Don't Follow Harmful Tik Tok Trends When it Comes to Your Teeth

Social media seems to grow continually as an established presence in our lives. Because we can see what other people in our community, country, or even the world are doing, ideas and actions can begin trending. This drives thousands of people to copy the behaviors of others, whether or not it is a good idea to do so. 

TikTok, the social media video-sharing app, exploded in popularity in 2020 and, by 2022, averaged 1 billion global daily users. While the 15-60 second videos uploaded to TikTok cover various topics from cooking to comedy, dental hacks and oral hygiene tips are also among the most popular. 

Though, not all TikTok channels with the word "dentist" in the name have much or anything to do with dental hygiene. Accounts like @fleetingfilms by videographer, Matthew Watts, created a surreal video series called #discountdentist that is purely for entertainment value. Other megastar TikTok accounts, like @charlidamelio, simply endorse products like Invisalign, causing their sales to shoot up almost 26% in one year, even though the account isn't really about dental care at all. 

Many TikTok users insatiably follow high-profile TikTok influencers every word, trusting their opinions even over trained and certified doctors and dentists, which can be dangerous.

Debunking TikTok Dental Trends 

TikTok trends, which are duplicated videos with a personal twist on each new copy, enable TikTokers’ content to skyrocket to viral status in a short period of time. Trends like the TikTok teeth trend, which refers to a string of videos where TikTokers simply display their perfectly straight teeth, end up being copied by thousands of other users, allowing each user to get an abundance of views. While seeing someone else’s beautiful teeth may cause you to be envious, turning to TikTok for dental cosmetic treatments can leave your teeth permanently damaged. 

You can get some quality helpful dental tips from real dentists on TikTok, but be leery of everything you see on this app and anywhere else on the internet. TikTok videos are curated to look their best, even if creators look different in reality. For instance, TikTokers can add filters that change a person’s appearance and can even make it look like they have dazzling white teeth. 

Knowing some of these dangerous dental trends can prevent you from following popular but unverified bad advice from fellow TikTok users. While you may see some successful dental hack videos, remember the camera isn't always rolling. You may not see what happens to a person's teeth weeks or months after trying a shortcut to getting pretty teeth and the painful damage they may have caused. 

Never use metal tools to file, shave, or scrape your teeth

TikTok Teeth Filing Trend

The enamel on your teeth plays a vital role in the health of your smile. It is the hard outer layer of your teeth that protects the softer inner layers, as well as the nerve, from being harmed. A damaging dental TikTok trend that has become popular is reshaping or shaving your teeth using a nail file. Teeth filing can remove the enamel, leaving the more vulnerable layers of the tooth exposed to bacteria and food. 

When a TikTok user tries to fix minor appearance problems in their teeth with a nail file, they can possibly further misshapen their teeth or even file them down so much that they hit the nerve. This TikTok teeth trend is not advised and could lead to immediate pain, permanently damaged teeth, and tooth decay from weakened enamel. 

An alternative to this trend is to speak with your dentist about cosmetic dentistry procedures like getting veneers or using composite resin to fill cracks, chips, or even gaps to get the look you want.

TikTok Teeth Whitening Trend

Bright white teeth are a sign of a healthy smile. The American Association of Orthodontists found that 90% of patients requested teeth whitening treatments. But using unhealthy teeth whitening hacks can destroy the enamel of your teeth, causing permanent damage. 

One teeth whitening trend on TikTok is to use the Mr. Clean Magic Erasers to remove stains from your teeth. While magic erasers can remove surprisingly stubborn marks and stains from hard surfaces in your home, they are not made to use on your teeth. The abrasive, chemical-filled magic eraser sponges can completely remove the enamel from the front of your teeth, exposing the dentin layer underneath and leaving your teeth yellowed and permanently sensitive. Without the protective enamel layer, your teeth will be susceptible to bacteria that can cause further decay in your teeth and can damage your gums as well. Also, the chemicals in the sponges can also be inhaled, causing your general health to be compromised. 

Other whitening trends include undiluted hydrogen peroxide or highly acidic apple cider vinegar on the front of your teeth. Both substances can damage the enamel. Check with your dentist before trying a teeth whitening home remedy.

TikTok Teeth Straightening Trend

Getting fast results is something that many people can not resist. But when it comes to straightening your teeth, speed is not always your friend. 

Another TikTok dental hack involves putting tiny hair rubber bands around certain sections of your teeth to close in gaps or pull teeth inline. Many TikTokers boast of closing their teeth gaps in less than two weeks. But shifting teeth too quickly or having rubber bands pulling on the wrong part of the tooth, such as up near the gums, can result in damaged roots, tissue, and even supporting bone. Your teeth could fall out with the entire root intact. Any remedy for losing a damaged tooth will be very expensive and could lead to more tooth loss, gum disease, and even bone loss if left untreated. 

Traditional metal braces are not the only solution for crooked or gapped teeth with today's ever-improving technology. Clear aligners like Invisalign can gradually straighten your teeth without causing damage to the rest of your mouth. 

Illustration of dentist on TikTok

TikTok Dentists to Follow 

Besides the dangerous trend videos that go viral, leading many young people to severely or permanently damage their teeth, TikTok is also home to many content creators who are actually trained and practicing dentists. These dentists give sound advice that can positively affect oral health by showing you how to safely improve your teeth while debunking bad information and dangerous trends. 

The following TikTok dentists post fun, entertaining videos that teach their followers something about good oral health care while also making you laugh. 

Dr. Jim Tran 

This TikTok cosmetic dentist loves dancing with his dental staff and patients to keep the mood in the office fun and energetic. Dr. Tran practices in Las Vegas, NV, giving him the opportunity to dance with a few local celebrities. Follow Dr. Jim Tran at @dr.jtrandmd on TikTok. 

@dr.jamestran When you old but still kinda young looking 😂 #dentistsoftiktok #skyfall ♬ Skyfall - Adele

Dr. Lulu Tang 

With nearly forty thousand followers, Dr. Tang shares dental advice and a glimpse into her world by showing her take on some of TikTok’s viral video trends. This dentist and business owner loves taking you behind the scenes of her dental office to show all that goes into operating a successful business. Find Dr. Lulu Tang at @dr.lulutang on TikTok. 

Dr. Chris Tolmie

By sharing practical dental advice, showing incredible before and after smile transformations, and letting you know what to expect from a dental procedure, Dr. Tolmie educates his followers with his fun, informative videos. For helpful dental advice, check out Dr. Chris Tolmie at @drcktolmie.

The Take Away

While TikTok is a fun, constant stream of entertaining videos created by billions of people around the world, not all the information you find on this app should be trusted. Before jumping on any trend bandwagon, it is important to cross-reference the information with a dentist that you trust. 

Dentists on TikTok, who also have verified dental practice websites, can be a wealth of knowledge about keeping your mouth, gums, and teeth healthy. But having a trusted dentist that you can see in person is also a wonderful way to learn how to care for your mouth. If you are looking for a dentist in your community, give Smile Generation's Find A Dentist tool a try today.

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La Monica, Paul R. "Invisalign Maker Gets Gig Boost from TikTok Star Charli D’Amelio." CNN, 22 Oct. 2020,

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Tang, Lulu [@dr.lulutang]. TikTok, 27 Dec. 2022,

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