There has been a recent trend on TikTok, where young people show a before-picture with all their teeth filed and then an after-picture with beautiful even teeth, referring them as new veneers. Unfortunately, what is a false claim, these young people do not have veneers, they have got crowns done but pass them as veneers.
Such dangerous and misinformed claims are very easy in the age of social media, where influencers and celebrities hold more credibility than dental or medical professionals. In the above example, it can also be dangerous because filing your healthy teeth without a reason may cause irreversible damage to the dentine and nerves.
Social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok are sought after these days like the fashion magazines of old. Countless trends have begun and been shaped by Instagram and selfie culture, with perhaps the most pervasive being the perfect smile. A simple scroll through an average Instagram feed will show several images of neat and perfect teeth by influencers. Many such posts are usually accompanied by product tags for an at-home teeth whitening kit or charcoal toothpaste.
Some of the worrying trends on social media are the at-home teeth whitening kits or non-fluoride or charcoal toothpaste. Amazon is reported to have pulled stock of their most popular whitening product, as it was found to contain banned chemicals. Also, while charcoal toothpastes are very popular on social media, they do not work; likewise, coconut oil pulling also does nothing.
These days, everyone is walking around with ultra-white teeth that make you think of Ross in that episode of Friends. So, what do you need to watch out for?
Influencers Aren’t Always Truthful
Getting a perfect smile drives cosmetic dentistry worldwide and it is expected to be worth $42 billion by 2024. Teeth whitening is a multi-billion-dollar industry and social media influencers are leading the trend in the teeth-whitening market. However, not all influencers are truthful, using images that are filtered and photoshopped. It is very rare to see a celebrity with less than perfect white, straight teeth. Also, a latest trend on TikTok shows DIY hacks for saving money on cosmetic teeth whitening by using things like hydrogen peroxide, charcoal, or other toxic liquids. Not only are these trends highly toxic and dangerous, but they can result in severe pain and damage to both teeth and gums.
DIY Teeth Whitening Isn’t Always Safe
These days, if you visit your local grocer or pharmacy, it is very easy to find an entire section dedicated to teeth whitening products. However, not all products are created equal. Not only is the application of the product critical, but the current state of your dental health is also a crucial requirement. Many things can go wrong with DIY whitening, including an uneven application that can leave your teeth looking spotty.
Additionally, not thoroughly following the directions can lead to damage to your teeth. For example, leaving a whitening product on for too long in the hopes of enhancing your results can lead to sensitivity or erosion. Charcoal for whitening your teeth works because it’s abrasive and can remove surface stains. However, the abrasion is so effective that it also removes protective layers of enamel in the process.
Stains Are Different from Discolouration
It is very important to know the difference between discolouration and stains. This can be done accurately only by your dentist. Stains can be effectively removed with whitening products, but discolouration cannot. Surface stains are caused by exposure to foods or drinks such as coffee, wine, or nicotine. Discolouration on the other hand is caused by deeper issues like tooth trauma, medications, or aging. It is very important to consult your dentist first to determine what type of whitening treatments are best for your teeth.
Whitening is not Safe for Every Smile
At-home whitening should not be used by everyone. Those who should avoid whitening treatments include:
People undergoing Dental Work
Teeth whitening does not change the colour of crowns, veneers, or bonding. If you use whitening products, you will find that your natural teeth will whiten while your dental work remains the original colour.
People with Tooth Sensitivity
The peroxide in teeth whitening kits can be extremely painful for people with teeth sensitivity. If you have sensitive teeth, teeth whitening can make the discomfort worse.
People with underlying Dental Problems
If you have any underlying issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, or receding gums, you need to consult a dentist before using any teeth whitening treatments.
Pregnant or Breastfeeding Mothers
Whitening products should be avoided during pregnancy and while nursing.
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When used correctly, at-home teeth whitening kits can be an effective way to whiten and brighten your smile. Check our teeth whitening service here.