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Weekly Top 5: Dental hacks on the rise

Aug. 6, 2021
Don't try this at home—really, don't. Plus: One RDH mom's story of helping her daughter in need; Americans seeking dental care outside of the US on the rise.

In the news: Who knew that the rise of TikTok would lead to a rise in DIY “dentistry”? Previously we shared news about the trend of some TikTokers and people elsewhere using melamine sponges—Magic Erasers—to whiten their teeth. Add to the list of such ill-advised “dental hacks”: whitening with hydrogen peroxide, using a nail file to even out teeth, and flossing with hair.

Patient resource: “What’s the big deal, they’re just going to fall out anyway”—chances are a patient or two has said that regarding baby teeth. In “Dear Patient: Those baby teeth matter,” Amanda Hill, BSDH, RDH, discusses all the reasons why taking care of them is important.

Patient perspective: Last year, the pandemic inevitably brought about a decline in patients traveling abroad for medical and dental care. A survey finds numbers are going up, with some 390,000 Americans predicted to get dental care outside of the US in 2021.

Personal/professional wellness: We love this story of a longtime hygienist and her adult daughter with disabilities, and the solutions she found to help her child when the pandemic hit. It brought about problems with her oral health—as it did for many people in care—but this mom was determined to make sure her daughter’s oral health didn’t suffer.

ICYMI: Vaccines for COVID-19 have been widely available for months, but treatments for the disease—especially for those who have it but aren’t sick enough for the hospital—remain elusive. Science News looks into why, as well as what could be on the horizon.