In a video with nearly eight million views, California cosmetic dentist Dr. Shahira Saad shares three habits that can lead to permanent tooth damage
A dentist has revealed three things you should avoid doing to your teeth to avoid permanent damage.
Dr. Shahira Saad, a cosmetic dentist in California, released a video in August as part of her series “Things You Should Never Do to Your Teeth.”
‘You can trust me; “I’m a cosmetic dentist,” she said in the TikTok video, which has nearly eight million views.
She warned that the trendy charcoal toothpaste can scrape away tooth enamel, which can cause teeth to gradually turn yellow.
And opening bottles or bags with your teeth can cause cracks that are expensive to repair.
After all, chewing on ice may be satisfying, but Dr. Saad warned that this could be a sign of chronic diseases such as anemia.
Here are the three practices that Dr. Saad recommends:
Although trendy, charcoal toothpaste can be abrasive and wear away tooth enamel. Research shows that it also has little effect on teeth whitening
Toothpaste made from activated charcoal has become increasingly popular in recent years. Proponents claim it can whiten teeth, remove surface stains, remove plaque and freshen breath.
However, Dr. Saad that the opposite is the case. “You shouldn’t use toothpaste with charcoal in it,” she said.
“Charcoal is far too abrasive and actually scrubs the top layer of your tooth enamel. Over time, this can cause your smile to turn yellow by exposing the underlying tooth structure called dentin.”
Tooth enamel is the protective outer covering of teeth and is considered the hardest substance in the body. Dentin is a layer located directly beneath tooth enamel. When dentin is exposed to abrasive substances such as toothpaste containing activated charcoal, teeth become sensitive.
A growing body of research suggests that toothpaste containing activated charcoal may do more harm than good.
A 2017 study found that activated charcoal, due to its abrasiveness, can damage tooth enamel if used too long or too aggressively.
Additionally a 2019 review The British Dental Journal found that charcoal does little to protect against tooth decay.
And a 2021 study compared the whitening effects of toothpaste with activated charcoal and fluoride and found no difference.
Use your teeth as tools
Opening bottles with your teeth can cause cracks and chips
It’s easy to open a bottle with your teeth or rip open an envelope if you don’t have the right tools at hand.
However, this could cause damage that is expensive and painful to repair.
“This can cause your teeth to break in an unfortunate way, requiring a crown, root canal or even an extraction,” said Dr. Saad.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that helps restore a decayed, broken, or weak tooth. According to the Cleveland Clinic, they can be made of metal, metal-fused porcelain (PFM), porcelain, or ceramic.
Root canal treatments aim to remove bacteria from the infected root canal, preventing further infection.
According to the American Association of Endodontists, more than 41,000 root canals are performed daily in the United States.
However, if these procedures fail to save the tooth, it may need to be completely removed and replaced with an implant.
Chew ice cream
Dr. Saad said chewing ice could be a sign of pica, a condition in which a person feels the urge to chew on non-food items
Chewing ice is a common habit, but Dr. Saad said this could be a sign of certain medical problems.
“ASMR may be tempting, but you shouldn’t chew ice cream,” she said. “If you feel like chewing ice cream, it’s called pica and could be a sign that you have an iron deficiency.”
Pica is a condition in which a person experiences the urge to chew non-food items such as ice, paint chips, and stones.
Young children, pregnant women or people with certain medical conditions such as autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability are most commonly affected.
Pica can also be a sign of iron deficiency anemia, which occurs when the body doesn’t have enough iron to make hemoglobin, a substance in red blood cells that helps them carry oxygen throughout the body.
Common symptoms of iron deficiency anemia include fatigue, chills, shortness of breath, weakness, chest pain, dizziness, bruising and headache, according to the Cleveland Clinic.
Eating ice cream can also wear away tooth enamel and cause cracks.