On TikTok, you can find videos about and relating to just about anything. Whilst it might be a good place to go to find home DIY tips or cooking inspiration, when it comes to your health, and your oral health in particular, dentists are warning how DIY dental tips and advice can be extremely harmful and can cause irreversible damage.
TikTok users are finding new ways to care for their teeth that they believe will prevent them from having to physically go to the dentist, including “tricks” for teeth filing, cavity care and even braces and repairs. However, dentists are warning that these home DIY attempts could cause more damage. Not only will these hacks fail to work and provide long-term or lasting results, but they may also cause lasting damage to your teeth and oral health. Let’s take a look at some of the ways in which TikTok dental advice is harming and damaging people’s oral health.
Home Teeth Whitening
Although home teeth whitening kits aren’t a new trend, some viral videos have shown people how to seemingly create their own teeth whitening solutions from home. A video that went viral last year showed a user mixing water with 3% hydrogen peroxide before applying it to teeth as a whitening treatment.
Dentists warned that, for users not trained in dentistry, using hydrogen peroxide can cause chemical burns to the skin and can cause serious and irreversible damage to the teeth and gums. In the UK, home teeth whitening kits that can be bought over the counter contain just 0.1% hydrogen peroxide, showing how harmful getting this wrong can be.
Not only will it be harmful to your skin, teeth and gums, but it is very unlikely that using this concoction will provide results. If you are considering teeth whitening, it is best to get this professionally done at a dentist so that you can ensure the safety of your health, plus get the best results.
Shaping Teeth Using Files
As well as wanting to achieve a whiter smile, TikTok users have also attempted to make their teeth straighter and more shapely by using a nail file to file and shape their teeth. Using a nail file on your teeth will permanently damage the enamel, removing it for good. Enamel does not grow back, so this can lead to expensive and intense restoration work. You also risk exposing the inner nerve of your teeth, leading to extreme pain and sensitivity.
Rubber Band Braces
Another trend that gained popularity on TikTok is gap bands. This trend saw numerous videos emerge providing step by step instructions on how users can close gaps in their smiles using rubber bands. Although it is common for small elastics to be used in traditional metal orthodontic braces, this DIY method could place extreme pressure on teeth, which can cause fast, damaging and irreversible movement or warping.
Dentists have warned against this method of teeth straightening and have said that doing this method could potentially lead to tooth loss. If you believe that your teeth would benefit from orthodontic treatment, such as metal braces or Invisalign aligners, then it is always recommended that you visited a trusted orthodontist.
These dangerous DIY dental trends not only spread misinformation to users, including impressionable younger users, but risk causing serious damage to your teeth and oral health. It goes without saying that treatments such as dental fillings or full dental implants are left to experienced professionals. These hacks can never replace the advice of a dental professional and it is recommended that, with any dental concerns, you visit your dentist.