Dental surgeon targets TikTok’s tooth hacks

Dentists have issued a grim warning to avoid trying TikTok’s trendy “hacks” on their teeth.

The creators behind the viral tricks to whiten and straighten teeth could put viewers in serious danger by promoting harmful treatments, said Queensland-based dental surgeon Dr. Heath Fraser.

Among the worst offenders was a woman who filmed herself filing her teeth using a nail file and promoted the tactic as an inexpensive way to achieve a sincere smile.

The bizarre method has amassed nearly a million views and has been replicated hundreds of times by other creators who believe they weren’t causing any long-term damage.

However, the comments on the original post suggested otherwise, with many viewers claiming to have ruined their teeth by trying to “hack” the nail file.

Dr Fraser revealed that people who have filed their teeth could be preparing for “invasive procedures such as fillings, crowns, veneers and even root canal treatments to solve the erosion problem.”

He described tooth filing as “highly irresponsible” and explained that “once tooth enamel is removed it is impossible to regenerate”.

“Even if performed in the chair by a professional, patients run the risk of eroding tooth enamel,” he said.

Other problematic “hacks” have seen millions of TikTok users exposed to highly dangerous teeth whitening methods involving the use of household cleaners as a tooth scrub.

One video promoted the use of a Mr Clean Magic Eraser, advertised as a product to remove stubborn stains from walls, furniture and floors.

Dr Fraser said there were huge consequences for the people who used it on their teeth.

“Magic gum consumes a stained layer of enamel with a highly abrasive surface, and while this may make teeth appear whiter initially in a short TikTok video, the long-term consequences of enamel wear can result in discoloration, sensitivity and rare cases, cracked or chipped teeth, ”he explained.

Comments on the viral video came from hundreds of people who had already tried the hack or were planning to try it.

“I just did. No regrets,” wrote one, while another said, “I’ve had fantastic results too.”

Dr Fraser said positive results would be short-lived, and people who want whiter teeth should seek TGA-approved methods or consult their dentist.

Another dangerous method was the use of hydrogen peroxide directly on the teeth which, according to Dr. Fraser, posed “irreversible risks to the health of the teeth”.

“The use of high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide on teeth and gums poses an irreversible risk to dental health and can lead to tooth sensitivity, gums and sore lips,” he said.

“While many dentists use the same whitening agent, concentration and application are much safer when administered by a professional. Having whiter teeth is not necessarily related to healthy teeth ”.

Other TikTok users were promoting the use of raw charcoal as a teeth whitening tool, showing huge differences in the before and after footage.

“Ironically, while the initial results may reveal whiter teeth, the use of highly abrasive surfaces against the teeth will wear away the enamel and expose the underlying yellow dentin, making them appear permanently more yellow,” said Dr. Fraser of the hack. .

“Carbon is an incredibly abrasive surface that can cause a yellow appearance and long-term sensitivity.”

Users desperate to straighten their teeth also shared how they tried using hair bands instead of braces.

A TikTok user with 33.3 million followers bought a brace kit online and assembled it at home for a video that has since been viewed nearly 10 million times.

Dr. Fraser condemned the method and its promotion through the app as a safe and effective way to get cheap straight teeth.

“Using rubber bands can work to move your teeth, but not in the aesthetic way you probably want. The thin, tight rubber bands used by users on social media can penetrate the gum, severely damaging the soft tissues of the mouth, which can ultimately lead to serious irreversible damage, including the tooth falling out from the root, “he said.

“Using toxic substances and trying to administer your own braces can also lead to serious health consequences such as severe poisoning and tooth loss.”

Originally published as a dental surgeon stopping viral hacks for teeth whitening and straightening