As we spend more time at home, away from work, and video calling our loved ones, we may be more likely to consider having cosmetic work done to improve the way we look. For many people, teeth can be a critical factor of how confident we feel in ourselves, which is why it’s understandable that some of us are considering having dental work carried out.
Although, with 3.7 million TikTok users in the UK, with a variety of different age groups, an increased number of us are becoming exposed to DIY hacks on the video-sharing platform, whether it be related to home renovation, self-improvement, or even DIY dental hacks!
From DIY filing down of the teeth to whitening our teeth ten shades lighter using a £4 bottle of hydrogen peroxide, there are some truly shocking DIY dental hacks that have become viral over the previous few months. With that being said, some of these dental hacks can cause lasting damage to the teeth and pain later on in life, so it goes without saying that these DIY dental hacks are certainly not approved by a dentist.
Filing Down Front Teeth
Like some other Brits, if you are struggling with confidence in how straight and aligned your teeth are, you may have looked into having orthodontics with a registered dental clinic. Orthodontics is a proven and safe method of aligning the teeth for a perfectly straight smile.
However, a recent TikTok trend that has taken the platform by storm is the DIY tooth filing ‘hack’, whereby users are taking it upon themselves to file down their front teeth using a nail file rather than visiting their dentist for professional treatment and advice first.
While the enamel of your teeth is very thin and is there to protect your teeth against tooth decay, filing the enamel down can cause a number of issues with enamel not growing back. As well as exposing the teeth to a wide range of oral health issues, this hack also makes the teeth more affected with developing stains over time and surface irregularities. Shaving down the teeth can also make the teeth more prone to cavities.
DIY Teeth Whitening
Many high street products promise to give you dazzlingly white teeth for the same price as your standard toothpaste, so there’s no surprise that many of us are unaware of how teeth whitening works and why it should only be carried out at a professional dental clinic. Many of these high-street treatments contain dangerous abrasives that scratch the surface of the enamel away, which is why it is always advised to talk to a professional first.
However, there are several TikTok trends taking over the platform whereby users are creating their own ‘do-it-yourself’ teeth whitening trends using products found around the house or dangerous chemicals that can be easily purchased online.
Hydrogen Peroxide Teeth Whitening
The trend of using hydrogen peroxide to whiten the teeth has since led to the chemical selling out online. The bizarre trend sees TikTok users rubbing food-grade hydrogen peroxide, accessible online for just £4, on the surfaces of their teeth to whiten the teeth in less than three days.
Unfortunately, hydrogen peroxide of any grade should be left to the professionals, and arguably, shouldn’t be sold directly to the public and should only be used under the supervision of a professional dentist. Prolonged exposure of the chemical is extremely dangerous and can irritate the skin and gums.
Unless you know exactly what you are doing, this technique is not safe and we advise you to visit a dentist for professional teeth whitening instead for safe results.
Baking Soda Teeth Whitening
Another homemade whitening trend sweeping the TikTok platform is a homemade concoction of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. As mentioned above, hydrogen peroxide can irritate the skin and gums with long-lasting dangerous effects, however, when mixed with baking soda, hydrogen peroxide is far more dangerous and can cause irreversible permanent damage to your teeth and gums.
As hydrogen peroxide can soften the enamel while baking soda is an abrasive, the combination of the two ingredients together should never be used on your teeth.
Of course, fluoride toothpaste containing baking soda is completely safe to use and is approved by dentists, so it’s advised to stick to that if you’re looking for ways to whiten the teeth.
Lemon Juice Teeth Whitening
A staple item in most of our kitchens, lemon juice is another ‘home remedy’ TikTok trend for whitening the teeth, with users removing permanent stains from the teeth.
While lemon juice is high in acidity, it can cause acid erosion to the protective layer of enamel when rubbed directly on the surfaces of the teeth. Lemon juice teeth whitening can also produce very slow results, whereas professional teeth whitening can whiten your teeth as much as 20 shades brighter.
Charcoal Teeth Whitening
A trend that has been around for some time and has been regularly promoted by social influencers is charcoal teeth whitening, which has since turned into a popular TikTok trend.
Unfortunately, activated charcoal is more coarse than regular toothpaste, and can therefore scratch the teeth and damage the protective enamel. In future, this can lead to the teeth becoming more prone to staining. Charcoal teeth whitening isn’t proven to produce life-changing results, with the black paste creating a temporary illusion of whiter teeth when the black paste or powder is placed next to the teeth.
Visit a Professional Dentist
These TikTok trends are temporary solutions which can lead to you either needing an emergency trip to the dentist or experiencing damaging results later on in life which can be costly and sometimes irreversible.
It’s always best to leave it to the professionals, so if you are experiencing a lack of confidence in your smile, a cosmetic dentist in Essex should always be your first point of contact.
Our dental practice is located in Essex and is easily accessible from most areas around the UK. For more information on our treatments, please get in touch with us or call us on 01708 442 114.