Social media has come under fire for many reasons, from adverse mental health effects to spreading false information. But, did you know the health of your teeth also could be at stake? Understanding how to navigate social media safely is essential—even when it comes to the latest fashion fads for your smile.
Influencer Endorsed Teeth Whitening Products
You probably know what an influencer is if you have a social media account. If you don’t, an influencer is someone who sways potential buyers to purchase products or services by posting about their positive experiences on social media. They typically have large followings. Many people have a few influencers they follow, relying on them to find the latest deals and trends. As influencer marketing has expanded, the companies seeking their endorsements have increased. Enter dental products to the growing list.
“Professional whitening solutions have a heftier price tag to start, but results are achieved more quickly and require less upkeep.”
Various over-the-counter (OTC) teeth whitening products have gone viral thanks to popular social media accounts. The concern is that the influencers with those pearly white smiles likely didn’t use the product they are promoting. Instead, influencers rely on professional teeth whitening services to get their smiles camera-ready.
OTC products have limited effectiveness at best, and they certainly won’t provide results in a timely manner. Even worse, some products have caused real damage to teeth and gums. Teeth sensitivity is among the top complaints associated with OTC products. Whitening products use carbamide or hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth over time. The OTC products contain small percentages of peroxide, while the professional products offered by dentists contain higher amounts.
While you might think you pay less for OTC products, that isn’t always the case. Those products likely cost less in the short term, but it takes far longer to see results. Professional whitening solutions have a heftier price tag to start, but results are achieved more quickly and require less upkeep. Ultimately, you get what you pay for.
Trending Dental Hacks
Product promotions aren’t the only concern. Recent dental trends have included teeth filing, swishing with peroxide solution meant for wounds, and teeth gems. These crazes are often created by influencers trying to find creative content to grow their following.
Teeth filing with a nail file is a TikTok trend many influencers have hopped on. The idea is to perfect your smile by filing down any uneven parts. Filing helps improve the appearance of crooked teeth or teeth that are misaligned.
What’s the problem? Filing teeth with a nail file breaks down enamel. This causes sensitivity and exposes a soft yellow material, dentin. In addition, you can make the appearance of an uneven smile even worse if something goes wrong.
Swishing with hydrogen peroxide has been promoted countless times as the answer to your white smile prayers. Hydrogen peroxide is the main ingredient in many whitening products, causing many to believe the cleansing solution is safe for teeth.
What’s the problem? The ingredient levels in the solution meant to clean wounds are significantly higher (3%) than the approved percentage for prolonged exposure (0.1%). Sensitivity and gum damage are just two side effects resulting from prolonged exposure to levels higher than 0.1%.
Teeth gems are decorative pieces that are attached to teeth. Influencers and creators have donned the accessories in selfies and videos on many platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
What’s the problem? While they might offer an aesthetic addition to your smile, teeth gems can permanently damage your teeth by chipping enamel and creating a breeding ground for bacteria. The small size of the gems makes them challenging to clean around, causing plaque to build up and open the door for decay.
“The only worthy influencers of your oral health are dentists.”
Dentists Weigh In
Talk to your dentist about any trends that will affect your oral health. Often, the fads don’t live up to the hype. The only worthy influencers of your oral health are dentists. Subscribe to our YouTube channel and stay up to date on the latest information with our blog posts. If you want teeth whitening, it’s best to have it done professionally, either in-office or with at-home treatments supervised by your dentist. Take a break from scrolling and talk to our dentists about getting a beautiful, healthy, white smile today.