Trendy dental disasters are happening to children as a result of viral media advice for Do-It-Yourself youthful fashion dentistry.  Dentistry for Children warns all parents and caregivers:

Special Alert:  Beware!

Trendy Dental Disasters Like Filing Your Teeth To Look Like Dracula's Will Destroy Your Teeth.

Never File Your Teeth To Make Them Look Cool. Your Teeth Will Not Grow Back…They Will Be That Way Forever.

The dental fads in this blog article might cause queasiness, cringing, and chills in adults.  We are alerting you to a new wave of social network videos that teach some alarming dental fads.

Additionally, they inform your child, in gruesome detail, of the ways to accomplish these radical looks.

Dr. Bicuspid, the popular and informative dental online magazine, released warnings this month about the trendy new fads. In a recent article, Melissa Busch, associate editor for Dr., stated, “The video-sharing social network platform TikTok has become a hotspot for viral, do-it-yourself (DIY) dental trends…”

TikTok not only features young people modeling these alarming fads, but popular how-to videos give all the details far beyond the style.

  • TikTok has brought to life such Cringe-worthy practices as shaving down teeth with nail files. (Cringe) For example, they can create “Dracula Teeth.”
  • Likewise, they introduce “using strong adhesive bonding glue to accessorize teeth.”

Professionals Express Concern

Dental Professionals are now speaking out against these viral ideas.   One of these professionals is Dr. Katina Spadoni, the dental director for Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield and a private practice dentist in Illinois.

“Over the last year, I have proactively engaged my patients who are teens or in their early 20s to educate them about the dangers of these do-it-yourself dental treatments and that the short- and long-term risks to their oral health far outweigh any possible reward,” she said.

The American Association of Orthodontists has recently, and quite patiently explained why filing your teeth yourself is a bad idea.  The article was published with exactly that title.  We totally agree with their main points.

1.        We want you to know that teeth are not like fingernails. “The protective layer of enamel you’re chipping away at is limited.”

2.       Likewise, you should be aware that “Once you break through it, the damage is done.”  Enamel will never, ever grow back.

3.       The fine layer of enamel on every tooth is critically important to the health of the tooth.  Without it, you are basically shortening the lifespan of your teeth, just for a fashionable or fantastic look.

4.       You risk tooth sensitivity and the necessity of crowns or veneers for dental protection. Some kids who are doing this now will lose all the affected teeth by the time they reach 40 years of age.

Trendy Dental Disasters:  Back to the Nailfile Idea?

Some children are not really interested in looking like a shark or a vampire.  They just want their teeth to look even, straight across. However, do not do this at home alone.  Talk to your pediatric dentist, family dentist, or your orthodontist.

What You and Your Children Need to Know:

Trendy Dental Disasters Should Be Avoided and Always Protect Your Teeth.

Let Your Dentist Help With Dental Problems. His Expert Advice and Treatment May Save You Thousands of Dollars.

Only professionals understand the structure of your teeth. They will determine why your teeth are uneven. It just might be a shift in your teeth that is temporary, as your jaws and face mature.  You do not want shorter teeth when they shift back into place or other teeth grow to match them.

Professionals can determine if have an enamel problem. Additionally, they can tell if “you’re a good candidate for professional filing, called enameloplasty, or if another type of orthodontic treatment would be more beneficial.”

Trendy Dental Disasters Are Irreversible

Kami Hoss, D.D.S., CEO of The Super Dentists, states that the “trend” can create a slew of long-term problems. “If you mess up cutting your own hair, it’ll grow back in a few weeks, but your tooth structure will be gone forever…”  Dr. Hoss continued,  “the potential damage you may cause will not be reversible.”

She adds, “If you just randomly file down one tooth, the gum lines will never line up, and you’ve made that tooth permanently shorter.  Many of these damages are irreversible and cannot be easily fixed in the future by a dentist.”

Yes, dental work can be costly — but so are the expenses you will inevitably incur from permanently damaging your only adult teeth after attempting this ill-advised TikTok “trend.”

Social Platforms:  Bad Ideas

The social platforms are full of how-to videos about turning teeth into shark’s teeth. In addition, they include instructions on:

  • Carving vampire fangs.
  • Flossing with your hair.
  • Using quick bonding, household glue to attach jewels and decorations to teeth.
  • And the stars of these videos are children themselves. They are your children’s peer group.

Why are these Trendy Dental Disasters Encouraged Now?

Dr. Spadoni stated, “These hacks are likely on the rise because people have been staring at themselves on way too many online conference calls during the pandemic.” Additionally, “People may also want to boost their attractiveness.”

More Dangerous Trends for D.I.Y. Dentistry

Shark Teeth Are Only Cool For Sharks!

The Internet is also full of unsound information about Do-It-Yourself braces with rubber bands, paper clips, and wires.  Yes, you can move those 2 front teeth closer together with a tiny rubber band. However, that rubber band can travel to the roots, slip under the gums, and eventually, kill the teeth.

Likewise, you can cheaply purchase rubber “exercisers” to create a nice jawline.  Unfortunately, pediatric dentists are discovering kids and adults who use these exercisers can misalign their teeth or develop TMJ.

Nail Files:  Not Cheap Dental Fixes

Ironically, fixing filed teeth is far more expensive than proper dentistry would have been in the first place.  Fixing the damage often involves adding veneers or crowns to protect the tooth.  That can cost up to $1,500 per tooth.

Dr. Spadoni reminds us “For someone who is in their teens or early 20s, this can be a recurring expense as they may need to have the veneers or crowns replaced several times during their lives…” She added, “For more extreme damage to the tooth or if the root canal fails, patients may require dental implants that cost between $5,000 and $6,000 per tooth.”

Your Child Needs Your Advice

Does just reading about these trendy dental disasters make you wince? Then, we do not advise you to watch any of the videos.  However, we do advise you to have a talk with your children about their teeth.

Parents: Be Sure Your Child’s Teeth Are Safe. Tell Them The Dangers Of Filing Or Gluing Teeth.

It might feel a little odd to tell them not to use super-glue, rubber bands, or paper clips on their teeth. Trust us, however, you do not want to look at the x-rays of the teen who used an electric drill to install screws for home-made braces.

Just be sure that your children know if they try to move a tooth, they could lose that tooth. Forever.

Thank you for reading the blog from Dentistry for Children.  We hope you monitor your children when they are brushing and flossing—and when they are watching videos on social media.  We are as surprised as you are that there is a connection between those activities, a connection that could result in dental disasters.