TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms of our time, with over half a billion active monthly users worldwide. Many people turn to this social network to stay up to date on the latest trends, tips, and, above all, to be entertained. It has also been identified as a source for personal wellness and health advice.
However, it is a no-brainer that TikTok is also home to numerous dangerous fads that often go viral. In most cases, these risky trends have little to no transparency for their harmful effects.
Dangerous trending TikTok dental hacks
When it comes to offering bad dental advice, there are a lot of TikTokers that are so good (read bad) at that. They all overpromise, underdeliver, and whenever you hop onto the trends, you’ll end up in a much worse predicament by putting your dental health at risk.
After the much-publicized DIY teeth-filing viral videos on the platform, other horrifying and cringe-worthy digital trends have emerged. While you might have hoped that these social media users would have learned their lessons after the previous debacles, the end doesn’t appear to be in sight.
Here are some of the latest and most popular, yet harmful, dental trends on TikTok:
1. Using household cleaning products to whiten teeth
We’d all love to have brilliantly white teeth, but some TikTokers prefer to go through unconventional ways to do so. One popular trend saw users scrubbing their teeth with abrasive pads that contain formaldehyde and sulfurous acid.
In one of the videos (since deleted) by a TikTok user @theheatherdunn, it was revealed that she’s been using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to whiten her teeth.
In the video, she’s also heard advising her followers against the use of fluoride on their teeth while adding she doesn’t care what dentists might have to say about her. Having garnered over 2.5 million views, she might have misled thousands of people on the platform.
2. DIY orthodontics
DIY orthodontic trends have been there for a long time, but the recent happenings on TikTok would suggest that the practice has blown up. In one of the videos with over 10 million views, a young woman can be seen wrapping her front teeth with elastic hair ties.
The reason behind this, as she claimed, was to be able to close the gap between her front teeth. She further promised that the technique would deliver results within three days, after which she posted the alleged results of her method.
The young lady even created another video mocking dentists that had responded to her initial video. However, the reaction from the dentists was warranted as such a practice would restrict blood flow to the teeth while potentially leading to color change. Furthermore, dentists claim that doing so can even lead to tooth loss.
3. Filing teeth
While it started out as a joke, a few TikTokers have taken it a little too far by filing their teeth into narrow pegs, then later fitting crowns on them or, in some cases, what they mistake to be veneers.
4. Sticking vampire fangs to teeth
Some TikTok users have gone a step too far when coming up with Halloween costumes. Whereas the holiday means going for tricks or treats, some TikTokers have been seen sticking fangs to their teeth with permanent glue.
For instance, one of the recently seen trends was of some users using a cyanoacrylate adhesive, otherwise known as super glue. It should be noted that a permanent adhesive is both toxic and, of course, permanent. It will be difficult and quite painful trying to get rid of those fangs, and sometimes, it may be necessary for the person to go through dental extraction.
There are many other trends on TikTok that are potentially harmful to one’s dental health. Not to mention where people use hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth, using art supplies to make prosthetic teeth or dentures, and flossing with human hair.
All these are super dangerous but putting out some information (especially to the TikTok generation) would be helpful. By letting the people in your network understand the various risks associated with such trends, dentists can help millions to avoid unnecessary health concerns.
How dentists can help prevent dangerous oral health TikTok trends
Here are the ways support from a dentist or orthodontist can help in preventing people from engaging in such dangerous acts:
1. Sending periodical newsletters
The email addresses that you collect from patients on their visits can be an excellent communication medium. For starters, dentists can gather information on some of the trends that their patients need to steer clear of while giving them the right advice on what to do to achieve the results they are looking for.
2. Post on social media platforms
Social media is a powerful tool not only for entertainment purposes but also for passing on educational information. Some TikTokers are using the platform to mislead others into engaging in risky trends. This means that you can also use social media platforms to offer authoritative advice on certain issues, including debunking popular oral health trends.
3. Reminding others of the benefits of seeking professional dental care
You should never get tired of reminding people of the importance of seeking professional help for any dental concerns. You can do this through brochures that you can distribute both inside and outside your facility.
Furthermore, you can use your official website to add valuable tips that your patients can follow. You should also strive to target school-going kids as they are most of the users on TikTok, where they are at a significant risk of engaging with content that promotes dangerous oral health trends.
4. Offer a safe way to fix imperfect smiles.
From people filling their teeth to using elastic hair bands to fix imperfect smiles, you can educate them on the availability of various safe techniques that they can try out. For instance, you can bring their attention to the different types of orthodontic appliances to straighten their teeth and get that perfect smile.
Moreover, you can help them avoid using dangerous products, such as hydrogen peroxide, to whiten their teeth. Bring to their attention the different teeth whitening methods that they can use to attain a perfect smile. If using a closed mode of communication, such as newsletters or brochures, you can let them know that they are viable for discounts on certain procedures.
As tempting as they may seem, no one should engage in any TikTok dental health hacks unless they’re looking for a huge dental bill and an unimpressive experience. These hacks will never get them the satisfaction that they’re looking for.
Follow our tips to encourage your patients to be more vigilant about any dental trends that they see online before taking part in them.
By doing this, you can create a name for yourself as an authority in the field and help save someone from experiencing the pain, trauma, and expensive experience of falling prey to TikTok DIY dental health trends.
About the Author
Lidia Hovhan is the content manager at theteethblog.com. She is SEO specialist, so she helps dentists dominate their markets and grow their businesses significantly year after year. Her field of interests include digital & general dentistry, general oral health and care.