CAUTION! Internet tooth trends to avoid!
Social media outlets make it easy for people all over the world to connect and share their knowledge on many topics and specific niches. These topics vary from food and travel to fashion and lifestyle. “Influencers” with a high number of followers typically get paid to share products on their page. More and more we are seeing medical and dental information becoming easily accessible on social media. While some of the information influencers are sharing may be beneficial and backed by science, we recommend to our patients to do their own research before falling victim to “ internet trends.”
Let’s debunk some popular tooth trends:
Mr. Clean Whitening
Social media users often forget that their favorite influencers don’t always look the way they present themselves. The filters available can drastically change someone’s appearance and can make their teeth look whiter than they really are. Some social media users began searching for ways to achieve whiter teeth and turned to Mr. Clean Magic Erasers. While the household product does a great job a removing dirt and stains, its main ingredient is abrasive to the tooth’s enamel. Once tooth enamel is destroyed, it can never be brought back! Also, ingesting any cleaning product may cause serious health complications.
“#Veneers check” was a trending hashtag where users were showing themselves before, during and after cosmetic dental procedures. Specifically, these videos were showing teeth shaved down before showing the “final after” of a perfect smile. People with no dental training began claiming that they too could help you achieve the same outcome for half the cost. This trend was becoming dangerous since it was encouraging users to undergo permeant and potentially damaging changes to their teeth.
Nail file for tooth shaping
The thought alone of what a nail file rubbing against teeth sounds like should send chills up your back! Social media users saw how they were able to perfectly shape their nails using a file and started sanding down their teeth to make them straighter. First, nail files have built up bacteria from your fingernails that shouldn’t enter the mouth. Even worse, if enough of the enamel is shaved off, the second layer of your tooth (dentin) becomes exposed. This will lead to sensitivity and potential nerve damage, not to mention the additional expenses of repairing the injured teeth.
A lot of these “at home dental hacks” have been public for many years and can be found on all over apps such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Just because they are publicly published does not mean they are safe! It is important to always consult with your trusted dentist for their professional advice. Dr. Monteiro and her team are happy to share their knowledge with patients and provide them with the best and safest treatment options.