TikTok Hacks That Can Destroy Your Teeth
TikTok features millions of DIY videos for everything from how to clean your carpets to tips on planning the perfect date. Recently, there has been a growing trend of influencers who offer TikTok hacks for teeth whitening, saving money on dental checkups, and more. Unfortunately, many of these hacks don’t do what is claimed and can actually damage or destroy your teeth. This is especially dangerous for children and young adults who may be using TikTok and attempting these hacks without regular visits to their dentist.
There are numerous TikTok videos showing people filing down their teeth to make them appear straighter. While the intent is to reshape the teeth without visiting the dentist, smoothing out jagged edges in this manner permanently removes the enamel that protects teeth from damage. In severe cases, individuals have filed down their teeth so much that the dentin has been breached, and the sensitive pulp was exposed. The result? Serious pain, multiple trips to the dentist, and root canals. This is not worth the minimal change in appearance that can be achieved with at home smoothing using a nail file or other random tools. You could potentially end up spending significant time and money to fix the damage done. Do yourself a favor and make an appointment with your local family dentist, Dr. Forcioli.
Hydrogen Peroxide Teeth Whitening
Although medical-grade teeth whitening gels contain hydrogen peroxide, they are carefully formulated to minimize sensitivity. Using undiluted hydrogen peroxide on your teeth at home can damage the enamel, leading to tooth sensitivity and gum irritation. If ingested in its undiluted form, it can also cause significant digestive issues, including severe vomiting. Stick to teeth whitening done at your dentist’s office. Your dentist uses whitening solutions designed to whiten effectively without damaging the enamel or surrounding tissues. A recent TikTok trend is to use a special purple gel which claims to whiten teeth in “30 seconds” while showing fake before and after photos. This is physiologically impossible as teeth whitening agents need to be in contact with the tooth for longer periods of time for full effectiveness.
If this sounds like a horrifying idea, you’re right. While TikTok videos demonstrate how to use standard rubber bands to straighten teeth, they don’t acknowledge the many health risks of the technique.
First, putting foreign bodies in your mouth that have not been properly sterilized invites bacteria into your mouth that can lead to severe infections. Second, without the expertise and guidance of a dentist or orthodontist, the teeth will not shift into the desired position. You may end up with teeth that are more crooked than when you started. Third, and perhaps most important, is the risk of rubber bands getting embedded in the gum tissue, leading to permanent jawbone damage and tooth loss. Unsupervised orthodontics or at home braces can potentially lead to teeth shifting at a rate faster than physiologically permissible, this may lead to bone loss and in severe cases complete tooth loss.
Snap On or At-Home Veneers
Snap-on veneers are meant to be a temporary fix worn for short periods. Unfortunately, many people tout them on TikTok as an alternative to professionally applied veneers. While occasionally wearing snap-on veneers that fit over your teeth is fine for a special occasion or photo opportunity, wearing them all the time creates an ideal breeding ground for bacteria because they hold debris and germs against the teeth. This will cause inflammation of the gums and could potentially lead to severe gingivitis or periodontitis.
There are also TikTok dental hacks demonstrating how to file down your teeth to prepare for the application of cheap veneers by amateurs who run at-home businesses. Most people file down their teeth too much, and amateur practitioners are not trained in how to attach the veneers safely and securely. The results range from veneers that fall off to permanent loss of enamel and damage to the teeth’s dentin. Avoid the major headaches and money you could spend using fake veneers and get a consultation with your local family dentist, Dr. Forcioli.
DIY Plaque Removal
Although you can order plaque scrapers online, using these dental tools at home can cause damage to the teeth and gums. Plaque scrapers are sharp and can easily puncture the soft tissues surrounding your teeth. Trauma to the gums can lead to gum recession, exposing teeth roots. Your teeth may also develop increased sensitivity and lead to infection. Instead, make sure to see Forcioli Family Dentistry twice yearly for a professional dental cleaning. Dr. Forcioli will complete a thorough evaluation at each dental cleaning so you can rest east knowing your teeth are in good shape.
Magic Eraser Teeth Whitening
Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are great for cleaning your stovetop, but recent TikTok dental hacks demonstrate how to use Magic Erasers to whiten and brighten teeth. Individuals who try this are at risk of poisoning, as the Erasers contain formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals that shouldn’t be ingested. You run the risk of chemical burns and damage to tooth enamel as well.
DIY Prosthetic Repairs
TikTok dental hacks aren’t always about improving the appearance of your teeth. Some videos demonstrate ways to “fix” a cracked crown, denture, or bridge using materials ranging from superglue to temporary resins. While dental repair kits are available, they are meant for temporary emergency repairs until you can see your dentist. They are not meant to provide a permanent solution. Using superglue or other adhesives to reattach or repair a crown usually leads to infection and damage to the tooth’s structural integrity. Removing any prosthetic attached with superglue leads to permanent damage. If your crown or dentures break or crack, contact your dentist immediately. Forcioli Family Dentistry has advanced training in removable oral prosthetics (partial and full dentures) and will be ready to fix, replace or make you a new appliance.
See Your Dentist, Skip the TikTok Hacks
Your teeth are meant to last a lifetime. Subjecting them to dangerous, ineffective TikTok hacks can lead to infections, damage, and premature tooth loss. Before considering any of the popular online videos touting ways to improve your smile, contact us for solutions that are safe, effective, and give beautiful results. Saving a few dollars now using unsafe hacks will lead to heartache and higher dental expenses down the road. It could also destroy your teeth and your oral health.
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