With over 1 billion active monthly users, TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. It’s a fun and entertaining platform, but not the best place to get dental advice. In fact, some dangerous TikTok dental trends have recently become popular.
In this blog, Dr. Greg Grillo reacts to some of the latest TikTok dental trends related to your teeth. Knowing the dangers associated with some of these trends can help you make an informed decision and understand the repercussions of participating in the trends and putting your oral health at risk.
TikTok Trends That Use Household Cleaning Products to Whiten Teeth
While it may sound like a good idea, it is not. A household cleaning product that works really well for cleaning the kitchen sink is not safe for your teeth. One of the most common TikTok dental trends is using the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. You may not know this, but this cleaning product contains particles that are as hard as glass. When you use it on your teeth, it abrades the surface and scrubs away precious tooth enamel that you cannot afford to lose. As a dentist I am begging you to please never use household cleaning products on your teeth.
Dental Trends That Use Elastic Bands to Close Gaps Between Teeth
This could be potentially harmless, but it could also be harmful, and you don’t want to take any risks. The best way to fix gaps between your teeth is to see an orthodontist. This is a dentist who specializes in diagnosing, treating, and preventing teeth irregularities. Qualified orthodontists go to school for about 10 years before they are licensed to provide orthodontic treatments. Closing a space between teeth is a relatively simple treatment for a qualified orthodontist. But putting elastic bands on your teeth and trying to do it yourself after seeing TikTok dental trends is a bad idea. You can’t control the forces you’re subjecting your teeth to. You also cannot control how that elastic band may impinge on your gums and irritate and inflame them. You could end up with more problems than you bargained for and require expensive dental treatment to fix them.
TikTok Dental Trends to Make a Partial Denture or Replace a Missing Tooth
Some TikTok dental trends are encouraging people to make their own partial dentures or replace missing teeth with acrylic and similar products. Now, if you decide to do this, it is something that can usually be reversed. But the problem is that many TikTok dental trends recommend acrylic beads or other types of plastic products. This can be dangerous because if you were to swallow a bead, you could choke on it. If you’re lucky, this TikTok trend may not cause too many problems. However, if your luck runs out, you could get into all kinds of trouble.
Trends for Filing Your Own Teeth
There’s been a TikTok trend where people take a fingernail file or wood file or sandpaper and try shaping their teeth. This TikTok dental trend encourages you to take a normal shaped tooth and turn it into a sharply pointed tooth, for example. This is a bad idea. You only have 1-2 mm of enamel covering your teeth. Filing off the enamel puts you at risk of exposing the sensitive dentin layer. You can’t get the enamel back – once it’s gone, it’s gone. So, these types of TikTok dental trends can actually do a lot of irreparable damage. Please don’t use any filing tools in your mouth.
Dental Trends to Superglue Fake Teeth
Taking fake teeth and using Superglue to stick them on is not a good idea. In fact, Superglue should not go anywhere near your mouth or teeth. If you have any exposed tissue like nerve tissue, the Superglue can cause nerve death. The other risk is you could get your cheek or lips stuck to your teeth. As a dentist I can tell you this is not a situation that you want to experience.
Social Media Trends to Floss with Human Hair
Human hair is handy and cheap. It’s right there and doesn’t cost anything, right? But I don’t recommend using hair to floss your teeth. Also, TikTok dental trends that involve using hydrogen peroxide directly on your teeth can be very dangerous.
Avoiding the Dangers of TikTok Dental Trends
Some TikTok dental trends are harmless while others can be very harmful, causing irreversible damage and requiring hundreds of dollars of dental treatment. Please use common sense and consider the source of the information. Look beyond the promised short-term “benefits” of following TikTok dental trends and consider the long-term repercussions. Many structures like the enamel on your teeth are precious and cannot be replaced or regenerated once lost.
If you have any concerns about your teeth, for example, if you want whiter teeth, you want to reshape your teeth, or you need to replace a missing tooth, please consult a dentist. Dental professionals can make treatment recommendations that are both safe and effective. It does not mean that you have to go ahead with the recommended dental treatment, but it’s good to know your options.
For example, professional teeth whitening systems are designed to be very safe and work very well. Dentists can reshape the edges of your teeth safely and make them look nice. Your dentist knows how much enamel you can file away safely, so that’s why it’s important to get a professional opinion.
Express Dentist has a trusted network of experienced dentists and specialists across the country. We can help you find a dentist who offers professional treatments that are safe and effective. Please don’t rely on TikTok dental trends or Dr. Google for decisions regarding your oral health. Give us a call and let us get you set up with a dentist near you.
About the author
Dr. Greg Grillo
Dr. Greg Grillo DDS studied at the University of Washington where he received a bachelors degree with Honors and later attended dental school on the same campus. Following school Dr. Greg served in the United States Navy as a dental officer. During this time he received advanced training in specialty areas of dentistry while also treating families of members of the military.
As well as sharing valuable information on dentistry and oral health, Dr. Greg remains a practicing dentist to this day. He works with families in the Okanogan Valley where he lives with his wife and three children.