Essex Dentist Warns Against ‘Extremely Harmful’ Tiktok Dental Trend

Viral TikTok trend poses risk to young people’s dental health

A trend sweeping social media app TikTok could be extremely harmful say experts, as many young people attempt at-home teeth whitening following a dangerous method. Dentists in Essex warn against this technique and explain the risks.

The trend

In an attempt to achieve whiter teeth at home, TikTok users revealed they’ve been applying neat hydrogen peroxide – known commonly as undiluted bleach – directly to their teeth.

TikTok user Claudia (@clauds244), an 18-year-old from Essex, is one of the young people who showcased the trend on her account. Her video, which has racked up a scary 20 million views, sees her explaining to her audience that she was inspired to try this ‘hack’ after seeing a dentist mention hydrogen peroxide was the main ingredient of whitening strips and learning it was cheap to buy it neat via eBay. She is then seen using a cotton bud to apply the undiluted bleach directly to her teeth – claiming “after four days I had to stop doing it because it worked so well”. The comments are full of a worrying amount of people saying they are going to try it too.

The risks

Dentists in Essex warn how dangerous this trend can be for long-term oral health. The damage may not be visible immediately, but neat hydrogen peroxide can cause damage to the tooth enamel, increase sensitivity and instigate severe gum damage leading to tooth loss.

The regulations

In the UK both dentist-administered and over-the-counter teeth whitening products and procedures are strictly regulated.

Under the current laws, dentists can use products containing up to 6% hydrogen peroxide on patients over 18-years-old as long as the treatment is closely monitored and the patient has been previously examined to ensure there are no risks to oral hygiene.

Over-the-counter products can only contain 0.1% hydrogen peroxide – which many believe isn’t strong enough to alter the colour of your teeth.

The right way to whiter teeth

The best way to achieve whiter and brighter teeth in a safe way is to consult your dentist. Dentists can ensure safety methods are put into place to minimise the risk to your oral health from teeth whitening products – for example delivering the product through trays that keep it from coming into contact with your gums.

Safe teeth whitening is actually one of the easiest ways to transform your teeth effectively without huge costs and invasive procedures. A good course of whitening will treat any discolouration by lightening your whole smile, as well as removing any staining.

Don’t be tempted to try the potentially harmful viral trends and hacks you see online, though these may be sold as effective and affordable there is usually more to the story. Always ask an expert and remember; you can’t put a price on good dental health.

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