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The TikTok trends damaging your teeth

tiktoker filming
tiktoker teeth trends

Social media is a huge part of our everyday life, with many of us documenting all aspects of our lifestyle online and tuning into our favourite social media platforms for entertainment purposes. 

And, TikTok, like many social media platforms, is increasingly becoming a breeding ground for trends that aren’t always the best for your health, especially your teeth. For example, in March 2024, there had been over two million views for ‘#dentalcare’ on TikTok in the UK. Almost half of those viewers are aged between 18-24. 

Within this blog post, we have explored some of the TikTok trends which are playing a part in damaging your teeth! 

The popular TikTok trends that can damage your teeth

It is estimated that there are currently 1.8 billion TikTok users worldwide, making it one of the most widely used social media platforms in the digital landscape.

We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular TikTok trends that are damaging teeth. 

Teeth filing:  This is an alarming trend which has seen people using a nail file or sandpaper to shorten or reshape their teeth. This is not only incredibly dangerous but it also removes enamel from the teeth and makes your teeth more susceptible to decay, sensitivity, and pain.

DIY veneers:  If you are considering veneers, you should always refer to your dentist first. At the moment, there are a number of videos that are promoting fake veneer kits which glue onto your natural teeth. These glues should not be used for dental applications and cause a whole host of dental issues, including damage to your gums, tooth enamel, chewing and an increased risk of cavities. 

Using everyday objects to fix teeth:  More people than ever before are reaching for everyday items in their homes such as pliers, screwdrivers, or other tools to remove braces, fix broken teeth and even close gaps in the teeth. Firstly, these tools are not sterile and secondly, dentistry is a highly skilled profession and taking it upon yourself to perform dentistry procedures can cause serious injury to your  mouth, teeth, and gums. 

Sweet tooth challenges:  There is also an increasing number of videos featuring candy challenges that encourage excessive candy consumption. As we know,  sugary foods and drinks can lead to cavities and contribute to gum disease.

Why are these TikTok trends a concern to dentists?

With more people than ever before turning to the social media platforms for dental advice, leading dentist Dr Chan Preet Kalsi, General Dentist at Hermes London Dental Clinic, warns viewers to be careful, as some trends could leave your teeth needing expensive repair work. 

She said: “Maintaining good oral health is crucial, especially during challenging times when accessing public health care is tough. But with more people searching for hacks and dental advice, we are witnessing an alarming spread of misconceptions and false information on TikTok.

“While it can sometimes be a good source of advice, it is essential that viewers remain wary of the dental hacks that may do more harm than good.” 

One concerning trend on TikTok involves DIY teeth whitening methods, where one video advises combining turmeric, vaseline, and lemon juice. With over 9.2 million views and 47k likes, the video is positioned as offering a natural remedy hack for teeth whitening. 

Dr Kalsi warned: “These ‘natural remedy’ hacks are actually quite dangerous, not to mention ineffective for teeth whitening – instead staining people’s teeth orange. Using abrasive substances like lemon juice and turmeric can erode tooth enamel, cause further staining to teeth, and may lead to longer-term damage and discolouration.

“If you are wanting a whiter, brighter smile, I advise buying teeth whitening toothpaste from trusted retailers, following best practices for keeping teeth clean, and speaking to your dentist for recommended products and advice.”

Other DIY trends include making your own DIY dental night guard – with over 23k views for one video despite it containing warnings the creator is not a dentist and cannot provide professional advice.

Dr Kalsi commented: “This is where viewers need to be careful, as lots of creators may not actually have dental expertise or experience. Attempting to create your own dental appliances could lead to gum and bone damage, as well as jaw pain and even tooth loss due to improper fitting.

“The structure of your teeth is also incredibly complex and following hacks like this could weaken this structure and increase your chances of a fracture or lead to tooth loss.”

While TikTok is a source of entertainment and information, Dr Kalsi warns it is crucial viewers distinguish between fact and fiction, especially when it comes to dental health. 

Why are TikTok trends dangerous?

TikTok trends are dangerous for lots of different reasons, including the following:

Lack of Expertise: One of the main issues surrounding TikTok is that anyone can create and publish content on the platform! Unfortunately, not all creators are qualified professionals who are trained to give dental advice. You will find live demonstrations and beauty hacks on the platform, and these seemingly harmless trends can cause serious harm, health issues, and damage. 

Peer pressure: With so many people using social media, it’s easy to see why so many people succumb to peer pressure on social media. For example, there’s certain content on Tik Tok that encourages users to participate in trends, with many people feeling as though they are missing out if they do not participate. 

Why choose Hermes London Dental Clinic?

Here at Hermes London Dental Clinic,  we fully understand how difficult it is to handle any dental emergency, especially if it involves your little one. We are an emergency dentist in London, located in the very heart of the city near Victoria. We provide a 24 hour emergency service 7 days a week so that our patients need not worry about any dental problems out of hours.

And the good news is, you’re always in good hands. Our professional and highly experienced general and cosmetic dentists carry out our dental procedures to very high standards using only the latest materials and equipment. 

Our surgeries are state of the art and maintained to the highest of standards. We are members of the BDA Good Practice and are GDC registered, and we continually reinvest in our staff with training to enable us to provide you with the very best dental care. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to see how we can help fix your smile.

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