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If you hang around TikTok for any length of time, you’re going to see somebody doing something with their teeth. It doesn’t matter if it is a benign video of somebody flossing their teeth or somebody doing the unthinkable, it is a cringe-worthy moment that is all too often imitated.

Since many of those TikTok videos have gained millions of views, dentists are quick to offer their warnings about what is behind those whitening and straightening tricks. They may work temporarily but there is something serious behind it that could lead to permanent damage.

Photo: Unsplash/Marek Studzinski

One of those videos that went viral was of a woman who used a nail file to straighten her own teeth. She said that it was an affordable way to straighten her smile.

Unfortunately, hundreds of other people did the same thing after watching her video, and they were convinced that there was nothing wrong with it. When you look at the comments to the original post, however, you see that many of them are saying they ruined their teeth.

According to the NZ Herald, an Australian dental surgeon, Dr. Heath Fraser, has now come forward to offer his two cents on the entire subject. As far as the teeth filing is concerned, he said that doing so would set you up for “invasive procedures such as fillings, crowns, veneers and even root canal treatment to resolve the erosion issue.”

Photo: Unsplash/Rafael Rocha

He said that filing your own teeth was highly irresponsible and said once you remove tooth enamel, it isn’t coming back.

Another popular type of video on TikTok was how to whiten your teeth using household cleaners. One of them was actually using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser, which is commonly used for removing tough stains off of bathtubs and walls.

If you have any desire to use a Magic Eraser on your teeth, Dr. Fraser has something to say about it. According to the outlet, he said that it wears down the stained layer of enamel and many people don’t realize that magic erasers are abrasive.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Initially, you may end up with whiter-looking teeth but in the long run, you could end up with sensitive, discolored teeth, and sometimes they could even chip and crack.

When you look down through the comments of the magic eraser video, you also see that many people had already tried it as well. Others may not have tried it but they were ready to do so.

Some of the commenters spoke about how they had no regrets and fantastic results. Dr. Fraser said that those results would be short-lived and that they should consult with their dentist right away.

Photo: Unsplash/Caroline LM

Using hydrogen peroxide directly on teeth is another method that Dr. Fraser said could bring about “irreversible risks to the health of your teeth.”

He spoke about how hydrogen peroxide used on the gums and teeth could damage the health of your teeth and lead to tooth sensitivity. It might also lead to irritated gums and lips.

He goes on to admit that dentists do use a bleaching agent that is similar to or is hydrogen peroxide but they do it in a much safer way. In addition, he said having whiter teeth does not necessarily correlate to having healthy teeth.

Photo: flickr/Trenten Kelley

Another method that TikTok users were saying whitens your teeth is using charcoal.

Dr. Fraser slapped back against this one, saying: “Ironically, while initial results may reveal whiter teeth, using highly abrasive surfaces against teeth will wear down enamel and expose the yellow dentine underneath, causing them to permanently appear more yellow.”

He went on to say how charcoal is incredibly abrasive and the yellow appearance would show up before too long. The problem is, the yellow would stick around for the long term.

Have you seen any TikTok videos showing somebody using rubber bands to straighten their teeth? One person who posted a video has more than 30 million followers and more than 10 million people have watched the video.

Photo: Unsplash/Toa Heftiba

Dr. Fraser was also quick to condemn that option. He said that it may move your teeth but not in the way you would desire.

He went on to say: “The thin, tight elastic bands used by users on social media can penetrate the gum, severely damaging the soft tissue in your mouth which may ultimately lead to serious irreversible damage, including your tooth falling out from the root.”

I guess the moral of the story is, if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

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