05 Oct

Dentists issue health warnings as TikTok dental trends go viral

Dentists have issued health warnings, as dental trends continue to go viral on TikTok.

Dr Heath Fraser is one of many dentists who have spoken out about trends on the social media platform, which has millions of users all over the world.

Dr Fraser highlighted a series of dangerous trends to avoid, encouraging TikTok users to consult their dentist before trying anything they see on the app. 

Among the most worrying clips identified by the Queensland dentist are filing the teeth and using DIY bleaching techniques for whiter teeth. TikTok videos show influencers and social media stars notching up millions of views for videos that show DIY dental hacks, which can be incredibly hazardous, according to dental professionals. 

In one video, which went viral, a woman used a nail file to shape her teeth at home. Although she claims to be delighted with the results and added that she had no problems afterwards, Dr Fraser has urged followers to ignore the advice and steer clear of DIY tooth shaping. Using a nail file on the teeth may improve the aesthetic of the smile, but it can also damage the enamel, increasing the risk of sensitivity, staining and chips. 

Another popular trend that has gained traction online is DIY tooth whitening. Whitening has become increasingly popular in the last decade due to celebrity endorsements, reality TV, increased awareness of our smiles through apps like Facetime and Zoom and wider availability of treatments. Tooth whitening is a dental procedure, which should be carried out by trained dental professionals. Unfortunately, DIY techniques have become more prolific, usually because they are much cheaper. 

TikTok videos show stars promoting DIY hacks, including brushing with peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is found in dentist-approved treatments. However, the quantity is very carefully controlled and dentists have the relevant training and expertise to deliver treatment safely and effectively. Using hydrogen peroxide at home can cause severe damage to the teeth and it also carries a risk of chemical burns.