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There are a lot of common practices and trends that could be harmful to teeth, damaging your enamel in some instances. Before jumping on the bandwagon, consider the long-term impact of some of these popular habits and how they may affect your smile later.  

Be wary of these seven trends that can harm your teeth! 

1. Cider Shots

People take shots of apple cider vinegar for a variety of reasons, from burning fat to lowering blood sugar. The acidity of apple cider vinegar is very hard on your teeth and it may contribute to deteriorating the enamel and making teeth more sensitive. If you must take a cider shot, dilute well with water first, and brush your teeth a half hour later.  

2. Activated Charcoal

Everywhere you shop, you can find toothpaste and products that contain activated charcoal, promising to whiten teeth. Charcoal is abrasive, and while it can remove toxins from the teeth and gums, it may not be adequate for thoroughly cleaning teeth and has the potential of discoloring them by damaging the enamel.  

3. Lemon Juice & Baking Soda

The acidity of lemon juice and baking soda makes them a reckoning force when cleaning, but this combo is far too harsh for your teeth. The abrasive nature of these two is often used to whiten, lighten, and remove stains on teeth. The truth is, both baking soda and lemon juice can wear away the enamel on your teeth, making them more sensitive, too.  

4. Coconut Oil

Some people choose to fill their mouth with coconut oil- or other types of fractionated oils- and leave it in to treat bad breath and gum disease. Oil pulling, as it is called, has not been proven effective, however, and should not be used as a substitute for regular brushing and flossing.  

5. Gold & Grills

Gold teeth, implanted gemstones, and ‘grills’ can make it harder to brush and reach all areas of the mouth. Also, the adhesive used to secure these fixtures in place may do irreparable damage and harm to the enamel of the underlying tooth. Skip this trend.  

6. DIY Whiteners 

Thinking of trying an at-home whitening kit? These can be damaging to teeth if you don’t follow the directions precisely- and some people may experience reactions to the chemicals involved. A better option is to discuss whitening treatments and recommendations with your dental provider.  

7. Hydrogen Peroxide

Rinsing with hydrogen peroxide is often suggested for mouth sores, inflamed gums, or bad breath, but it should always be diluted first. While hydrogen peroxide does kill bacteria, it is harsh and may irritate the gums. Don’t swallow it, as it could make you feel queasy and ill.  

Be wary of these trends that are harmful to teeth and see your dentist regularly for routine exams. In Mt. Pleasant, SC, visit Old Mt Pleasant Dentistry, a family dental practice, dedicated to the oral health and care of their patients. Call or visit to schedule an appointment today.