Beware of TikTok Dental Fads



UNLESS THE DENTIST is on TikTok, it’s not a great platform to get dental health advice from. This year we’ve seen a number of alarming do-it-yourself dental procedures trending, and we want to educate our patients before they try them out and irreversibly damage their teeth. As your South San Francisco dentists, our number one priority is making sure you have healthy teeth for life!

Filing Teeth

A number of TikTok videos have shown teens and young adults trying to even out their smiles by using nail files to wear down the chewing surfaces. This is a very bad idea. Once tooth enamel is gone, it’s gone forever, and amateur tooth filing can lead to fractures, tooth sensitivity, and infection. Dental health professionals will sometimes file teeth, but we are able to do it safely because we have training and use the proper tools.

“Veneers Check”

A similar (but worse) trend involves TikTokers getting their teeth filed down to pegs prior to getting crown restorations. Crown restorations are best for replacing decayed enamel. If you're trying to cosmetically improve your smile, veneers are your best option. If required, only a small layer of your natural teeth is shaved off in order to fit the thin "cover" of veneer over your teeth. Anyone unhappy with the appearance of their smile (especially when their teeth are healthy) should speak to a dentist about professional cosmetic treatment who is committed to conserving as much of your natural tooth enamel as possible.


DIY Hydrogen Peroxide Whitening

Some TikTokers are using 3% hydrogen peroxide to whiten their teeth, which can cause gum irritation and long-term sensitivity. This is not a safe way to achieve professional whitening results cheaply. It’s much better to ask the dentist for recommendations on whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, or professional in-office and take-home treatments.

Homemade Braces

Another dangerous trend we’ve seen on TikTok is teens trying to correct their own orthodontic problems using everyday items like rubber bands. DO NOT DO THIS. At best, it won’t work and will need to be corrected by a professional. At worst, it could turn out the way it did for David Campbell. The rubber bands he used seemed to be disappearing at night, but really they were slipping under his gums, where they strangled the roots of his teeth. The teeth could not be saved.

Leave your dental treatment to the pros! If you're interested in improving your smile, book a consultation with on of our South San Francisco dentists. Booking an appointment with South San Francisco Dental Care is easy



The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

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