called ‘clickbait’; their only purpose is to drive you towards the desired web page which may either be selling a product or providing information for propaganda purposes.

The risks of incorrect information

One of the most common searches related to dentistry is for ways to whiten teeth naturally. On the surface of things, that seems relatively harmless, and, if it’s natural, then it should be OK… shouldn’t it?

Unfortunately, this is a good example of the type of information that is so misleading for our Ipswich patients. You will find a number of suggestions on how to whiten the teeth naturally. Many of these simply don’t work at all and those that do will do so in a way that may produce some level of success, but will very likely damage your teeth in the process.

Let’s take a look at two of the most common ‘natural whitening suggestions’ that appear in search results:

Lemon juice (sometimes mixed with baking soda)

The idea that using lemon juice to whiten your teeth is harmless is unfortunately all too common. Although lemon juice acts as a form of bleaching agent, replacing, in effect, the whitening agents used in the teeth whitening procedure that we have available at The Lighthouse Dental Practice, it will damage your teeth in a way that our professionally prepared treatment won’t. Lemon juice is known to be extremely acidic, and using this on your teeth will strip away the protective enamel layer.

Charcoal teeth whitening

Charcoal is one of the most recent ‘fads’ endorsed by celebrities and therefore often pops up on social media. The idea is that ‘activated’ charcoal will lift stains from the surface of your teeth. This doesn’t address any discolouration connected with the inner part of the tooth becoming darker, as naturally happens as we get older. The likelihood is that any success gained by using this product is due to the abrasive qualities of charcoal. Again, this can damage the surface enamel of your teeth.

Teeth whitening is one of the most common searches, but it is not the only one. We have seen suggestions as to how to pull your own teeth out and even how to straighten your teeth using rubber bands. The fact is that, if you follow this type of advice, you are asking for trouble, and quite possibly a lot of pain too. Please don’t do it!

If you are unhappy about any aspect of your teeth and gums, whether something is causing discomfort, or you are not happy with the way that they look, please don’t turn to the internet.

Our experienced dental team are available to offer unbiased advice on the best way to resolve your problem. If you would like to discuss something with one of our Ipswich dentists, please call The Lighthouse Dental Practice on 01473 257379.

We are here to help you.
If you would like to speak to a member of our friendly team about any of the issues in this article please visit our contact page or call us on 01473 257379.

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk ...“

Jenny

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantast...“

Dee D

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a to...“

Ginette S

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my too...“

Susannah B

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“Having not been to a dentist in over 25 years, I was a bag o...“

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“Hygienist, Angela sets you at ease from the moment you walk in the door. She is not onl...“

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“Wow! The service I received from Jane was absolutely fantastic; she went above and beyond ...“

Dee D

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“I am 70 years of age, and I have always been afraid to go to the dentist. A broken tooth ...“

Earlmain L

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“I booked an emergency treatment appointment, having had a tooth for a few days and was una...“

Ginette S

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“As a nervous patient, I was very worried about having my tooth removed. I was instantly pu...“

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