Many people have decided to forego the dentist and instead have turned to TikTok for oral care advice, which many dentists warn can be very dangerous.
The tag #DIYdentist, which has garnered over three million views on TikTok, is filled with videos sharing hacks to get perfect pearly whites without a trip to the dentist or the expenses associated with it. The viral videos have prompted dentists to turn to the app to document their reactions to botched dental care and the permanent damage that can result, as natural teeth enamel does not grow back on its own.
“When you file your nails they’re going to grow back, but when you file your teeth, they don’t grow back and that the problem, especially if you take too much off,” TikTok dentist drzmackie posted in response to someone using a nail file to shape their teeth.
Some DIY practices include shaving teeth down with a nail file or sandpaper to fix uneven or chipped teeth, creating makeshift braces with rubber bands to close gaps and using a spoon to take braces off. Other tutorials even promote at-home dental kits with composite veneers to fix gaps and chips in teeth, while others have posted about two-day classes where people can learn to do their own composite resin veneers.