There’s no doubt that TikTok can be fun and useful. From cooking videos to fashion ideas, there’s a lot to take in. But one thing we need to draw the line at is TikTok dental hacks. We’ve put together a few things in this blog for you to be aware of when you’re scrolling through those trendy TikTok clips.
Before we get into any details of the TikTok tooth-shaving hacks or DIY tooth whiteners, let’s first talk about why kids and teens should go to a dentist before attempting these techniques themselves.
While it might seem obvious that dentists would frown upon at-home dental procedures, that’s not always the case. We’re all for our patients having a personal hygiene routine that works for them. And while many parents have been known to do their own home remedies for their children’s teeth, they shouldn’t. It’s important to know what your child is doing with their teeth, as well.
5 TikTok Dental Hacks Teens Should Avoid
1. Shaving Teeth
Teeth filing is not safe. It can damage your teeth and lead to serious health issues.
The outermost part of the tooth is called the enamel. It provides the white color of the tooth and protects the softer parts inside. When you file down too much of the enamel, it exposes the softer parts inside and causes permanent sensitivity.
If you use the TikTok tooth file hack, you may end up damaging the nerves inside your tooth, causing severe pain and possibly requiring a root canal treatment.
If your child or teen is worried about the appearance of his or her smile, talk to us.
2. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Teeth Whitening
There are tons of TikTok tooth-whitener vids, but the one that’s probably the most dangerous involves rubbing a small bit of a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on your teeth to get rid of stains.
Melamine foams use a compound called formaldehyde-melamine sodium bisulfite copolymers. When these chemicals mix with your saliva while you rub an eraser on your tooth enamel, they can be absorbed into your bloodstream and lead to serious health issues.
Magic Erasers can also cause tooth pain, and your teeth might turn yellow — permanently.
If your kid wants a whiter smile, talk to their dentist first. They may recommend professional-grade tooth whitening or even an at-home whitening kit. These products are safer than store-bought ones because they’re made by professionals and contain less harsh chemicals.
3. DIY Hydrogen Peroxide Teeth Whitening
Another alarming TikTok teeth-whitening trend is whitening by swishing with hydrogen peroxide or applying it directly to your teeth with a cotton swab.
While using hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth isn’t as harmful as some of the other dental hacks we’ve mentioned on this list, kids should avoid applying it with a Q-tip and using it undiluted. This is not recommended as high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide for long periods of time can damage tooth enamel and cause irreversible tooth sensitivity.
If you’re going to whiten your teeth at home, mix five parts water to one part hydrogen peroxide and swish it around your mouth for a few minutes before spitting it out. Also, don’t expect too much from this method; it won’t give you white teeth overnight. Professional treatments will be more effective and much safer.
“Veneer checks” are another teeth-shaving trend on TikTok that shows kids or teens with their teeth shaved down to small stubs before getting porcelain veneers.
While veneers are an excellent option for correcting cosmetic dental flaws, such as stains, slightly crooked teeth or misshapen teeth, we don’t recommend them for young patients to achieve their smile goals.
Additionally, it’s important to note that prep for porcelain veneers doesn’t require shaving the teeth down to tiny stubs. Instead, we just remove a small amount of tooth enamel to place the veneer.
The goal for cosmetic restorations is to keep as much natural tooth structure as possible to maintain your tooth’s strength.
5. Using Rubber Bands to Close Gaps Between Teeth
This TikTok teeth-straightening trick isn’t new. Years ago, a number of teens followed instructions from YouTube videos to close gaps between their teeth with rubber bands and hair ties. They tied the rubber band around their teeth and pulled it tight to close the gap.
Now it seems as if this trend is coming back. Some people are posting pictures of themselves wearing rubber bands around their teeth on social media.
Closing gaps between the teeth with elastic bands like those used for ponytails is extremely dangerous. Orthodontic treatment requires careful control over how much pressure is applied to each tooth. If you apply too little pressure, the teeth won’t move. If you apply too much pressure, the roots of the teeth could be damaged, causing permanent tooth loss.
If you’re looking for cosmetic dental services for yourself or your child, please contact us to learn more about your options. Schedule a consultation today.