WATCH: 5 Harmful TikTok dental trends that dentists are cautioning parents to look out for

TikTok dentist @drzmackie stitching a video to educate her followers on the dangers of DIY vampire teeth, while offering safer alternatives. Picture: Pexels

TikTok dentist @drzmackie stitching a video to educate her followers on the dangers of DIY vampire teeth, while offering safer alternatives. Picture: Pexels

Published Aug 7, 2023


The criticism of terrible dental advice on TikTok is never-ending. The social media platform has seen the emergence of several new, equally terrifying dental trends in the wake of a widely known series of viral videos about do-it-yourself teeth filing.

Although you may have thought that following the tooth-filing fiasco, TikTokers would have learnt their lesson, it seems it was just the warm-up. Here are a some of the current, most popular, and hazardous dental trends on TikTok:

@ambergulliford New Smile 😃 🦷 #crowns #teeth #newset #sevilesmile #white #sharkteeth #newsmile #glowup #bestofthebest #turkey @scottgulliford6 ♬ Mood (feat. iann dior) - 24kGoldn

Using cleaning supplies from the home to whiten teeth

Although using an abrasive pad that combines formaldehyde and sulphuric acid to scrub your teeth might sound like a poor idea, at least one TikTok user thinks otherwise.

According to Delta Dental, TikTok user @theheatherdunn revealed that she has been using pieces of a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which the manufacturer claims has the "muscle to take on tough messes all around the house," to whiten her teeth for the past two years in a video that has since been deleted and had received more than 2.8 million views.

In the video, in which she also advised against using fluoride on teeth, Dunn said, “Yes, I am prepared for all the dentists that are going to come on here and be like, ‘Don’t do it — she’s crazy!’ I don’t care, reports the dental insurance provider.

@clauds244 I’m hungover so excuse the lack of enthusiasm #foryoupage #foryou #fyp #dentist #teeth #teethwhitening #advice ♬ original sound - Claud✨

DIY orthodontic treatment

A young woman claimed in a video that has since been removed, posted on TikTok by user @diana.nova and seen 9.5 million times, that she would fix a gap between her front teeth in three days by wrapping multiple elastic hair ties around them. She also shared a follow-up video showcasing her purported outcomes.

To further emphasise her argument, she made a video making fun of dentists who expressed fear at her DIY braces films. Reaction from the TikTok dentists was justified.

The procedure demonstrated in the video may reduce blood flow to teeth, which may cause colour changes or even tooth loss. Additionally, the elastic bands may cause gum infection or irritation.

Although the TikTok videos are recent, this trend has been going on for a long because DIY braces, which Refinery29 uploaded in 2015, also went viral on YouTube.

Utilising art supplies to create partial dentures and artificial teeth

People on TikTok are seen using InstaMorph beads, which are hydrophobic magnetic beads made of a polyester thermoplastic that can be heated and moulded into different shapes, to replace or repair teeth is another unappealing trend.

@drzmackie #stitch with @muawk DIY Fangs the safe way! #learnontiktok #tiktokpartner #dentist #fangs #diyhalloween ♬ original sound - Your TikTok Dentist

A video posted by @love86emily on TikTok, which has received approximately 77 000 likes, demonstrates how to shape a few of the tiny choking dangers into a "tooth".

According to Delta Dental, a user's video demonstrating how to fix a chipped tooth using the beads - which the FDA has not deemed safe for consumption - has received 1.7 million views.

Crowns made to resemble "shark teeth" by filing them

One of the more harmful TikTok trends includes people filing down their teeth into tiny pegs so that crowns can be placed on them, or in other cases, what the subjects wrongly think are veneers.

These films continue to circulate on the site despite the fact that dentists have responded that veneers typically require little to no preparation, let alone grinding your teeth into nubs.

Vampire fangs being glued to teeth

Some people associate Halloween with trick-or-treating, dressing up, and applying cyanoacrylate adhesive, sometimes known as super glue or nail adhesive, to their teeth to create fake fangs.

The fact that a hazardous permanent adhesive is both toxic and permanent shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it hasn’t stopped the numerous TikTok users from using the glue to achieve the ideal vampire grin.

The New York Post reports that users have recently shared videos in which they immediately whiten their teeth using 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Some people have advocated using human hair floss.

User claudes244's description of the typical attitude of these DIY dental enthusiasts appears to best capture it: “If you’re a dentist, don’t tell me this is wrong — spare me the grief. The damage has already been done”, she says in the TikTok video.

Although TikTok may be full of bad dental advice, you may utilise it as a platform to spread knowledge. Numerous dentists and dental specialists have uploaded TikTok videos of themselves urging people to avoid risky dental procedures in favour of safer ones.

In order to inform their audiences and patients, TikTok Dentist, @drzmackie, and other dentists on social media advise fellow dentists to think about the following:

1. Have a conversation with your patients, especially the parents of teenagers, to inform them of these developments and caution them about the risks.

2. Share information on the peril of these trends and substitutes on your practice's social media accounts.

3. Discuss safe solutions for fixing defective smiles with your teen patients, such as cleaning, orthodontics, cosmetic procedures, and professional tooth whitening.

4. Be cautious about spreading awareness of these tendencies at the same time and think carefully before sharing this information.

Finally, Tik Tok dentist @drzmackie wants other dentists to educate people that long-term, perhaps irreversible damage to their teeth is never worth it, even though some of your people may believe that these DIY trends appear like a decent way to save money in the short term.