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Social Media Dentistry: 4 Hacks That Will Absolutely Destroy Your Teeth

a female laying on a bed and holding her cell phone

Social media is a part of most of our lives, no matter how old you are. 90.4% of millennials are social media users, as are 48.2% of baby boomers. And it’s not a quiet hum in the background of our day, either. The average social media user spends 3 hours every day scrolling through feeds and messaging contacts. 

As social media continues to grow in popularity, so too does the volume and variety of content you can find. An alarming trend of do-it-yourself dental hacks are being passed around, especially on platforms like TikTok. As fun and easy as these “hacks” might sound, you can do real and permanent damage to your teeth if you follow them. 

Today, we’re going to address some of the most common DIY dental “hacks” that are currently floating around your social media feeds and why they’re so dangerous for your oral health.

DIY Whitening With Hydrogen Peroxide or Fruit Skin

Several posts have gone viral where a user promotes the application of a water and hydrogen peroxide mix to teeth to whiten them. Other video “hacks” suggest rubbing the rind of a fruit, such as a banana or orange, over your teeth for a similar whitening effect. Both tips can actually cause drastic damage to your teeth and gums.

Hydrogen peroxide, even in a diluted form, is a dangerous chemical. If it’s applied improperly, it can cause chemical burns to your gums and wear down your teeth. In the same vein, the idea of rubbing a fruit rind – which contains fructose, a type of sugar – directly onto your teeth to whiten them is laughable. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest this “hack” actually works. 

If you’re using the rind of an acidic fruit like a lemon, then you’re additionally subjecting your teeth to acids, which eat away the enamel of your teeth. Less enamel means that your teeth are actually more prone to becoming stained and developing decay, which means you’ll probably need restorative dentistry somewhere down the road.

Filing Your Teeth With a Nail File

Just don’t. Why does this need to be said? Please, never file your teeth at home with anything.

There are several videos floating around social media where users actually take a nail file to their teeth in an effort to make them more even. Minimally, this will remove enamel from your teeth, which, as we discussed above, makes them more susceptible to decay and staining. 

However, you might also accidentally file right down to the nerve of your tooth. As you might imagine, this would be painful, and would require professional dental services to fix.

A Shot of Apple Cider Vinegar Every Day

This “hack” is geared towards weight loss, and the claim goes as follows: drinking a shot of apple cider vinegar every day will help you lose weight. 

There isn’t any compelling scientific evidence to back up this claim, as with most fad diets and dieting tips, but what it definitely will do is eat away at the enamel of your teeth. Plus, because apple cider vinegar is highly acidic, you might also experience the fun side effect of causing chemical burns to your gums, palate, and lips.

Pulling a Tooth at Home

Got a toothache? Why not just pull it out yourself? As with the nail file situation – please, do not pull out a tooth at home (unless it’s a baby tooth that’s already loose and wiggling, and then you can gently ease it out).

We get it – toothaches can be painful, and when you’re in pain, it can be hard to think with any kind of long-term strategy in mind. There are ways to navigate a dental emergency until you can get the right dental services to treat it, but an at-home tooth extraction should never be included in your options. If you have a toothache that lasts for more than a few days, then chances are good that the problem is extensive enough that a single tooth pull won’t help. 

In fact, trying to pull a tooth on your own can actually do a lot more damage. Let’s say you get the tooth out – success, right? Not so. Minimally, you now have a literal hole in the place where your tooth used to be, and without proper sterilization, it’s likely going to become infected, which, if left unchecked, could spread throughout your mouth, jaw, and even up to your brain. You could also shatter the tooth (or nearby teeth), rip open your gums (which encourages more infection), or damage your jaw. 

In all of these situations, you’d end up needing restorative dentistry to fix the damage you caused, so instead of reaching for the pliers (please don’t), just call your local dentist instead.

Proper Tooth Care: Restorative & Preventive Dental Services in Barrie

DIY solutions to tooth problems at home might seem appealing, but in most cases, you’re more likely to cause yourself harm. If there’s something you’d like to change about how your teeth look, or if you have tooth pain that needs to be addressed, trust your health and your smile to professional dental services. Our dental office provides everything from preventive to prosthodontic services, and we’re just a phone call away.

For more information on Dr. Elston Wong’s dental services in Barrie, give our office a call at (705) 721-1143. Alternatively, you can also send us a message through our website.

Dr. Elston Wong Portrait

About Dr. Elston Wong

Dr. Elston Wong completed his dental degree at The University of Toronto in 1999 before arriving in Barrie in 2002. After graduating, he continued to learn everything he could about dentistry. Now he has taken the time to share important information for anyone to read.

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