The Latest Social Media Dental Hacks Seriously Damage Your Teeth

Just last year, the Carolina Dental Arts blog featured a warning about following the latest TikTok “dental hack” trend. That trend involved using melamine sponges in an attempt to whiten smiles. As the article clarified, this is a dangerous practice that actually permanently damages your teeth. Unfortunately, many people learned about this damage the hard way, just as they have learned of the damage caused by more social media dental hacks.

Why do people trust social media dental hacks?

Millions of people use TikTok and other social media on a daily basis. But they do not just use it to keep in touch with friends and loved ones. Social sites are actually convenient outlets for learning about the latest news and helpful tips from people around the world.

Unfortunately, people providing tips on social media are not always experienced professionals in their field. Still, avid followers and fans of these influencers take their suggestions very seriously. Many eagerly try what influencers suggest without seeking professional guidance beyond the app. This is unfortunately often the case for social media dental hacks, with many young people and even adults seemingly willing to risk damaging their smile to follow a trend.

There are many reasons why people trust social media dental hacks and are willing to risk their oral health. Primarily, people who try these hacks hope for instant results. Rationally, we all know that most good things in life take time and effort. Still, it is human nature to seek shortcuts. But just as followers hope for quick improvements to their smile by using social media dental hacks, they actually tend to experience quick damage instead. Unfortunately, dental damage is not always reversible.

Talk to Your Teen About the Dangers of Social Media Dental Hacks

If you are a parent to a young person who uses TicTok or other social media, it is very important that you discuss the dangers of social media dental hacks and others’ suggestions that can damage your teeth. Even if kids do not learn about supposed dental shortcuts through their smartphone, they may learn about them through their peers.

Explain to your preteen, teen or young adult that sometimes people try to follow social media dental hacks and other trends because they want quick and easy results. But rarely are such results good for personal health or oral hygiene.

For example, one woman on TikTok made a video showing her filing her teeth down with a standard nail file. She promoted this action as a great way to straighten your smile. After about a million people watched the video and many other creators copied the content and called it their own, thousands of people likely tried the method of filing their own teeth.

It was not long before app users flooded the comments on these videos, blasting the social media dental hack as a mistake that ruined their teeth. In the case of the nail file hack, many of these people needed dental restorations in their dentist’s office. These restorations likely included fillings, veneers, crowns and root canal treatments.

The outcome of this dental hack is a great illustration of how following random “dental” advice can damage your teeth. It is important for kids to know that teeth do not regrow precious tooth enamel. Enamel is the protective layer that prevents tooth decay and safeguards the more vulnerable inner parts of the tooth, the dentin and pulp. Other social media dental hacks also compromise the health of tooth enamel, as well as gum tissue.

How Other Social Media Dental Hacks Damage Your Teeth

Social media users also report dental damage after other suggested hacks on platforms like TikTok. This damage includes:

  • Melamine sponges like Magic Eraser wore down their enamel, causing teeth to appear discolored in the long run. At first teeth looked whiter, but then became sensitive. Some users reported cracking and chipping their teeth, too.
  • Rubber hair bands used to straighten teeth in place of braces incorrectly positions teeth, damaging tooth roots, gums and bone. Teeth can be lost in the process, requiring teeth replacement with partial dentures or dental implants.
  • Swishing straight hydrogen peroxide in the mouth or applying the solution directly to teeth causes tooth sensitivity. This attempt at tooth whitening also damages the gums and lips. While dentists use solutions that contain hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening, they use safe, controlled concentrations.
  • Using raw charcoal to whiten teeth initially whitens teeth but wears down enamel at the same time. This exposes naturally yellow dentin beneath the enamel, permanently yellowing your teeth in the long run. Users also suffer tooth sensitivity from abrasive charcoal.

How to Achieve Your Healthiest Smile

If you want whiter teeth, straighter teeth or an even smile, following social media dental hacks will not achieve these results. If you attempt to create these results on your own, such as in using the dangerous methods above, you will only damage your teeth. Then, dental restorations and other treatments to repair the damage certainly costs more than most people want to spend.

Help yourself or your teen achieve the smile you want in a healthy manner. Schedule a visit with your dentist at Carolina Dental Arts to discuss the safe methods available for professional teeth whitening, teeth straightening and other smile correction. Visiting your dentist is the only sure way to achieve the results you want, without the damaging effects of social media dental hacks.