Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dr. Memet Oz : Bad Dental Advice..... (but great hair)

     I was not surprised to see Dr. Oz giving advice on teeth whitening. After all, he’s a celebrity doctor, and celebrities are known for their megawatt bright white smiles. Whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures we do, and people are always looking for a way to do it at home.
     Unfortunately, Dr. Oz’s method, a mixture of lemon juice and baking soda has two problems:

1) It doesn’t whiten your teeth
2) It can destroy your tooth enamel and make you much more susceptible to decay and tooth errosion. 

     Lemon juice has a PH near 2, which is as acidic as the stuff in your car battery. Acid is the mortal enemy of tooth enamel. In fact, tooth decay is caused by the acids produced by oral bacteria.
Baking soda is just an abrasive, which is not the greatest thing either, although not quite as destructive as the lemon juice. Baking soda also happens to be alkaline, but not enough to neutralize the lemon juice. 
When you combine the acid and the baking soda, their effects are magnified. The lemon acid starts to dissolve the outer layer of tooth enamel, making it easier for the abrasive baking soda to erode the surface.
      Here’s the kicker: It won’t whiten your teeth. It could actually make them darker. 

     The whitest part of your tooth is the enamel. The layer below, the dentin, is a deep yellow color. If you thin your enamel with abrasives and acid, more of the yellow dentin will show through from below.

If this sounds bad, it is. I’m not sure who gave Dr. Oz this gem, but I bet it wasn’t a dentist.

     Dr Oz is clearly a smart guy. But he’s not a dentist and he has let himself be fooled by something that seems reasonable, but is really just a very bad idea. I would hope this episode would encourage him to learn more about dental and oral anatomy and physiology, so he could better advise the millions of people who watch him on T.V.