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TikTok and other social media platforms are full of the latest tricks and trends for achieving whiter, brighter teeth. While some of your favorite influencers may claim to use everyday products to achieve their brilliant smile, the likelihood of this being the case is slim-to-none. Some of the latest viral trends can be incredibly dangerous to the overall health of your smile, and these types of beauty trends have many dentists (including us!) concerned.
From DIY whitening with Magic Erasers to filing teeth down with a nail file, these trends can create a slew of long-term problems for you and your smile, and you should avoid them at all costs.
Magic Erasers For Whitening Teeth
Just when we think we’ve seen it all when it comes to viral teeth trends on TikTok, another seems to surface. The latest DIY trend involves using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser as a way to whiten your teeth at home. Our dental experts highly discourage any patients from participating in this trend. Melamine foam, the main ingredient in a Magic Eraser, is made of formaldehyde. The International Agency for Research on Cancer considers this substance to be highly carcinogenic and highly toxic if ingested or inhaled. When it comes to safe ways to whiten your teeth, we always recommend checking with your dentist first before trying any new viral trends.
Other Natural Whitening Trends
As with many social media crazes, natural whitening tips can prove to be just as risky. Some natural whitening tips to avoid include:
Rinsing with coconut oil is rumored to “pull” stains from teeth, but this is not an effective whitening solution.
Lemons, limes, and other citrus fruits are highly acidic. While they can help to remove stains on teeth, the acid is so strong that it too can do more harm than you may realize.
Strawberries can help whiten teeth, as they contain malic acid, an ingredient used in toothpaste to help increase saliva production. Unfortunately, the natural bleaching properties in strawberries that can whiten teeth also erode enamel, much like charcoal products.
Using a Nail File To “Straighten”
TikTok videos showing how to “straighten” your teeth by using a nail file to sand them down to an exact length will make any dental professional cringe. This trend, which should never be attempted, involves using a nail file to trim, shorten, and even out teeth. No one lacking professional dental training should ever attempt to alter their teeth cosmetically. Doing this trend can easily lead to permanent damage because removing tooth enamel will make your teeth more sensitive while possibly leading to other dental issues.
The “Veneers Check” Trend
There is a trend of TikTok users sharing their experience of shaving their teeth down to pegs to achieve the perfect smile. Dentists are urging young people to do their research before considering such invasive dentistry. The process of shaving down teeth into “shark teeth” is not standard preparation for veneers. This process of shaving down teeth is for the placement of a dental crown, and there are significant differences between the two procedures.
Veneers allow most of the tooth to remain with only a minimal amount of the surface shaved off. Most veneers will require the front of the tooth to be shaved down half a millimeter to prepare the tooth for a custom covering made of porcelain or composite resin. Some veneers require no prep at all.
Aggressive crown preparation at a young age could cause permanent damage to your teeth, resulting in the need to have them replaced multiple times in your life with root canals. Eventually, you may lose your teeth altogether.
Warning: Never Intentionally Destroy Your Tooth Enamel
The outer surface of your tooth is composed of tooth enamel, which helps to keep your teeth strong. Additionally, tooth enamel is critical for everyday tasks like chewing and drinking. Enamel adds a layer of protection around the sensitive inner layers of your teeth, which consist of dentin, pulp, blood vessels, and nerves. Once your tooth enamel is destroyed, your body cannot replace it or regenerate new tooth enamel, so it’s critical to do everything you can to ensure yours lasts a lifetime.
Speak With Your Dentist If You’re Unhappy With Your Smile
If you’re unhappy with the way your teeth look, the best thing you can do is to discuss it with your dentist at a routine exam or cleaning. After a proper exam, we can recommend different treatment options that are affordable and impactful to your teeth’ overall look and function.
If you’re ready to learn more about cosmetic dentistry treatments and how we can help you transform your smile, contact Aubrey Baudean DDS today.