Watch enough TikTok videos, and you’re sure to see one that glorifies a special kind of do-it-yourself dentistry. It is not related to the brush and floss, perhaps except for the use of floss Strands of your hair. These are videos of piercing your teeth and fixing gems on them or filing your teeth to reshape them.
People have been having their teeth done for centuries all over the world throughout North and South America, Africa and Asia.
But social media – particularly TikTok, where everything old and new is introduced into short videos with fashionable sounds and presented to young eyes – has breathed life into trends like toothpicks. Celebrities like Drake, Rihanna, and Bella Hadid have been wearing them for years. Now, some TikTok influencers are selling DIY gem kits.
But it doesn’t stop there. There are DIY tooth replacement kits, dazzling grills available online for under $25, and recipes for homemade toothpaste and whitening treatments. The hashtag #DIYdentist on TikTok has 2.6 million views. It is enough to make any licensed dentist or orthodontist.
Professionals wholeheartedly agree that DIY dentistry is a very bad idea. Dental care can be expensive, and orthodontic treatment is usually considered cosmetic and is not covered by dental insurance – which is 65 million Americans I do not have. According to 2020 Annual Review of Public Health ReportLow-income or uninsured people, members of ethnic minorities, immigrants, or those who live in rural areas are more likely to have poor oral health.
So, is the high cost of dental treatment driving these viral trends among young people, or is it the lure of supposedly painless smiles that immediately changed?
Dr.. Ruchi SahutaA dentist and spokeswoman for the American Dental Association in Fremont, California, said she can understand why patients want to try dentistry at home.
“I don’t know how (they) can do it safely,” she said, especially changing the shape of their teeth.
While a dental file is something a dentist might do to smooth out defects or create a space between teeth during orthodontic treatment, for example, some people do it themselves to soften chips in teeth or create vampire-like fangs for aesthetic reasons.
“When we practice dentistry, we do so using basic information from our years of training, x-rays, and experience that helps us decide when and how to treat,” Sahota said.
Even properly placed dental stones with oral binders are annoying, she said, because “they add something to your teeth that also attracts bacteria. You increase your risk of cavities and gum infections. And you increase your risk of a broken tooth and inflammation inside your mouth.”
The craftsmanship prices are definitely part of the attraction. on amazon, a Tooth stones set of 25 pieces Sold for $12.99 from Tondiamo, a brand that also sells children’s earwax removers, waterproof adhesive bandages, and chainsaw chains. This set comes with 10 rhinestones, a mini LED keychain for curing adhesive, four wooden sticks, five disposable brushes, and five cotton rolls.
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But there are no instructions.
Reviews on Amazon have complained about the gemstones not sticking. Some have suggested using nail glue – which is toxic and can damage tooth enamel. But among Amazon’s “frequently bought together” suggestions: a bottle of epoxy glue.
a Gold-plated, single-tooth grill interface For $7.98 from TCOTBE and a set of Silver plated brass facades For $10.99 from OOCC they both declared “one size fits most,” but reviewers said otherwise. One buyer warned: “Save your money and use aluminum foil (the old school method) if you want a grill lol.” Bleeding gums was a common complaint among reviewers.
Perhaps the most unusual DIY find is a temporary dental repair kit for less than $25 from CZsy. It comes with various shaped plastic ‘veneers’ for missing teeth, and moldable plastic pellets for repair.
They also didn’t come with printed instructions, but were buried in the product description on Amazon:
- Drop it into hot water above 130 degrees for two minutes.
- shape the size you want.
No company or website information was found for some of these brands, but the products have one thing in common: a barcode label that says “Made in China.” Instead of responding to a request from Kaiser Health News for an explanation of its policies, Amazon Removal of menu to replace teeth. Other items were still available to order at the time of publication.
It’s not just handmade dentistry that gives licensed professionals a toothache. Vendors promoting certifications for the application of composite and partial veneers — dentures that replace missing teeth when someone still has multiple natural teeth — are spreading on social media.
sellers like Marie’s Beauty Bar In Philadelphia, composite veneers will apply to less-than-ideal smiles—in this case, starting with 1999 dollars per hour Deposit $499 – as a low-cost alternative to porcelain veneers, which require shaving of natural teeth. Merchant Announces cortex training for $5,999. Mary’s Beauty Bar did not respond to emails or voice messages seeking comment.
DIY dentistry is not just a phenomenon for young people on social media.
“There are teens, teens, and even adults trying these things,” he said. Dr.. Amber Bonaiga dentist in Marietta, Georgia, and state manager in dentquest, a company in Boston. “One of the major contributing factors is the lack of access to dental care.”
DIY can appear a viable alternative, especially since someone with badly damaged teeth, in severe pain, or with mounting dental bills from DIY damage repair rarely shows disappointing results on TikTok. Social media users, for the most part, display carefully curated highlights, not negative feedback.
“The cool thing now is all these hacks to make things easier or more accessible,” she said. And alerted the buyer, or let the buyer warn. Comments from influencers who often receive free favors in exchange for promotional posts can be biased. Bonnig cautioned that complications can occur several days, weeks or months after treatment.
Even when people do not dare to dig their teeth, they can harm other social trends such as drinking “Healthy Coca-Cola” A mixture of balsamic vinegar—which has a higher acidity than actual soda—and flavored soda water. It is a recipe for severe erosion of tooth enamel.
Shouta has seen what these viral trends can do.
“Patients were drinking or washing with lemon water, or perhaps apple cider vinegar, and it eroded their teeth,” she said. “Patients will say, ‘Oh, yeah, you know, I saw on the Internet, you know, this would be better for my health. And so I used to do it every night. Then I’ll get a mirror and show them exactly the effect this trend has on your teeth.”
Such low-cost breakthroughs may end up costing patients more in the long run.
Bonnaig and Sahota ask patients to discuss their oral and cosmetic concerns with their dentist.
Every tooth and every mouth is unique, and there is no safe hack for one size fits all.
“You can have a beautiful smile, even if it’s not perfect,” Sahota said.
KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism on health issues. Along with policy analysis and survey, KHN is one of the three major drivers in KFF (Caesar Family Foundation). KFF is a non-profit organization that provides information on health issues to the nation.
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