Dental Fads: From ‘Edgy’ to Extremely Dangerous

 

If you spend time looking at what’s trending on social media, chances are you’ve seen a number of fads come and go… just think about screaming goats and grumpy cats. Most of the time, a fad is just a fad – a little temporary, harmless fun. But when it comes to your health, there are a few kinds of fads that aren’t so harmless – such as fad diets that can actually be bad for you. Another example is dental fads. While they may be the hot trend of the moment, none of them are good for your oral health… and some are so dangerous they have earned warnings from dental groups.

Oral piercings have been around for so long that they may not even rate a second look. But if you’re thinking of getting a lip ring, tongue stud or other type of oral piercing, YOU ought to have another look – because they can be disastrous for your oral health. For one thing, the tongue is a muscle rich in blood supply and vital for proper speech, swallowing, and other functions. It’s also prone to infection, and piercing it may allow the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis B.

The excitement of getting a tongue stud may quickly wear off if it’s followed by oral infection from bacteria, or facial pain from nerve injury. In the long term, the metal stud can make healthy teeth more prone to chipping, fracture, and gum disease; it may also cause damage to existing dental work like fillings or crowns. It’s a similar story with any other jewelry worn in the oral area. So think twice before you commit to this kind of potentially dangerous fashion statement.

Another accessory with a questionable reputation is the grill. Popularized by a handful of hip hop artists and celebrities, grills are removable metal jewelry worn over the teeth. Some are off-the-rack items, while others are custom-made from dental impressions and contain precious stones. While the long-term safety of grills isn’t known, the American Dental Association warns that long-term use could result in gum disease, tooth decay, or even bone loss.  And an ill-fitting grill could cause irritation or chipped teeth. So… maybe it’s best to chill on the grill.

Finally, we come to a fad that can actually cause dental catastrophe in a relatively short time: DIY braces or “gap bands.” There are a number of YouTube videos promoting the idea that you can close gaps in your own smile by putting rubber bands around teeth, which can pull them together. Sound like a good idea? It’s not! In fact, it’s such a bad one that the American Association of Orthodontists issued a consumer alert warning about this unsafe practice.

Let’s get it straight: There is no such thing as DIY orthodontics. Placing uncontrolled stresses on your teeth is never a good idea, and can have unpredictable results. Worse, the rubber bands tend to work their way down, soon reaching below the gums. They can break the connection between teeth and gums, and quickly result in serious damage, including tooth loss – as a number of young people have found out, to their dismay.

Everyone wants to be in style… but that’s harder to do when you have damaged or missing teeth. Instead of chasing fads, why not ask your dentist how you can get a better smile with treatments that have proven to be safe and effective—such as professional whitening treatments or veneers? Because after all, a bright, healthy smile is always in fashion. Get the details, and discover what plans are right for you by calling us at 1-800-238-5163 today.

 

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