The rise of the social media platform TikTok over the past year has seen an increase in do-it-yourself (DIY) dentistry against which many oral health professionals including Amber Bonnaig, DDS , from DentaQuest, warn about the harmful effects it can have on the mouth.
More recently, a viral TikTok video asked viewers to use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, a product traditionally used to clean household surfaces, to whiten teeth. Another popular video shows a teenage girl closing the space between her teeth with rubber bands.
These DIY âdental tipsâ are the latest in a series of videos that have gone viral on the platform posted by influencers and unlicensed individuals to provide oral health âtipsâ regarding the use of flossing, plaque removal, dentures and more to help viewers save money. costs over expensive treatments or quickly improve their appearance.
âThese makeshift dental tips are really concerning and are sending the wrong message to kids about how to take care of their teeth,â said Dr Bonnaig. âPerforming your own dental treatments, especially like some of these TikTok videos, can cause significant and lasting damage to your mouth and teeth, as well as your overall health. It’s important to remember that good dental hygiene can prevent many oral health problems and keep your mouth healthy. So please brush regularly, avoid bad habits like biting your nails or grinding your teeth, and see your dentist for any treatment that goes beyond this type of routine preventative care.
In addition to TikTok’s most popular dental hacks, Dr. Bonnaig advises against some of his other viral trends, including:
- Teeth whitening with hydrogen peroxide: Coffee, tea, and medication can all be sources of tooth discoloration. While a popular TikTok video promotes hydrogen peroxide as a teeth whitening technique to combat discoloration, dentists strongly advise against its prolonged use and suggest that people who want a brighter smile use treatments. over-the-counter or professional. Prolonged bleaching with high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide, especially when used for several days in a row, can result in severely irritated gums and sensitive teeth. Although 3% hydrogen peroxide is available at most drugstores, it is best to use a toothpaste or tooth whitening product that is much gentler on the gums and enamel.
- Tooth filing with a nail file: Another popular DIY dental tip is to use a nail file to even out teeth or change the overall shape. A nail file is not intended to be used for teeth – it can cause serious damage to the enamel, which protects teeth from sensitivity, pain, cavities, and discoloration. Additionally, using unsanitary tools like this can introduce bacteria into the mouth. For people who might not be happy with the shape or size of their teeth, it is recommended to schedule an initial consultation with the dentist.
- Dental floss: Using hair as a tool for flossing is also a trend circulating on social media. Flossing daily can help remove plaque between the teeth and prevent tartar buildup at the gum line, but it’s important to use the right tools as using the wrong ones, like strands of hair, can cause trauma and irreversible damage to the gums. .
- Removal of plaque: While plaque scrapers are widely available outside of the dentist’s office, dentists do not recommend using them at home on your own, as a viral trend from TikTok suggests. Plate scrapers are sharp and improper use can puncture and damage the gums, as well as cause excessive bleeding. Gum trauma can cause gum recession, root exposure, and increased sensitivity to food, drink and pressure. It can also injure the tongue, cheeks, and other areas of soft tissue, or cause infection.
- DIY dentures: Using moldable plastic as a solution for missing teeth is another viral hack that TikTok users have suggested. However, it is recommended to avoid the use of moldable plastic to replace teeth as it is unhygienic and will cause food, bacteria and plaque to build up around the plastic and surrounding teeth. This can cause inflammation of the gums and bones, which can lead to permanent recession and bone loss. Plus, DIY dentures can pose a choking hazard. Moldable plastic is not as safe as real partial dentures, making it easy to inhale or swallow.
DentaQuest is an oral health care company dedicated to improving the oral health of all. We do this through PreventistryÂ® – our holistic approach to better care, expanded access, value-based funding and innovative solutions. We manage the dental and vision benefits of more than 30 million Americans and lead patient care through our network of more than 80 oral health centers in six states. We provide cost-effective, results-based dental solutions for Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare Advantage, businesses large and small, and individuals nationwide. And we’ve invested more than $ 230 million in grants, programs and other corporate citizenship efforts to achieve healthier communities across the country. By advancing preventative oral health, we will improve the overall health of all. Learn more about www.DentaQuest.com and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
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