12 Oct

Dentists issue fresh warning over teeth brightening trends as new hacks attract attention on TikTok

Dentists have issued a fresh warning over the safety of viral trends, as new DIY dental hacks attract attention online.

TikTok users have been exposed to a steady stream of viral dental trends, prompting dental professionals to raise safety concerns and encourage people to seek advice from trained, experienced dentists before trying any remedies or procedures at home.

One of the most alarming trends currently making waves on TikTok is DIY bleaching, which is designed to brighten the smile. TikTok trends include using household bleach, creating solutions using lemon juice and water and applying hydrogen peroxide to the teeth. Hydrogen peroxide is used by dentists to lighten the teeth but it is carefully controlled and can only be administered legally in the UK by registered dental professionals.

Using household bleach and products that contain dangerous levels of hydrogen peroxide at home can damage the tooth enamel and even cause chemical burns to the tongue, lips and other soft tissue within the mouth and throat. 

Another concern for dentists is the popularity of videos that promote using nail files to even out and reshape the teeth and DIY tooth straightening hacks, including using elastic bands. 

A recent study showed that DIY dentistry has become increasingly common since the start of the pandemic. TikTok trends encourage people to try DIY hacks at home to save money but many people say they have resorted to trying home remedies because they cannot access NHS appointments. Common examples include using home filling kits, taking over the counter pain relief medication for prolonged periods and extracting teeth.

While social media platforms can offer benefits for users, including accessing reliable, accurate health advice, dentists have urged users to be aware of potentially dangerous videos and to check with professionals before trying DIY treatments.