HARMFUL videos promoting DIY dental hacks have been 'liked' by nearly three million TikTok users, says the Oral Health Foundation.
The charity has expressed concerned for the safety of some TikTok users, following a rise in the number of influencers posting dangerous DIY dental advice.
Among the harmful dental "hacks" is a video that advocates rinsing teeth with a three per cent hydrogen peroxide solution sold online via eBay. Another claim is that rubbing the under-skin of a banana on your teeth will whiten them.
Even more alarming is a weight loss video advocating daily ingestion of apple cider vinegar and another demonstrating an “influencer” using a nail file on teeth “because they are not perfect”.
The Oral Health Foundation is concerned by the trend of DIY dentistry across social media. Latest figures show that the majority of TikTok users (32 per cent) fall into the 10 – 19 years old age bracket. The charity believes many influencers pressure young people to prioritise aesthetics and appearance over their health.
"In an attempt to save money, many young people are drawn in by 'hack' videos on social media that seemingly allow you to cut corners and achieve results similar to that of going to the dentist," says OHF CEO Dr Nigel Carter.
"This is a false and irresponsible message. Such shortcuts come with added danger and can lead to permanent damage."