Much like the charcoal teeth whitening trend that still permeates the market, there are many fads that capture the interests of your patients. The danger with these fads is the potential damage they can cause to your patient's teeth. Most blogs talk about the success and the Instagram stars show nothing but results, so most patients don’t have the information to know if their teeth are being harmed in the process.
Natural: Fluoride-free Toothpaste
Like many others, this fad falls into the category of the “all natural” fad. Brands like Tom’s, Hello, and Brandless state its products are antiplaque all while connecting to the preservative-free and cruelty-free market. The product description for Hello’s antiplaque + whitening fluoride free toothpaste states, “this paste helps to brush away plaque, show visible tartar who’s boss and naturally whitens with friendly minerals”. Often the public belief is that cavities are prevented mainly through brushing away the sugar, plaque, and bacteria. As that ideology mixes with the desire to take in more natural or holistic products, it’s no surprise going fluoride-free is popular for adults and children.
Fashion: Teeth Gems
This fashion craze mostly caters to youths and has been popularized across Instagram. Tooth gems are small gems glued to the enamel. The adhesive can last upwards of 6 weeks or closer to a year for a more semi-permanent option. While it’s up to each dentist whether or not they feel they can provide this service, currently dentists aren’t the ones using adhesives on people’s teeth. Most places to get tooth gems are tattoo shops or specialty tooth gem studios which offer tech classes or a training class. Tooth Kandy, a prominent studio for the tooth gem industry in LA, offers training courses that can be taken in person or via Facetime. The course is a 3 to 4-hour training to learn the history, product knowledge, and hands-on learning to become a certified tooth gem technician.
Weight Loss: Fad diet: Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is pushing its way back to the top again as the weight loss drink of choice. Health blogs state that drinking apple cider vinegar improves metabolism, reduces fat storage, burns fat, and suppresses appetite. While some sites recommend adding apple cider vinegar to the diet through salad dressings, the most common way is to drink one to two tablespoons before lunch and dinner. There is the option to dilute the mixture in water but it’s up to the individual if they want to take it straight. The use of apple cider vinegar is also a little controversial. Some dentists say it weakens tooth enamel and others claim a mouth rinse can help with cold sores without tooth damage if the vinegar is diluted in water.
No matter what fad your patients get involved in, you can be there to help educate, support and guide. Being informed can help you guide patients to making the best tooth saving decisions in their personal lives. This helps build a trust-based relationship that can immensely benefit your practice as a whole.