Dentists dispel the value of popular dental fads

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Barely a day goes by when you don’t come across a new miracle cure or trendy health fad in the papers. At this time of year, when many make resolutions for a bigger, better year ahead, these articles are particularly commonplace. The trouble is that there is a lot of conflicting advice out there, and often, the trends you see on sites like Instagram and in glossy magazines are actually not that effective. With the New Year upon us, some leading dentists dispel the value of popular dental fads.

If you’re a fan of celebrity social media accounts, it’s highly likely that you’ve come across snaps of healthy detox drinks, including the hugely popular photo of a glass of hot water with lemon. The bad news is that although many famous faces swear by this easy detox therapy, it’s actually harmful for your teeth. Water is great, but add a slice of lemon, and you’re decreasing the pH value significantly, increasing the chances of enamel erosion. Dr Ben Atkins, a trustee of the Oral Health Foundation, claims that sipping on lemon-infused water can soften the teeth and also make them darker in colour. Another natural remedy to avoid based on its acidic content is apple cider vinegar.

Dr Atkins also advises patients to steer clear of the ancient Ayurvedic practice of oil pulling, which he describes as a “waste of time.” Previous winner of the Best Young Dentist award, Dr Rhona Eskander, also doubts the efficacy of this trendy habit.

To keep dental problems at bay, the dentists recommend brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, avoiding snacking and drinking sugary or acidic drinks between meals and attending regular dental appointments.

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