person holding orange fruit during daytime

Are Those TikTok “Smile Hacks” Actually Working?

person holding orange fruit during daytime

You don’t know if you’re learning things on TikTok or Reels for better or worse. We took some notes as an experiment during our evening marathon scroll. After an hour of screen-staring, we were able to draw a cartoon mushroom, learn self-defense tips, make at-home Olive Garden bread and how to use hands for ‘fit photos.

The app will also be full of misinformation due to all the user-generated content. The majority of the content is harmless, such as that viral video in which Zara claims to have “cracked” Zara’s sizing code. Because so many TikToks are about health, beauty and the body, it is important to verify that specific “hacks” are valid before you try them. These viral videos, which feature so-called “dental tips and tricks”, are very popular. However, despite the fact that they can be quite easy to understand considering the high cost of professional dentistry, it is important to remember that you can inadvertently cause serious damage to your teeth.

We reached out to Dr. Amanda Lewis, DMD for expert insights on TikTok’s most popular and effective teeth hacks.

Debunking DIY Tooth Filling

Although it is difficult to read those words (How to file your teeth at home safely), videos of young TikTok users using tools to clean their teeth and trying to make them look like acrylics have been viewed millions of times. This is one tip Dr. Lewis advises to avoid. Dr. Lewis explains that teeth are made of layers. The hardest substance on and around the human body is enamel. It exposes the second layer, which is more vulnerable, when enamel wears down with age or manual methods like at-home filing.

She says that “Dentin is more vulnerable to tooth decay and erosion,” so removing the outer layer (which is also the whiter) of the tooth can lead to a lot of problems over the course of time.

While there are many safe and useful hacks, this technique is best left to professionals.

Strawberry Stain-Remover doesn’t really work

Although it may seem too good to be true hacks get most attention online, most TikTok tips are somewhere in the middle. They are not dangerous enough to be considered dangerous but they can still be useful or dangerous. According to Dr. Lewis, this strawberry hack seems like it could be used as a home remedy.

She confirms that it is fine and won’t cause any harm, but it won’t do much. However, she also points out that there’s some truth to the idea. Dr. Lewis states that strawberries contain malic acid which has bleaching properties, but it won’t do much as there won’t enough contact time.

Dr. Lewis says the most effective teeth whitening techniques erase surface stains or remove them “from the inside out” with professionally-administered chemicals Strawberries, it turns out, are best left for smoothies and wine.

These Household Whitening Products are actually okay

Baking soda, a common household ingredient, can be used at home to whiten your teeth. This kind of video is endorsed by Dr. Lewis. He had some great ideas. Dr. Lewis said that there is nothing wrong in what he was doing and added that her own oral health routine includes many of the techniques shown in the video. She says that she uses a similar method with peroxide-type rinses with baking soda each morning to brush. It can whiten and remove stains. You can save that TikTok to use in the future.

There are some key points you should be aware of, just like with all things found online. First, Dr. Lewis advises that these ingredients should be used in moderation. She advises that you shouldn’t use these ingredients more than once a day. Expert assistance is required for deeper stains. Additionally, Dr. Lewis warns that excessive use can cause damage so make sure to use these ingredients correctly.

Gap-Bonding at-Home is not recommended

As assisted teeth movement is a specialized area in oral medicine, it is not recommended that you attempt any TikTok orthodontics by yourself. Dr. Lewis states “I would definitely discourage anyone” from trying this. People are shifting their teeth without understanding them. This can cause irreparable damage to the teeth and lead to tooth loss.

This method is not particularly efficient. She says that there are other ways to move your teeth, such as a rubber band. However, you’d need to keep it in place for a while, usually 20+ hours per day, and would require a retainer. “It is not going to last and I wouldn’t recommend it.”

Dentist-Approved Alternatives

Although only one viral TikTok clip was approved by Dr. Lewis, she has other tips that are equally easy and practical–without the side effects. Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, which are inexpensive, effective ways to remove surface stains, can be used. According to Dr. Lewis Crest White Strips can make a big difference in the brightness of your smile, as can topical strips purchased at the drugstore.

You might be tempted to speed up the process by buying commercial products. However, Dr. Lewis warns against using them other than the directions. She says that if you use too many white strips per day to achieve the boom effect of whitening, it is more likely you will cause sensitivity and other problems than you are whitening. A qualified dentist is recommended if you want to achieve dramatic results. Too much chemical use can cause tooth damage.

The most important piece of the puzzle is to practice the highest level of oral hygiene and care. Stains can be removed by regular visits to the dentist, flossing, brushing, and washing your mouth with water after you have had dark or colored drinks such as red wine, soda, and coffee. The best part? All this can be done while you watch TikTok.

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