Whitney DiFoggio, a certified dental hygienist, was fed up with online trends giving people false advice about their teeth.
“I now realize that people need to know what’s right and what’s wrong,” DiFoggio said.
DeFoggio launched her own YouTube channel and social media accounts under the name “Teeth Talk Girl” to challenge some of the crazy dental trends she’s seen online.
“There’s a lot of wild stuff. Weird stuff is the weirdest stuff you’ve never thought of,” Di Foggio said.
Some trends can actually be dangerous when it comes to teeth whitening, so she sets the record straight here.
She says brushing your teeth with charcoal toothpaste is a bad idea.
“Charcoal can over-abrasive tooth enamel,” Difoggio says.
“It’s a gimmick,” Difoggio said, while brushing his teeth with purple toothpaste has garnered millions of views on TikTok.
Another method that has garnered millions of views is brushing your teeth with the spice turmeric. It says no,” he said.
And trends like rinsing your mouth with apple cider vinegar can actually hurt your teeth.
“An acid mouth increases tooth decay and erodes enamel,” Difoggio says.
What does Di Foggio recommend to whiten teeth?
“White stripes are the first choice, especially if they contain peroxide. If they’re American Dental Association approved, even better. ADA seal of approval on the whitening box. You can see if it’s on it, so you know it’s been tested for safety and efficacy,” Difoggio said.
“I also tell my patients that it is the best option because it is affordable. No,” Difoggio said.
Here are two more health trends trending on social media.
Acne patch from mosquito bite
We wanted to know if acne patches really worked, so we asked Dr. Megha Trivedi, a dermatologist at RUSH University Medical Center.
“Overall, it’s not a bad idea. If you have mosquito swelling and want to get rid of it a little faster, a hydrocolloid patch is definitely the way to go,” Trivedi said.
“We use it for wound care, and hydrocolloids have wicking properties,” Trivedi explained how he uses hydrocolloid patches all the time in his practice. But there’s one thing acne patches can’t do, she said.
“Some of the claims that hydrocolloid patches control itching are not actually true,” Trivedi said. “You should definitely use something like over-the-counter hydrocortisone to help with that.”
Drink liquid chlorophyll for better digestion
Dr. Michael Brown, a gastroenterologist at RUSH, said he’s had patients ask the following questions, and the answers may surprise you.
“Maybe so,” said Mr. Brown.
Dr. Brown said more research in humans is needed, but “there is animal data suggesting that it is a potent antioxidant. can help with bloating, a very difficult symptom.”
Side effects include nausea and diarrhea, but Dr. Brown said liquid chlorophyll may help some people.
“If the patient gets better with it, it won’t hurt. You can take it forever. It’s a very safe thing. You can take it when you eat kale or lettuce, but here you can take it in a more concentrated form.” said Brown, holding a bottle of liquid chlorophyll, which can be found online and at some grocery stores.
Dr. Brown said not all health hacks in the feed are safe.
“The problem with social media is that experience,” said Brown. “You have to be a little careful because what they’re pushing isn’t necessarily safe. It just so happens to be safe here.”
Health experts say you should always consult your doctor before trying any health trend you see online.