Online Cosmetic Dentistry – The Risks?

More and more cosmetic dental products are being advertised widely online, but how effective, and safe, are they?

Wondering about tooth careAs with almost any topic, if you search online, you are sure to find answers to any query that you have. The problem with this, as many of you will know, is that it can be difficult to know whether the answer is true or not.

This can happen when you are looking for ways to improve your smile too. There are quite a few ‘dodgy’ suggestions for whitening your teeth for example. Few of these will work particularly well, and where they do, damage to your teeth is a real possibility.

It isn’t just the DIY dental tips that patients find though, but targeted adverts from a growing ‘virtual’ dental industry. These don’t offer tips so much as sell products that are supposedly the equivalent of those that you would find at Blue Sky Dental and other cosmetic dental practices. As these advertised products are often cheaper, some of our Chelmsford patients might be tempted to try them. We feel, however, that it is important that you are aware of the potential risks involved if you do.

Before we look at some of these products, we should say that we don’t believe that any of these companies set out to deliberately cause problems, and the products may work for some. The fact that you probably just watch a video and then buy the product though, does mean that there may be certain risks involved and it is worth considering all of the issues before you step in.

Teeth whitening

One of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments is teeth whitening. This is probably no surprise as most of us will find that our teeth darken as we become older due to the inner dentin part of our teeth losing its brightness with age.

On the surface of things, having whiter teeth should be easy, except it isn’t. Many of the products that are offered online to whiten your teeth come in the form of powders or pastes that you use instead of, or in addition to, your usual toothpaste. This might sound relatively harmless, but in order to remove surface staining from your teeth, these often contain abrasive elements that are designed to ‘scrub’ away any residual staining from the tooth surface. Whilst it might largely achieve that, it can also lead to damage to the enamel if you use it over-zealously, increasing your risk of tooth decay and sensitive teeth.

Those that sell ‘bleaching’ kits are also likely to disappoint as they are limited in the amount of the active ingredient allowed in these products. This is for safety reasons and is significantly less than we can use, under professional supervision, with our own popular teeth whitening treatment.

DIY Orthodontics

With all the advice available online, it probably shouldn’t be surprising to discover that some people are advocating a DIY approach to straightening teeth. These usually consist of a rather bizarre contraption made from household elastic bands. The idea is completely outrageous and whilst you might save money, you should expect to end up with even worse looking teeth and quite probably, a significant amount of discomfort!

The fact is that moving teeth takes time and accuracy. This can not be done using simple elastic bands or any other similar method. It is important to move teeth slowly as applying too much pressure could cause damage not only to the teeth, but the bone in which they are held. Not only could using a random amount of force cause the tooth to move too much, but damaging the bone could cause the tooth to become loose or even fall out.

As the saying goes, please don’t try this at home!

We also recommend doing your research before jumping in to the “at home” teeth straightening options you may see widely advertised these days. Personalised supervision at our practice is a better option in our opinion and our team will always be on hand to assist where needed.

Not always a bargain!

As we said earlier, some patients may try these and find that they work for them. It could be a risk though, and one that could result in long term harm to your teeth, causing damage that requires further treatment. In the examples we have looked at today, we believe that you would be much better receiving the treatment within a dental practice. In the case of teeth whitening, we can ensure that you get the result that you want without risking damage to your teeth. This applies whether you have surface staining or a more general ‘yellowing’ of the teeth from internal discolouration.

With orthodontic treatment, not only can you be sure that your teeth and gums will be healthy before you start the treatment, but that we will physically check your braces and your oral health in general as the treatment progresses. We are also here, of course, should any problems or questions arise in between these appointments.

For a safe and successful teeth whitening or orthodontic treatment, please contact Blue Sky Dental for an initial consultation by calling our Chelmsford dental practice on 01245 211070.

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