Dentists have issued a grim warning to avoid trying trendy TikTok ‘hacks’ on their teeth.
The creators behind viral teeth whitening and straightening tricks could put viewers in grave danger by promoting harmful treatments, says Dr Heath Fraser, a prominent dental surgeon from Queensland.
Among the worst offenders was a woman who filmed herself filing her teeth with a nail file and touted the tactic as a cheap way to get a straight smile.
The bizarre method has garnered nearly a million views and been replicated hundreds of times by other creators who believe they cause no long-term harm.
However, comments on the original post suggested otherwise, with many viewers claiming to have damaged their teeth trying the nail file ‘hack’.
Dr Fraser revealed that people who file their teeth can prepare for “invasive procedures such as fillings, crowns, veneers and even root canals to address the erosion problem”.
He described tooth filing as “very irresponsible” and explained that “once tooth enamel is removed, it is impossible to regenerate”.
“Even when performed in the dental chair by a professional, patients run the risk of eroding their tooth enamel,” he said.
Other problematic “hacks” have seen millions of ICT Tac users exposed to very dangerous teeth whitening methods involving the use of household cleaners as tooth scrubs.
A video promoted the use of a Mr Clean Magic Eraser, which is advertised as a product for removing stubborn stains from walls, furniture and floors.
Dr Fraser said there were huge consequences for people who used it on their teeth.
“The magic eraser wears away a stained layer of enamel with a highly abrasive surface, and while it may make teeth initially appear whiter in a short TikTok video, the long-term consequences of enamel wear can lead to discoloration, sensitivity and in rare cases, cracked or chipped teeth,” I explained.
Regarding the viral video, comments came from hundreds of people who had already tried the hack or were planning to try it.
“I just did it. No regrets,” one wrote, while another said, “I had fantastic results too.
Dr. Fraser said the positive results would be short-lived and people wanting whiter teeth should seek TGA-approved methods or consult their dentist.
Another dangerous method was to use hydrogen peroxide directly on the teeth, which Dr. Fraser said posed “irreversible risks to the health of your teeth”.
“Using high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide on your teeth and gums poses an irreversible risk to the health of your teeth and can lead to tooth sensitivity, irritated gums and lips,” he said.
“Although many dentists use the same whitening agent, the concentration and application is much safer when administered by a professional. Having whiter teeth does not necessarily correlate with healthy teeth.
Other TikTok users were promoting the use of raw charcoal as a teeth whitening tool, showing huge differences between before and after pictures.
“Ironically, while early results may reveal whiter teeth, using highly abrasive surfaces against the teeth will wear down the enamel and expose the yellow dentin underneath, causing them to appear permanently yellower,” said the Dr Fraser about hacking.
“Charcoal 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 ties instead of braces.
A TikTok user with 33.3 million followers bought a braces kit online and assembled it himself at home for a video that has since been viewed almost 10 million times.
Dr. Fraser condemned the method and its promotion on the app as a safe and effective way to get straight teeth cheaply.
“Using rubber bands may work to move your teeth, but not in the aesthetic way you probably desire. The thin, tight rubber bands used by users on social media can penetrate the gumline, causing severe soft tissue damage. of your mouth, which can ultimately lead to serious, irreversible damage, including the loss of your tooth from the root,” he said.
“Using toxic substances and attempting to administer your own braces can also lead to serious health consequences, such as severe poisoning and tooth loss.”
Originally published as Dentist stops viral teeth whitening and straightening hacks