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Your Alternatives to Unsafe Oral Health and Hygiene Trends

Your Alternatives to Unsafe Oral Health and Hygiene Trends

Wellness and lifestyle trends constantly come and go. There are fads that are harmless, others are beneficial – like jogging and meditation – while some can be detrimental. Below are some oral health trends that you or your child might come across on social media that can be harmful.

1. Toothpaste and mouthwash dispensers

The reason why this trend is unsafe is that it involves combining mouthwash and toothpaste in a transparent dispenser. However, toothpaste tubes are not clear for a reason – exposure to UV rays can decrease the effectiveness of toothpaste over time. Additionally, mouthwash has a higher level of acidity than toothpaste and can cause damage to teeth with prolonged exposure.

A safer alternative: Stick to the traditional method of dental hygiene: Brush twice a day and floss daily. If you want to use mouthwash, it’s important to follow the instructions provided on the bottle.

2. Resolving tooth gaps with the use of rubber bands

The reason why this approach isn’t safe is that moving your teeth too quickly can put undue pressure on the roots, leading to pain and potential tooth loss. Also, leaving a foreign object in your mouth for an extended period of time can promote the growth of harmful bacteria, which can result in gum disease.

A safer alternative: Talk to your dentist about safe and healthy options to close any gaps in your teeth.

3. Using magic erasers to conceal coffee stains on teeth

The reason why using magic erasers on your teeth is unsafe is that they contain a highly toxic substance called melamine, which can cause nausea, vomiting, and irritability. Over time, using magic erasers can also cause your teeth to become more sensitive and appear yellower. This is because the eraser’s abrasive texture can remove the protective layer of tooth enamel, exposing the yellowish layer of dentin underneath.

A safer alternative: Consult with your dentist. She can recommend the safest and most effective way to achieve your desired results, taking into account your individual situation and dental history.

4. Using your hair to floss

The reason why using hair as dental floss is not safe is because hair can break and get stuck in between teeth, which can attract bacteria and cause infection. Moreover, even if you manage to remove food particles, hair is not as effective as traditional floss at removing plaque along the gumline.

A safer alternative is to use conventional floss, floss picks, or water flossers, which are designed specifically for oral hygiene. Not only is it more effective than using hair, but you also don’t have to pull out your own hair.

5. Drinking pineapple juice before wisdom tooth removal

Drinking pineapple juice to reduce swelling after surgery is not safe since the sugar and acid in the juice can actually increase swelling by irritating your teeth and gums.

A safer alternative: Follow your dentist’s recommendations post-surgery, which may include using ice packs to reduce swelling. Gargling with salt water can also be a safe and effective at-home remedy (just be sure not to swallow the saltwater).

Do not take harmful shortcuts when it comes to your oral health. If you have any questions about the health of your teeth and gums or are interested in making cosmetic changes to your smile, it’s best to consult with your Dallas dentist. She can provide you with safe and healthy options to achieve your desired results.


“Should You Hack Your Toothpaste & Mouthwash?” GAP Dental Products, https://www.gapdental.com/blog/should-you-hack-your-toothpaste-mouthwash
“How Do Teeth Move?” Burke & Redford Orthodontists, https://burkeredfordorthodontists.com/how-do-teeth-move/
“TikTokers Are Using Magic Erasers to Whiten Their Teeth — But Is There Any Way That’s Safe?” Shape, https://www.shape.com/lifestyle/mind-and-body/tiktok-safe-to-use-magic-easer-on-teeth
“Expert warns against ‘hack’ of using your hair to floss your teeth,” Metro, https://metro.co.uk/2020/10/17/expert-warns-against-hack-of-using-your-hair-to-floss-your-teeth-13437482/   
“How Helpful Is Drinking Pineapple Juice For Wisdom Tooth Surgery Pain?” Health, https://www.health.com/condition/oral-health/does-drinking-pineapple-juice-help-swelling-wisdom-teeth-surgery