A dentist has slammed some of TikTok’s most popular DIY dental hacks as dangerous and claims many of them will end up ruining your smile.
From filing your teeth into a ‘perfect’ shape to using a magic eraser to remove stubborn stains, there seems to be a hack for every cosmetic dental concern.
But most of the cheap tricks will actually ruin your teeth and could cost thousands to fix, veteran dentist Dr Heath Fraser told FEMAIL.
People are using TikTok to share their DIY dental hacks, including filing down their own teeth and using rubber bands to ‘make them straight’ but experts warn it could cause lasting damage
The Queensland based explained while some of the hacks have been around for a long time the fact they are now being broadcasted over TikTok is concerning.
‘Amassing over one billion active monthly users, many of whom are young and impressionable, TikTok holds enormous influential reach over the minds and decision-making behaviours of its audiences,’ he said.
‘In recent years, concerning dental health trends have been posted to the platform and viewed by millions of users: these include teeth-whitening with toxic cleaning products, DIY teeth shaping, and encouraging users to self-treat cosmetic procedures after seeing ‘great’ aesthetic results from other users on the app,’ he said.
Adding that anyone who follows the trends are not only putting their smile at risk – but in many case their overall health.
Dr Fraser has been in the dental industry for over 15 years and wants people to understand treatments used in clinics are rigorously tested and continuously updated to ensure they are safe and effective.
They are also performed by highly-trained medical professionals.
Dr Heath Fraser, pictured, told FEMAIL the top five DIY trends on TikTok are dangerous and will lead to huge problems
The trending TikTok hacks, including using a nail file to achieve your preferred tooth shape, are not.
Nail file shaping hack
In one video a woman can be seen saying ‘no’ over and over as she files down her teeth.
She went on to claim the video was shot two years before she uploaded it on TikTok – and she ‘loves her smile’ and hasn’t had any negative side effects from the DIY job.
Dr Fraser looked into the trend and said while people were initially pleased with the results they complained about tooth sensitivity over time.
This is because they wear down the enamel, which ultimately leads to increased tooth decay, discolouration and damage including chips and cracks.
‘Using any object to intentionally erode the surface of a tooth is highly irresponsible; once tooth enamel has been removed it is impossible to regenerate,’ he said,
Using the TikTok hacks is more likely to lead to serious dental problems in the long run – including permanently stained and cracked teeth
‘Even when performed in the dental chair by a professional patients run the risk of eroding their tooth enamel.
‘Patients who try DIY tooth shaping may require invasive procedures such as fillings, crowns, veneers and even root canal treatment to resolve the erosion issue.’
Raw charcoal brushing
Charcoal tooth products have become a phenomenon across a variety of social platforms.
Many TikTok users have detail their experience using activated charcoal to whiten their teeth, showing significantly brighter before-and-after results.
But there is a risk of discolouration and damage when used long term, he explained.
‘Ironically, while initial results may reveal whiter teeth, using highly abrasive surfaces against teeth will wear down enamel and expose the yellow dentin underneath, causing them to permanently appear more yellow,’ he said.
Some people have taken to using magic erasers to achieve a pearly white smile – but Dr Fraser says this too will do nothing but destroy your teeth in the long run.
Using a magic eraser
One video showing off the magic easer trend got 400,000 views in a matter of hours – with dozens of people commenting to say they planned to try the hack at home.
Dr Fraser said using something like a magic eraser might appear to work – but leads to yellowness long term
More commented after testing it out, praising the trick and saying they had ‘no regrets’ about using the eraser on their teeth.
‘Similar to brushing with charcoal brushing, the magic eraser wears down a stained layer of enamel with a highly abrasive surface, and whilst this may cause teeth to appear initially whiter in a short TikTok video, the long-term consequences of wearing down enamel can result in discoloured, sensitive and, in rare cases, cracked or chipped teeth,’ he said.
The next tooth whitening hack is to brush with peroxide.
Brushing with peroxide
This became a huge trend after one TikTok influencer bought the chemical from the supermarket and applied it directly to her teeth.
The woman said the chemical is often found in dentist-approved whitening kits, insinuating it is safe. But Dr Fraser says that’s far from the truth.
‘Using high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide on your teeth and gums poses irreversible risk to the health of your teeth and can lead to tooth sensitivity, irritated gums and lips,’ he said.
‘Having whiter teeth does not necessarily correlate to healthy teeth, and patients should prioritise the health of their mouths to avoid painful consequences,’ he added.
The final TikTok hack hated by Dr Fraser is DIY braces.
DIY rubber band braces
He understands having straight teeth is a priority for many Australians but says it should always be left to a professional.
Dr Fraser says the rubber band hack has been popular because of the high cost of braces – but adds it will likely cost more in the long run.
One such video showed a man sticking a traditional braces kit to his teeth using Gorilla glue.
The video was seen by more than ten-million people showing how quickly ‘bad information’ can spread on the platform.
Some people use DIY braces kits – but Dr Fraser says these kits are only effective when used by a professional – and should never be attached with Gorilla glue
‘The thin, tight elastic bands used by users on social media can penetrate the gum, severely damaging the soft tissue in your mouth which may ultimately lead to serious irreversible damage, including your tooth falling out from the root,’ he said.
And while your teeth will probably move Dr Fraser says the result won’t necessarily be better, aesthetically speaking.
The Gorilla glue is ‘next-level’ according to the dentist.
‘Using toxic substances and attempting to administer your own braces may also lead to serious health consequences such as severe poisoning and tooth loss,’ he said.
Dr Fraser also runs dental comparison network, AirSmile, a platform where people can compare dentists in their area to fins one who suits their needs.