Too much information on the internet can mislead and often deceive readers. However, potentially harmful DIY remedies for dental care is just one among many topics that are used to draw out more clicks and views. These misconceptions can cause permanent damage to one's oral health. Read on to find out the truth about some of the popular oral health myths and discover the real deal on how to keep your mouth healthy.
Some people believe flossing is unnecessary and can even damage teeth. They think flossing regularly can create spaces between teeth. But it is not true. Flossing actually helps to remove the food residue between them1.
The visible gap after flossing is the space that gums should occupy after it has been cleared of the residue. If dental plaque is not removed, gum inflammation and recession can occur, causing gaps between teeth to become bigger2. Flossing can only be bad if done wrongly. Consult your dentist to make sure you are using the correct flossing technique.
According to Dr Matthew J. Messina, a dentist from Cleveland and spokesman for the American Dental Association, most alcoholics think alcohol can help a toothache that is cause by infections3. But, it will actually only numb the pain, which will inevitably return as the same toothache the next morning. The prognosis of an oral condition worsens if the appropriate treatment is not sought at an early stage.
Some online articles may suggest some common remedies such as to rub lemon peel or squirt lemon juice against your teeth, or mix lemon juice with baking soda to achieve whiter teeth. What these articles don’t tell you is that these remedies aren’t safe for the teeth enamel!
For starters, lemon juice is actually highly acidic, so you should never allow it to come into contact with your teeth for a prolonged period of time as it will wear away its protective layer that’s known as the enamel.
As for lemon-baking soda mixture, it is rather difficult to accurately measure and decide on how much baking soda you will need to cancel out the lemon juice’s acidity. And baking soda powder can actually damage the enamel due to its corrosive nature1,4, so it’s never a wise idea.
While lemons are good for your health, Once the enamel is worn off, you will end up being more vulnerable to tooth sensitivity and even decay! You’re much better off using fluoridated whitening toothpastes which have been carefully formulated and refined to remove stains and be stain-free.
Aspirin is a medication used to relieve pain, fever and inflammation. Some people got the idea from online sources to put aspirin directly on their tooth to get rid of a toothache, but it only has a temporary reductive effect. The pain will come back, and a visit to the dentist will be unavoidable. Besides, aspirin is an acetylsalicylic acid. Acids will harm gums and other soft tissues on the cheeks and tongue, resulting in burning pain5,6.
Remember, aspirin only works as a painkiller. It does not cure the underlying cause. If you encounter a toothache or any signs or symptoms, you are highly encouraged to visit the nearest dentist before a more severe problem develops.
Myths about dental remedies have been around longer than the internet. Fact-checking such data is always necessary to be on the safe side. If in doubt, just check with your dentist to get the best advice for you to have healthier teeth and a beautiful smile!