four Stylish TikTok Dental Hacks That Are Really Fairly Harmful

Let’s face it: it’s a lot easier (and more fun) to get oral health advice from social media than from your dentist. A visit to the dentist can seem bothersome, expensive, and potentially painful; Combine that with the emergence of information on platforms like TikTok and you have a quick fix.

“TikTok is not my first port of call for health information,” said Dee Dee Meevasin, a dentist in Las Vegas. Some suggestions can result in costly repairs and painful dental procedures, and in some cases, cause irreparable damage.

Not all dentists are against the use of social media sources for medical information, however Casey Lau, Dentist in Northridge, California and Chief Dental Officer at Elims, said that you should check with your own dentist before trying any trend you see. “Anything that can bring more dental awareness is a cool thing, so I’m not really against it [TikTok] per se, as it creates conversation pieces for us, so I’m kind of for it. “

Famous TikTok dentists can be effective communicators, especially for young audiences. Take Benjamin Winters, a Texas-based orthodontist known on the app as “The Bentist”. winter has 11 million followers and uses weird videos Educating viewers about their oral health.

Even so, there are some popular TikTok tooth trends that most experts recommend skipping them no matter how legitimate they seem. Here’s what to look out for:

Using a Magic Eraser on Coffee Stains …

You can’t deny that a Magic Eraser is, well, magical. It gets loads of stains and stains in your house. Can it do the same for your teeth as a TikTok trend implies? Absolutely not.

Winters reacted with outrage to the people who used the cleaning equipment to remove stains from their pearly whites YouTube video with over 2,300,000 views. Lau felt the same way.

“That makes me freak out,” Lau said of the trend. The TikTok user who started the trend didn’t want to use fluoride – a product for your teeth – but she wanted something to strip the crayons off your walls and disinfect things that probably need scraping that hard. ” he said.

Lau warned that Magic Erasers are made of melamine, which is “a very hard, abrasive material … [by] also scrape off the top layer of your tooth. ”

Meevasin added that people need to understand the severity of using the cleaning product on their teeth. “They don’t repair themselves, they don’t grow back,” she said. “You will be very sensitive … you have to have it repaired with a filling or a crown.”

… or use charcoal toothpaste for the same reason

Meevasin is also concerned about that Charcoal toothpaste Trend using the same “whitening process” as the Magic Eraser, although it should be noted that the product may be abrasive and “unsafe”. “I wish they had never gotten out with it,” she said.

Brian Luong, a dentist in Anaheim Hills, Calif., said he “twitches” at TikTok dental trends. “Repairing your teeth and mouth after doing some of these DIY experiments is tedious, painful, and expensive. So don’t take dental advice unless the TikTok account you’re looking at has a DDS in its name, ”he said.

Cavan Images via Getty Images

Get away from the charcoal toothpaste.

Chug pineapple juice before removing the wisdom teeth

TikTok users go to great lengths to avoid the puffy appearance of chipmunk cheeks after wisdom tooth surgery and claim that consuming pineapple juice in the hours leading up to surgery will prevent this. User Valeriagreenz, who has nearly 70,000 followers, posted a Tick ​​tock of her drank 64 ounces of pineapple juice before her surgery and showed no swelling the next day.

“Pineapple juice contains small amounts of Bromelain which has slight anti-inflammatory properties, ”said Joseph Field, a dentist in Los Altos, California. However, he noted that the amount you would have to drink to get results “would have a significant negative impact on your health.” Instead, he recommends ibuprofen and ice.

Another concern is that most surgeries require general anesthesia, which means patients are not allowed to eat or drink six to eight hours before surgery, Meevasin explained.

“It’s a huge risk. What happens when you are under anesthesia also puts your reflexes to sleep, so your gag reflex stops working, ”said Meevasin. “If fluid comes back up, you will choke on it and it can get into your lungs. It is potentially very harmful. “

She said that taking food or fluids beforehand is only okay for local anesthetic surgery, and in that case it might even help you go into the operation well hydrated. But you should speak to your doctors first before doing anything.

Using glue-based products on your teeth

A TikTok user recently described trying to attach vampire teeth with superglue and the results weren’t pretty. Of all of the TikTok trends, the experts we spoke to were best acquainted with patients putting something on their teeth using adhesives you might find at a hardware store.

Meevasin said she saw patients use superglue, which she describes as “toxic”, to reattach things that fell out of their mouths, such as broken teeth or crowns.

“It’s connected to your teeth so we’d probably have to shave it off and you could use it to get some of the first layer of the tooth,” she explained.

There is no such thing as a safe glue for your teeth. If something comes off your teeth – such as a crown – you can use a temporary over-the-counter adhesive kit to bridge them until you can go to the dentist.

Why people follow these fads in the first place

While some of these trends seem wild, the reason for many of them isn’t: there is a real fear of both the cost and the pain – official procedures at the dentist. Research shows that approximately 36% of Americans are fearful of dentists, with 12% having extreme fear of dentists.

“When you’re too broke to pay for a dentist, you have to use ‘alternative’ methods,” wrote a commenter on Winters’ reaction video on the Magic Eraser trend. It’s a valid point. Field hopes people only consider risk that “could have serious and irreversible consequences.”

If ever in doubt, look for resources that are endorsed by credible organizations like the American Dental Association. You can also call your local dentist. While social media trends may sound like a notable solution, they could have even more expensive and painful consequences.

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