Social media is a great place to connect with friends and family, learn new things, and discover life hacks to make our lives easier. However, some life hacks and social media trends can be dangerous to your oral health. Here are three of these social media trends we would not recommend:
1. Filing Teeth With a Nail File
One of the most widespread trends on TikTok is filing down teeth with a nail file to get rid of perceived defects on teeth without professional help. What makes this trend particularly hazardous is the fact that it damages the enamel, the protective outer layer of the teeth. Unlike other parts of the body, enamel does not have the ability to grow back or repair itself. Therefore, filing down your teeth can lead to long-term damage and dental problems.
One of the most immediate consequences of filing teeth with a nail file is tooth sensitivity. Additionally, the weakened enamel can lead to an increased risk of cavities, tooth decay, and even tooth loss.
It's essential to remember that dentistry is a specialized field, and attempting to alter your teeth without professional guidance can have severe consequences. If you have concerns about the appearance of your teeth or any dental issues, it is crucial to consult with a qualified dentist who can provide safe and effective solutions.
2. DIY Teeth Whitening
While it's understandable that many people desire a brighter and whiter smile, it's important to be cautious when it comes to DIY teeth whitening methods, which can cause more harm than good.
Strawberries, for instance, have been touted as a natural way to bleach your smile. Unfortunately, the malic acid contained in strawberries can also eat away at enamel. That’s not to say you should avoid strawberries at all costs – we’d just advise against using them as an at-home whitening treatment.
Baking soda and lemon juice used as a homemade teeth whitening paste is another harmful DIY teeth whitening trend. While baking soda has mild abrasive properties that can help remove surface stains, excessive use or scrubbing can erode the enamel and lead to tooth sensitivity. Lemon juice, on the other hand, is highly acidic and can also contribute to enamel erosion and tooth sensitivity. Therefore, it is best to avoid this DIY method and opt for safer alternatives.
Hydrogen Peroxide is another trendy DIY teeth whitening method. While hydrogen peroxide is a common ingredient in professional teeth whitening products, it should be used with caution and under the supervision of a dental professional. The concentration and application method of hydrogen peroxide can greatly impact its effectiveness and safety. Using high concentrations or applying it incorrectly can lead to gum irritation, tooth sensitivity, and even chemical burns.
Activated charcoal is a popular ingredient used for teeth whitening, but while this may seem like a natural and harmless method for achieving a whiter smile, it's important to approach it with caution. Activated charcoal is actually extremely abrasive and can cause microscopic scratches on the enamel, the protective layer around your teeth. Over time, these scratches can weaken the enamel and make your teeth more susceptible to tooth stains and decay. Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence or research-based data to support the effectiveness of charcoal as a whitening method.
If you’re really unhappy with the color of your teeth, your dentist can offer safe options for a whiter smile, such as professional dental cleanings, whitening toothpaste, or professional teeth whitening treatments administered by a dentist.
3. Attaching Accessories to Teeth
Another concerning trend that has gained traction on social media is attaching accessories to teeth. People are using various adhesives to stick gems, small objects, or even piercings onto their teeth for aesthetic purposes.
The adhesive used to attach these accessories may contain harmful chemicals that can irritate the gums and cause inflammation. It can also create a breeding ground for bacteria, leading to gum infections and tooth decay. Additionally, the pressure exerted by the attached accessories can weaken the teeth and even cause them to fracture or chip.
Moreover, the presence of foreign objects on the teeth can disrupt the natural balance of the oral cavity, making it difficult to maintain proper oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing around these accessories becomes challenging, increasing the risk of plaque buildup, bad breath, and gum disease.
Therefore, it is strongly advised against attaching any accessories to your teeth without professional guidance.
In conclusion, while social media can be a valuable source of information and entertainment, it is essential to exercise caution when it comes to following dental trends. It is always best to consult with a dental professional who can provide safe and effective solutions for any dental concerns you may have. Call our office to book an appointment with our knowledgeable dental team at (925) 705-7093 or request an appointment online.