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Trust your dentist – not TikTok – to keep your smile bright and healthy

Nov 1, 2022

WDA warns consumers of social media dental trends

      WEST ALLIS, Wis. – The Wisconsin Dental Association is urging the public to use caution and check with a dentist before trying any viral dental health trends seen on social media platforms.

      “When it comes to protecting your smile, the best ‘influencer’ you can find is your dentist,” said Dr. Jay Banez, a general dentist and WDA member who practices in Delavan and Whitewater. “While social media can be a great place to learn and find inspiration, be smart and consult with your dentist before trying any sort of at-home dental trend that you’re curious about. At best, most of the quick fixes you might see on social media are ineffective; at worst, they can cause irreversible damage to your teeth.”

     Recent examples of social media trends that can be damaging to oral health include:

  • Mouth taping – This trend, which encourages individuals to tape their mouths shut during sleep, claims it will promote deeper sleep, reduce snoring and lessen dry mouth. Taping your mouth shut during sleep is dangerous – a person runs the risk of not getting enough oxygen during sleep. There are also increased risks for those who may suffer from sleep apnea. If you are concerned about your quality of sleep, snoring or dry mouth, talk with your doctor and/or dentist. There are safer, alternative methods to be used to address these concerns.
  • At-home teeth filing – This trend encourages individuals to take a nail file and shave down the front and ends of teeth to fix their shape for a better smile. This damages enamel, which does not regenerate after being removed, and therefore causes future risk of cavities, decay and tooth sensitivity. If you’re unhappy with your smile, talk with your dentist. Dentists are able to help you achieve a smile you love through a variety of different, safer ways.
  • “Healthier” soda alternative – This trend recommends mixing flavored sparkling water with balsamic vinegar to create a so-called healthier alternative to soda. This mixture creates a highly acidic beverage that can be damaging to tooth enamel. Dentists recommend water or milk as a beverage. If you’re drinking soda, use a straw, sip and swallow quickly to keep the beverage away from teeth, and rinse with water afterward.
  • Orange peels to whiten teeth – This social media trend claims that rubbing orange peels on your teeth cleans enamel, whitens teeth and kills bacteria. Fruit is a great dietary choice, but oranges are highly acidic. Orange peels may be capable of cleaning and whitening teeth, but only because of the damage they do to enamel, which can be irreversible. Keep your teeth clean by brushing your teeth twice a day, cleaning between your teeth with floss once per day, and visiting your dentist regularly.
  • Tooth polish – Like nail polish for fingernails, tooth polish products encourage consumers to paint their teeth different colors. Many of these products are not tested or researched for safety. Be sure to look for the American Dental Association Seal of Acceptance, an internationally recognized mark of safety and quality, when purchasing new and trending dental products. If there is no seal on the product you want, consult with your dentist before trying it. If you’re interested in teeth-whitening products, your dentist can propose safer at-home or in-office methods.

For more information about safe dental products, finding a dentist and tips on your oral health, visit and

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