Over the past few months, social media has given rise to various dental hacks, some of which range from ineffective to downright dangerous.  Alarmingly, these unfortunate "tips" and "tricks" are seen by millions of unsuspecting viewers looking to improve the appearance of their teeth without visiting the dentist.  Are these hacks safe?  Lets take a closer look...

1. Teeth filing

Unhappy with the size or shape of your teeth?  TikTok users have started filing their teeth as a way to shape their teeth exactly as they want it... but is it safe?  Absolutely not!  Teeth are made of enamel, which is special substance composed of calcium and hydroxyapatite that provides an effective barrier from the outside environment.  Filing enamel away can lead to sensitivity, but most importantly, could expose the nerve inside the tooth, leading to infection.  Toothaches are the worst!

2. Hydrogen Peroxide teeth whitening

Recent social media posts instruct the use of 3% hydrogen peroxide as a means to whitening your teeth.  But does it work?  Of course not!  Household chemicals are dangerous if ingested, even in small amounts.  Even the tiniest amount exposed to the oral tissue and throat can cause 2nd and 3rd degree burns.  Ouch!

3. DIY orthodontic "braces"

A recent TikTok member posted videos of using rubber bands to close gaps between teeth in hopes of creating a better smile... quickly.  Orthodontists use rubber bands to move teeth, so this should work... right?  Definitely not!  Orthodontists undergo years of training to study the effects of moving teeth around your mouth, and its complicated!  One misalignment of your teeth can result in massive pain and discomfort when chewing and speaking.  Homemade orthodontic treatment can even result in losing your teeth.  Such irony!

Dentists are trained professionals with clinical expertise to help any patient with their concerns.  Visiting your general dentist can provide a wealth of knowledge as well as treatment for your oral health.