Experts warn against TikTok's 'dangerous' DIY dental hack: 'You could lose a tooth'

·2 min read

To the dismay of dentists everywhere, a woman on TikTok claimed to almost 9 million viewers that she was able to close her gap tooth in three days with hair ties.

This is not the first time dentists have had to debunk DIY dental work trends. Previously, TikTok users were shaving down their teeth with nail files and building prosthetic teeth out of InstaMorph beads. Both fads were deemed dangerous by dentists and commenters alike.

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In this instance, user @diananova uploaded a video of her “glow up” on TikTok. Using either small hair ties or the rubber bands typically used for braces, @diananova wrapped two bands around her front teeth and the surrounding teeth in an attempt to close her gap. 

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“Oh god, what are you doing?” a commenter asked.

The “hack,” while definitely cheaper than braces or getting fitted for a retainer, should not be tested at all because the risks are way worse than the possible reward of actually closing your gap. 

@diananova isn’t the first person to try out the experiment. In 2015, the trend was pretty viral on YouTube, and because of that, dentists had to warn that the damage these bands could cause would be way more expensive to fix than getting braces in the first place. 

For one thing, you could accidentally change the color of the tooth you’re trying to move because you’re damaging its blood supply. Not only are the teeth impacted, but gums can also become severely inflamed or infected.

But the worst case scenario is you could lose your teeth.

While @diananova’s follow-up TikTok alleged that the rubber bands worked, the experiment isn’t worth it. Plus, in another video, she revealed that she was already wearing a retainer, which may have contributed to fixing her gap.

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“Nooo don’t do this,” someone commented. “If you mess up you could lose a tooth, and they WILL shift back. Get braces or leave it alone please.”

“Please don’t do this,” another added. “This is so dangerous.”

@diananova even posted a video poking fun at the number of dentists on the platform who responded to her video.

“PLS I’M SO EMBARRASSED,” she captioned the clip.

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