Online Dental Advice

Online Dental Advice

Caution should be exercised when researching oral health issues.

The first thing that many of us do these days, when we feel we may have a medical or dental problem, is to head straight to Google.

As the world’s biggest library of information, the internet has certainly brought a wealth of benefits into our lives. It is, however, also full of information that is not so helpful, and, can in fact, be harmful.

Researching dental and oral health issues will inevitably throw up a number of results that are none too reliable, and, perhaps in our haste to try to avoid visiting a dentist, we can take unwise options that could have long term implications for our teeth.

Forums

One of the more unreliable places to visit are health forums. Unless these are populated by professionals, what you are getting, in essence, are simply people who have no medical training, expressing their views on any given subject. Whilst these can be helpful, for example, if a nervous dental patient is looking for reassurance about how a certain procedure feels (although it can have the exact opposite effect of course); it can also be harmful and give you incorrect information.

There are, unfortunately, people who frequent these forums who appear to be little more than conspiracy theorists and who tailor answers towards their own strongly established world view.

A simple example of this is discussion on the use of fluoride, which is a well known mineral that helps to strengthen the enamel of teeth. Some, however, will argue that ‘big pharma’ as they are often referred to, are actually out to poison the population by using fluoride. People who read this and are scared away from using fluoride will almost certainly find that their dental enamel weakens, resulting in more fillings.

Alternatives

Even for more simple cosmetic dental procedures such as teeth whitening, you will find websites full of ‘alternative’ ways of doing this. Whilst these are usually at least, well intentioned, and many of the solutions harmless, if ineffective; some solutions may actually cause damage to your teeth. The use of lemon juice is a good example of this. Whilst it will do relatively little to whiten your teeth, the acids in lemons will certainly help to gradually erode the enamel of your teeth, leaving them susceptible to decay, and, ironically, discolouration.

Professional advice

Patients should remember that our Chelmsford dental team have spent many years of study and training, in order to be able to offer the best dental care that we possibly can. Although we acknowledge that some advice given on websites is done with good intention (though some is not), only a professional dentist can examine your teeth and diagnose a problem as well as decide on the appropriate treatment.

Please don’t put your oral health in the hands of a stranger and consult the team at Blue Sky Dental if you feel that you have a problem, by calling us on 01245 211070.

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