Don’t drill your own teeth! And other rotten dental advice quotes on TikTok


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Watch enough TikTok videos and you’re sure to see someone praising a particular type of do-it-yourself dentistry. It’s not about brushing and flossing, except maybe flossing your hairs. These are videos on how to drill into your teeth and attach gems to them or sharpen your teeth to reshape them.

People have been styling teeth for centuries across the globe in North and South America, Africa and Asia. But social media—particularly TikTok, where everything old and new is spun into short videos with trendy audio and catered to young people—breathes trends like pellets. tooth pearl. Celebrities like Drake, Rihanna, and Bella Hadid have worn them years ago. Now, several TikTok influencers are selling DIY gem kits.

But it doesn’t stop there. There are homemade tooth replacement kits and grills available online for under $25, and homemade toothpaste recipes and whitening treatments. The hashtag #DIYdentist on TikTok has 2.6 million views. It is enough to amaze any licensed dentist or orthodontist.

Experts all agree that DIY dentistry is a very bad idea. Dental care can be expensive, and orthodontic treatment is often considered cosmetic and is not covered by dental insurance – something 65 million Americans do not have. And, according to the 2020 “Public Health Annual Review” report, people low incomeuninsured, members of ethnic minorities, immigrants or living in rural areas are more likely to have poor oral health.

So, is the high cost of dental treatment fueling these viral trends among youthOr is it the lure of supposedly painless, instant-changing smiles?

Ruchi Sahota, a dentist in Fremont, California and a spokeswoman for the American Dental Association, says she can understand why patients would want to try doing their own dentistry at home.

“I just don’t know how [they] It can be done safely,” she says, especially changing the shape of their teeth. While a file is something a dentist can do to smooth out imperfections or create spaces between teeth. During braces treatment, for example, some people are doing it themselves to smooth out debris in their teeth or create vampire-like fangs for cosmetic reasons.

“When we practice dentistry, we do it with background information about years of training, x-rays, and experience that helps us decide when and how to perform treatment,” says Sahota. .

Even properly applied dental gems with oral bonding materials, she says, are troublesome, because they “add something to your teeth that will also attract bacteria. You’re That increases your risk of tooth decay, gum infection. And you’re increasing your risk of tooth decay, an infection inside the mouth.”

The do-it-yourself price is definitely part of the appeal. On Amazon, a set of 25-tooth gems sells for $12.99 from Tondiamo, a brand that also sells children’s earwax, waterproof tape, and saw chains. The set comes with 10 rhinestones, a mini LED keychain to cure glue stains, four wooden sticks, five disposable applicator brushes and five cotton rolls.

But there are no instructions.

Amazon reviews complain about the gems not sticking. Some suggest using nail glue – which is toxic and can damage tooth enamel. But among Amazon’s “often bought together” suggestions: a jar of epoxy resin glue.

A single-tooth, gold-plated grill front for $7.98 from TCOTBE and a bronze, silver-plated front for $10.99 from OOCC both touting “one size fits all”, But reviewers say otherwise. “Save your money and use foil (the old school way) if you want to bake lol,” warned one buyer. Bleeding gums is a common complaint among reviewers.

Perhaps the weirdest DIY item is a temporary fixer kit for under $25 from CZsy. It comes with plastic “veneers” of different shapes for missing teeth and molded resin beads for repair.

It also doesn’t come with printed instructions, but they are buried in the product description on Amazon’s website:

1. Drop into hot water over 130 degrees for about two minutes.

2. Shape the size what you want.

No company or website information was found for some of these brands, but the products have one thing in common: a barcode sticker that says “Made in China”. Instead of responding to KHN’s request for an explanation of its policies, Amazon removed the listing that offered replacement teeth. Other items are still available to order at the time of publication.

It’s not just do-it-yourself dentistry for licensed toothache professionals. Vendors touting certificates for applying composite veneers and masks – dentures that replace lost teeth when someone still has lots of natural teeth in place – are popping up on social media.

Vendors like Marie’s Beauty Bar in Philadelphia will apply composite veneers to less-than-perfect smiles—in this case, starting at $1,999 per hour with a $499 deposit—as a low-cost alternative. than for porcelain veneers, which requires shaving of natural teeth. The merchant advertises to dig a chipboard for $5,999. Marie’s Beauty Bar did not respond to emails or voice messages seeking comment.

Do-it-yourself dentistry is not only a phenomenon of young people on social media. “There are so many teenagers, teenagers, even adults trying things out,” said Dr. Amber Bonnaig, dentist in Marietta, Georgia and state director of DentaQuest, a Boston-based company. this. “A major contributing factor is the lack of accessibility teeth care. “

Do-it-yourself may present a viable alternative, especially since a person has severely damaged teeth, in so hurt, or with mounting dental bills from DIY damage repairs that rarely show disappointing results on TikTok. Social media users, for the most part, display handpicked highlights, not adverse reactions.

The “great thing” right now is all these hacks to make things arguably easier or more accessible,” she said. She warns in advance or leaves buyers wary. Judging from these influencers often receive free services in exchange for potentially biased promotional posts, Bonnaig warns that complications can occur days, weeks or months after treatment.

Even if people don’t dare to drill their own teeth, they can do damage with other social trends like drinking “Healthy Coke,” a concoction of balsamic vinegar — which has a higher acid content than water. Practically sweet — and flavored carbonated water. It’s a recipe for severe enamel erosion.

Sahota has seen what these viral trends can do. “Patients drank or brushed their teeth with lemon juice, or possibly apple cider vinegar, and that caused acid or erosion in their teeth,” she said. “Patients would say, ‘Oh, yeah, you know, I’ve seen online that, you know, this is going to be better for my health. And so I did it nightly.” That’s when I bring a mirror and show them exactly the impact that trend has had on you tooth. “

Such low-cost hacks can cost patients much more in the long run. Sahota suggests that consumers looking for safe ways to enhance their smiles can look for products on the Mouth Healthy site that bear the ADA seal of approval. Bonnaig and Sahota both urge patients to discuss their dental and cosmetic concerns with their dentist.

Every tooth and every mouth is unique, and there’s no safe DIY hack for a one-size-fits-all. “You can have a beautiful smile,” Sahota says, “even if it’s not perfect.”

TikTok’s alternative soda trend could be harmful to teeth

2022 Kaiser Health News.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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