In today’s digital world, it’s easy to fall into the trap of trusting everything you see online. Recently, the social media powerhouse TikTok has emerged as a dominant player with its rapid growth and influential nature.
While this popular platform has its fair share of entertaining content, some people encourage their viewers to engage in potentially harmful trends, like do-it-yourself teeth whitening. These may seem like harmless DIY options for those on a budget, but it’s crucial to recognize the potential dangers they pose and the adverse effects they may have on your oral health.
DIY teeth-whitening trends
Many influencers claim their secret to whiter teeth can be done at home using common products. However, many of these products can cause harm to your teeth.
One of the most popular TikTok trends for achieving whiter teeth features charcoal toothpaste, with numerous creators and influencers saying it’s the reason for their sparkling smile.
Despite its popularity, the research shows that charcoal is less effective than conventional whitening products and toothpastes. In addition, charcoal poses a danger to your oral health. Due to its naturally abrasive nature, charcoal can gradually wear down the protective enamel layer of your teeth, leading to increased tooth sensitivity and a higher risk of decay.
Creators are also sharing a supposed teeth-whitening hack that involves mixing baking soda with lemon juice, but this TikTok trend also comes with risk.
Using baking soda isn’t the problem with this practice. Because it’s mildly abrasive, baking soda has been found to be a safe and cost-effective way to remove stains from your teeth by the Journal of the American Dental Association. What makes this teeth-whitening trend potentially hazardous is the use of lemon juice. According to a study published in the Journal of International Dental and Medical Research, the acidic nature of lemons can cause a decrease in the hardness of enamel. As a result, erosion can weaken the teeth, making them more prone to sensitivity, yellowing, cavities, and even tooth loss.
DIY TikTok trends may seem like easy and inexpensive methods for teeth whitening. However, so-called “hacks” featuring lemon juice and charcoal can have detrimental effects on your oral health.
One of the best ways to achieve a whiter smile is to focus on preventing stains in the first place by reducing your intake of certain food and drinks as well as tobacco products. Coffee, red wine, and soda are notorious for their staining properties. Similarly, smoking or chewing tobacco poses serious health risks, leading to browning and yellowing of the teeth.
If you’re interested in legitimate teeth whitening methods, be sure to contact your dentist. They can make recommendations for your specific needs with safe and effective processes.
For more oral health tips, read “How to Prioritize Your Oral Health for Oral Health Month”.