Are These Health Trends Hurting Your Teeth?

Just because everyone is doing it, doesn’t mean that it isn’t harmful. We’ve seen patients with damage to their smile caused by some popular health trends. Here’s what you need to know to protect your teeth.

Juice Mania

We love a good cold-pressed juice as a special treat, but be careful. Regular juice consumption and long-term juice cleanses can be hard on the teeth. Juice contains sugar, even whole fruit and vegetable juices, and as you drink, it bathes your teeth in a sugary shower. If you don’t brush soon, this sugar can erode tooth enamel, cause cavities, and create gum inflammation.

Whole fruits and vegetables are better for your teeth than juices. If you do drink juice, brush shortly after consuming. We recommend waiting about 45 minutes to brush. The acids in juice temporarily soften enamel; a short wait allows it to harden up again. A straw will reduce the amount of juice that makes contact with the teeth.

Alternative Toothpastes- Fluoride-Free or Activated Charcoal

Not all toothpastes are created equally. Alternative toothpastes are becoming more popular, and some of these formulations can be damaging to the teeth.

Activated Charcoal Toothpaste

Charcoal toothpaste is highly abrasive and may damage your teeth. Some patients notice an increase in tooth and gum sensitivity when using these toothpastes regularly. Patients with crowns, veneers, and dental implants should be especially cautious. Charcoal may stain these dental appliances, or whiten your natural teeth to the point that they no longer match.

Fluoride-Free Toothpastes

Fluoride protects the teeth and reduces decay by slowing demineralization and boosting remineralization. The remineralization process won’t stop cavities that have already formed but can strengthen weak spots in your tooth enamel. We recommend using a pea-sized drop of a fluoride toothpaste every time you brush. Fluoride-free toothpastes still clean the teeth but don’t provide the same cavity-fighting benefits of a fluoridated version.

If you need help choosing a tooth-healthy toothpaste, ask us for a recommendation.

Apple Cider Vinegar Everything

Apple cider vinegar is currently a hot health commodity. You’ll find it in trendy drinks and tonics, and people take daily vinegar shots. We’ve even reports of ACV being used as a tooth whitening treatment. As far as the teeth are concerned, vinegar is an acid, and acid can soften enamel and erode the teeth.

Skipping Straws

Saying no to plastic straws isn’t exactly health-related, but it is a growing trend, with significant ability to impact your oral health. When you drink through a straw, the liquid passes the teeth, skipping them altogether. This greatly reduces the amount of contact between your teeth and whatever you happen to be drinking.

Straws can be an important buffer for your teeth if you’re drinking soda (diet or regular), juices, and sugary drinks. Reducing your consumption of these drinks will benefit your oral health, but when you do choose to consume, use a straw.

Should I Avoid These Health Trends?

We’re not saying you should avoid the latest health trends, but we do recommend caution when jumping on the latest trend train. Some trends are harmless, some beneficial, and some can damage your beautiful smile.

Get in touch if you need help navigating the dental impact of a specific trend. Call Hill Country Oral Surgery at 512-327-7233.