TikTok is one of the most popular apps around the world currently, with funny viral content, skits, music, anecdotes and other content thrilling users.

But while there are many good points about TikTok, there is also a rather dark side to TikTok. Among the negative areas is the “DIY Dentistry” section.

DIY Dentistry refers to supposed hacks and techniques – promoted by everyday people – that supposedly help people improve the look of their smile and teeth.

But these low-cost hacks are actually dangerous in many cases, and typically fool impressionable young people. In this article, we pick out five examples.

Tooth Gems

Tooth gems were commonly seen in the early 2000s, before quietly disappearing. But they have enjoyed a remarkable renaissance, thanks to TikTok.

Essentially, tooth gems are tiny pieces of jewellery that are attached to teeth. They provide colour for when a person opens their mouth.

Some “influencers” have capitalised on this trend by selling their own DIY kits. But these kits typically involve a form of glue being used to attach the gems.

This is very bad, as they commonly damage tooth enamel and attract bacteria. Reviews for these products are also very negative, with many lambasting them for causing sensitivity.

Bleaching teeth

While this may seem scarcely believable, a trend that is gaining traction is bleaching teeth using hydrogen peroxide.

While bleach does have a whitening effect, it is not to be used for cosmetic reasons. hydrogen peroxide is mainly used as a bleaching agent or an antiseptic.

When hydrogen peroxide comes into contact with the mouth, our gums get very irritated, and tooth sensitivity increases.

Many videos show users mixing 3% hydrogen peroxide with water. In the United Kingdom, the legal limit of hydrogen peroxide is 0.1%.

Therefore, the damage done to the teeth with such high concentrations of hydrogen peroxide is incredibly worrying.

“Healthy coke”

Another damaging trend is what is being called “Healthy Coke”. This of course refers to Coca-Cola, which is a fizzy drink with a very high sugar content.

The drink referred to as “healthy coke” is a concoction of balsamic vinegar and flavoured carbonated water. The taste is supposedly very nice – with the idea being that the vinegar and sparkling water are capable of replacing sugar.

But balsamic vinegar actually has an incredibly high acid content – arguably higher than many standard soft drinks. Sparkling water is also not harmless to teeth.

Such a concoction will inevitably result in erosion of the teeth – leading to cavities and gum problems.

Lemon Water

A rather common trend is for lemon juice to be added to water – in an effort to make the standard water drink become more flavoursome.

However, lemon juice – owing to its lemon content – is very acidic. Lemon is naturally acidic, so a juice bearing its name can cause many problems.

Mainly, the acidic content results in the teeth becoming eroded. Teeth typically become more sensitive as a result, causing discomfort.

Filing teeth

Having uneven teeth is very common. But in the current age, many people see this as a problem that needs to be rectified. As a result, some people have started using a nail file on their teeth.

The nail files are used to file away uneven parts of the tooth. This presents a myriad of problems. By filing away tooth, the person doing this will quickly find that their teeth become more sensitive.

Teeth do not grow back after being filed, and it can cause lifelong damage. Eventually, the nerve of the tooth will become exposed, resulting in excruciating pain and the need for emergency (and costly) dental work.

The nail file itself too is likely to introduce harmful bacteria to the mouth, and also cause irritation to the gums. It is also the vehicle that hastens enamel erosion.

The Takeaway

The cost of dental care puts people off of getting professional help. Then there are those that don’t have access to a dentist. These are serious issues, and is driving people to make decisions that they will later regret.

Oral health is very important, and something that we all need to take care of. Avoiding things we see on the internet is a good place to start, and cleaning and flossing our teeth is another critical measure.