Caring for Your Nails

Manicures and pedicures are a great way to stay looking good, but it’s important that the nail polishes and removers that you use are safe, which means using products regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Electronic, radiation emitting, products used to dry gel nail polish and artificial nails need to be regulated by the FDA.

The best way to stay safe, and still look good, is to make sure that you read the labels of these products and heed any warnings that may be listed there.

The Ingredients and Warnings on Cosmetic Nail Care Products

The FDA approves a lot of things before they go to market, but nail products and cosmetic ingredients (except for the majority of color additives) do not require approval.

While they do not require approval, they do still need to be safe to use as directed. Please note that nail products used for medical issues do require FDA approval, as they are classified as drugs.

Cosmetic nail products are usually labeled with instructions and warnings that inform consumers how the product should be used correctly. These include some or all of the following:

  • Some nail products are flammable, and should therefore not be exposed to open flames (cigarette lighter) or other sources of heat (curling iron)
  • Some products can injure the eyes, and should therefore be kept clear of the eyes
  • Some products should only be used in areas that are well ventilated
  • Some products are made from ingredients that are harmful if ingested. As such, they should not be consumed by humans or pets

When you order cosmetics online or at a retail store, be aware that the ingredients need to be listed in the order of decreasing amounts. This is worth knowing if you are allergic to certain ingredients, as you can avoid products that contain those items.

An example of such an issue can be found with nail polishes, some of which contain formaldehyde, which can cause an allergic reaction in some users. Allergic reactions are also common when using some types of artificial nails. The FDA website has more information about all the ingredients used in cosmetics.

The simple rule here is that you should always read the labels on cosmetic products and follow all directions. Nails salons should be well ventilated, so look for that when you go for a manicure.

Information About Nail Drying, Curing Lamps, and UV Exposure

UV (ultraviolet) curing lamps are devices used to dry gel nail polish and acrylic gel nails. You can buy your own online and will find them in most nail salons. The lamps use LED lights that emit UV radiation. While you might think that this is the same process used in tanning beds, the two are actually quite different. Tanning beds use sunlamps, and you can find more about their potential risks on the FDA website.

Skin damage can occur when it is exposed to UV radiation, especially if the skin is repeatedly exposed over time. Age spots, wrinkles, and potentially skin cancer can occur.

The FDA believes that nail curing lamps are low risk as long as they are used as directed. A study published back in 2013 showed that 36 minutes of daily exposure, even when using the worst lamp available, fell below the occupational limits for UV radiation. It should be noted that the results are in regard to healthy individuals and not those who have a sensitivity to UV radiation.


The Most Commonly Asked Questions About Tooth Braces

There are lots of questions about tooth braces and their usage. You can find the answer to the most commonly asked questions below:

Q: Are Braces just for Children?

A: This is no longer the case. The American Association of Orthodontics says that roughly 20% of people who wear braces are over the age of 21. Not wearing braces to straighten your teeth as a kid does no rule you out of doing so when you reach your adult years.

Q: Why are Braces Needed?

A: The simple answer is that they will straighten your teeth, which will make them more aesthetically pleasing and easier to clean. It can be particularly tough to keep crooked teeth properly cleaned, and when that happens, gum and dental diseases become more common. Wearing braces can allow you to have healthier teeth and gums in the long term.

Q: Will the Braces Create a Mouth Full of Metal?

A: Your dentist will examine your teeth and make a decision that works best for your specific situation. Sometimes that will mean using metal braces, although some are smaller and less obtrusive than the older versions. There are also braces that are clear or tooth-colored, although you can get a little flashy by getting the rubber connectors in a variety of different colors.

Q: How do Metal Braces Actually Work?

A: The braces apply pressure to the teeth to move them. The braces are comprised of a series of small brackets that are cemented to the teeth. They are all connected by rubber bands or wire, the latter of which can be tightened to help the dentist achieve the desired goal. Brackets are usually metal or tooth colored.

Q: What are “Invisible” Braces, and How do They Work?

A: These types of braces are also referred to as aligners, and are made from a clear plastic material that you wear over your teeth. Invisible braces work to straighten the teeth, and are usually worn for a month or less at a time. The braces are replaced with a new set to create a gradual change that fits your personal treatment plan.

Q: How Long are Braces Kept in Place?

A: There is no set amount of time, as it depends on the condition of your teeth. Your orthodontist will discuss the length of time with you, but on average, you can expect to have braces for 2 years.

While this may seem like a long time, there really is no quicker way to straighten teeth. The movement needs to be done gradually, as going too fast could lead to teeth becoming broken or the bones breaking down.

Q: Is it Difficult to Clean your Teeth when Wearing Braces?

A: Food can very easily get stuck in your braces, so you really need to go to great lengths to keep your teeth clean. If you don’t commit to a regular cleaning schedule, you run the risk of getting cavities, which could affect the effectiveness of the braces. Making a couple of extra visits to the dentist’s office for check-ups should help ensure that your teeth stay clean.