TikTok Hacks That Damage Teeth and Gums | Mount Lawley Dental
TikTok Hacks That Damage Teeth and Gums
General Dentistry

TikTok Hacks That Damage Teeth and Gums

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DIY dental treatment is never a good idea and can cause permanent damage

3 minute read

From repurposing old items to frugal cooking tips, lifestyle hacks are popular in the TikTok community as users share ways to save time and money. But when it comes to your health and oral health, trying to cut corners and perform complicated procedures yourself can be dangerous.

Following are some of the TikTok DIY dentistry trends that mislead users by encouraging them to try risky practices that can permanently damage teeth and gums, or cause other serious problems. Rather than saving money, these could be expensive mistakes that cost more to fix in the long term.

Whether you’re thinking about whitening your teeth or closing gaps, your first stop should always be a consultation with a dentist. They can give you advice and discuss all of your options for professional treatment using the latest safe and proven techniques.

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DIY teeth whitening

With teeth whitening being the most popular cosmetic dentistry treatment, it’s no surprise that there are many TikTok videos on the subject, but DIY whitening methods are never recommended because of their potential to damage teeth and cause serious health risks.

Some suggest applying hydrogen peroxide to teeth, which is the chemical used in professional teeth whitening, but this needs to be used with caution. Even at relatively low concentrations, hydrogen peroxide can cause chemical burns to the gums or throat through prolonged contact or when accidentally swallowed. Treatment that isn’t provided by a dentist or under their guidance is also likely to have uneven and disappointing results.

Other suggestions for whitening alternatives can be just as dangerous. These include applying acidic lemon juice, that can wear down the protective enamel of teeth, and Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, which contain toxic chemicals like formaldehyde that can lead to poisoning.

If you want to whiten your teeth in the comfort of your home, the safest and most reliable option is a custom whitening kit provided by a dentist. Contact our dentists to find out your options for a smile makeover in Mt Lawley.

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Teeth filing

Another troubling trend is some TikTokers filing or shaving their teeth with the goal of improving their alignment or symmetry. This type of tooth contouring is an extremely delicate procedure with no second chances if you get it wrong, as tooth enamel doesn’t grow back. When it’s not done by a professional using precision instruments, there may also be a risk of injury or infection.Removing too much enamel can also cause a tooth to become weaker, more prone to damage and more sensitive to temperature, and can expose the yellow dentin layer beneath. This may eventually require a restorative treatment like covering the tooth with a crown or root canal therapy to treat an infection inside the tooth.


Oil pulling

Brushing and flossing are essential daily maintenance for your teeth and oral health and it only takes a few minutes twice a day, but some TikTok videos propose less effective alternatives that can leave the teeth less protected, particularly oil pulling. This traditional practice based on Ayurvedic medicine recommends swishing coconut or sesame oil in your mouth for up to 20 minutes to cleanse the teeth.

While oil pulling has many proponents, there is limited evidence of its success, especially when it comes to removing plaque. This requires the gentle abrasive action of brushing and flossing supported by regular oral hygiene maintenance at a dental clinic.


DIY tooth scaling

Part of routine dental cleans is the careful removal of built-up plaque and stains on teeth, but some people are taking matters into their own hands by investing in their own ultrasonic scaling and scraping tools. Using these instruments without professional training and expertise can risk permanent damage to teeth, gum recession, and other injuries to the soft tissues of your mouth, possibly leading to infections.

Tooth scaling and polishing is best left to the professionals. At Mount Lawley Dental, our experienced team use EMS Airflow® technology to gently remove plaque without touching your teeth.


DIY fillings

One of the most straightforward and painless dental treatments is placing a white filling to repair a cavity, but this hasn’t stopped some TikTokers from trying their hand at DIY fillings using unsuitable materials such as melted plastic beads.

Not only do these ‘fillings’ risk creating an uneven and unattractive bite, they also don’t treat the underlying decay that will likely see the cavity grow larger until it receives professional care or you need to see an emergency dentist in Mt Lawley.


DIY teeth straightening

Orthodontics using braces or clear aligners to straighten teeth is a long-term treatment that can last anywhere from 6 months to several years, so you should always be sceptical of solutions that promise a quick fix.

One such example is the TikTok trend of using rubber bands to bring teeth into alignment or close gaps. This has the potential to damage the roots of teeth when subjected to too much force, too fast and to cause painful infections if the bands get trapped below the gum. There is an increased risk that the tooth may be lost entirely and the bone supporting the tooth may deteriorate.Without proper retention, it’s also likely that teeth will start shifting back to their original position after the pressure from bands is released. 


Removing braces with cutlery

For those with braces, removing the brace and brackets is a delicate procedure that should be performed by your dentist or orthodontist. Unfortunately, another TikTok trend has seen people choosing to remove their braces themselves using whatever tools or kitchen utensils they have to hand.

Removing braces in this way can potentially damage the teeth and cause other injuries in the mouth, while also leaving glue behind on teeth surfaces. Seeing your dentist is also important so they can provide a retainer to prevent your teeth from shifting back and undoing all the hard (and costly) work of your orthodontic treatment.


Preventive and cosmetic dentistry in Mt Lawley

If you have a dental problem, or there’s something you’d like to change about your teeth, trying to tackle it yourself could make things worse. Call our friendly team at Mount Lawley Dental on (08) 9227 8777 or book an appointment online to find out how our experienced dentists can help restore your oral health or enhance your smile. We also see patients from Highgate, Inglewood, North Perth and other nearby areas.

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