Written on Friday, Jan 15, 2021
If you enjoy browsing the funny videos of TikToc, you likely also stumble across an occasional self-help tip. Some of these videos are TikTok dental hacks posted in the name of tooth care. But are they really good for your teeth or dangerous ways to permanently damage your smile? Below, the team of Carolina Dental Arts in Goldsboro and Raleigh, North Carolina examine some of the latest TikTok dental hacks.
One of the most popular TikTok dental hacks is using a nail file to file down teeth. Some of the presenters of these videos use a file to shorten elongated teeth. Others claim to fix a broken or chipped tooth by filing down jagged edges.
The problem with filing your teeth is that you remove enamel from the tooth’s surface. You can never get this lost tooth enamel back. It does not grow or replenish naturally or through any treatment methods. Once it is gone, it is gone and you are at great risk of developing tooth decay.
Tooth enamel is the white layer that gives your smile its brilliance. So removing it makes your teeth look even more yellow. It also makes them more vulnerable to stains.
Removing the tooth enamel also causes sensitivity. You can accidentally file down too much of your tooth material and impact your bite. This can result in TMJ jaw pain and grinding of your molars in your sleep.
Believe it or not, there is also a TikTok dental hack for pulling your own permanent tooth. Sure, baby teeth are easy to pull as the body naturally sheds these in early childhood. But pulling a permanent tooth can cause a condition called cavitation. This infection occurs inside the tooth socket, where the tooth used to connect to the bone. You can also accidentally leave a portion of the root behind when you pull your own tooth, requiring surgery to remove the rest of it.
A popular TikTok dental hack feeds misinformation to people seeking to bleach their teeth. These videos claim that applying hydrogen peroxide directly to your teeth brightens your smile. But did you know that hydrogen peroxide is a carcinogen? Not only does this contact with your soft tissues increase risk for cancer, it creates more dental problems.
Self-bleaching using directly applied hydrogen peroxide often causes the gums to recede. It also damages your tooth enamel, just like filing your teeth using a nail file.
For safe teeth whitening, talk to your dentist. Yes, hydrogen peroxide is in many bleaching formulas. But the strength of hydrogen peroxide in the TikTok dental hacks videos is excessive. Over-the-counter and in-office teeth whitening procedures use a regulated amount of the solution. They also work to keep this liquid from damaging your sensitive gums and tooth enamel.
Removing plaque at home is important. But that should only take place through brushing and flossing. You should never take the advice of TikTock dental hacks videos that encourage use of at-home plaque scrapers.
Using a plaque scraper on your own teeth can damage your gums. This is why your dentist and dental hygienists attend so much training and must achieve educational minimums before scraping plaque from your teeth. Sharp tools used in your mouth can cause your gums to recede. They can also push tartar under your gumline, causing bigger oral health problems.
Braces are certainly expensive. But their cost is largely related to the amount of oversight and care required to keep teeth and gums healthy while properly adjusting your smile. This process necessitates your dentist’s specialized attention to your oral health over an extended period of time.
Today, people are trying to straighten their smiles themselves. Some use so-called “gap bands” that strap multiple teeth together to force them closer together. Others explore using 3D printers to craft their own oral appliances. The claim is that you can 3D print your own teeth straightening trays, like those made by Invisalign.
The problem with these methods comes down to anatomy and how orthodontic care works. To straighten your teeth, you need a skilled dentist who has access to dental X-rays. They must plan the most effective movements according to the safety and health of your gums, teeth and bones. Not doing this properly leads to TMJ disorder, a faulty bite, damaged teeth and even tooth loss.
A great TikTok dental hack is simply seeing your dentist. Doing so provides you with the best possible dental care. In your dentist’s office, you have access to all of the treatments and procedures needed to enjoy your most attractive smile. These services include teeth whitening, teeth straightening, tooth extraction and braces. Your dentist even has methods available to shorten elongated teeth for a more even smile. Of course, plaque removal is a part of every single dental visit.
Instead of giving power to these dangerous TikTok dental hacks, schedule your next visit with your dentist at Carolina Dental Arts. With locations in Raleigh and Goldsboro, NC, we make seeing the dentist convenient.