The Rise Of ‘Fake News’ And Implications For Your Teeth
30 July 2018
Choosing to follow dental advice from unregulated resources may result in significant damage.
Once upon a time, any advice given about medical issues was supplied by organisations such as the General Dental Council and distributed via dental practices and the national media.
These days, these reputable sources now have to compete with unregulated information which anybody can put online, often sensationalised for advertising revenue.
Whilst the ability by anybody to post information may (or may not) be good for democracy, it has led to some very worrying claims about ‘alternative’ methods of making your teeth look more attractive. Some of these claims may have some foundations in reality, sometimes even backed by businesses, whilst others, such as many found on individual YouTube channels, are popular because they purport to offer a cheap and easy way to have great looking teeth.
If we really were able to safely have ‘brilliant white teeth in five minutes’ or some other exaggerated claim, we would likely be offering it at the Confidental Clinic! Of course, this is not possible, and even if it were, patient safety would be a serious concern.
Below, we take a look at some of the more dangerous tips that have come to our attention.
Teeth whitening – This is the most common topic in this area. There are literally dozens of different ways to ‘miraculously whiten your teeth’. Some appear to be relatively harmless, but won’t work. Others, such as the ‘brush your teeth with lemon juice’ type will not only produce relatively minimal results, but will also strip the enamel from your teeth. This is likely to lead to not only sensitivity but will also remove much of the protection from your teeth, with decay and/or root canal infections just a matter of time. If you do want to have whiter teeth, please ask us about our safe teeth whitening procedure.
DIY dental braces – Although this became more popular in the USA, the reach of the internet means that teenagers especially, in the UK are also at risk. The idea is that, rather than use dental braces to straighten your teeth, a series of rubber bands are used around the teeth. Given the crudity of this practice and the fact that those promoting it have no dental knowledge, it isn’t hard to imagine the potential for serious damage. If you have crooked teeth and want them straightened, we now have a wide range of discrete orthodontics that can achieve this without the need for unsightly braces.
Extractions – We have probably all laughed (or winced) at some of the stunts pulled by people extracting their teeth in unusual ways. From slamming doors, using drones and even rockets, this is very risky, especially for adult teeth. Although these methods may work to remove the tooth, the trauma caused to both gum tissue and bone could spell disaster. Even if you think your tooth needs to come out, it may actually be possible that we can save it using a filling or dental crown. Where this is not possible, our Surbiton dentists will be able to remove it safely for you.
Please, please please .. do NOT follow the type of fake advice noted above. Dentists are highly skilled and trained people who want to provide the best care possible for patients. If you have a particular problem, come and see us. We will provide safe and reliable treatment for you, without the risks of the ‘fake news’ procedures.