nbc 7 responds

Beware of DIY Dental Hacks That Could Destroy Your Smile

NBC 7 Responds looks at viral whitening and smile-fixing hacks that could leave you with damaged teeth

NBC Universal, Inc.

People are sharing tips on social media, claiming they can save you money, but dentists say they could destroy your teeth. Some videos show people filing their teeth, or even filling the gaps between teeth with dental cement.

"I'm screaming, I'm screaming inside," said Dr. Huzefa Kapadia, a dentist with more than one million followers on TikTok. "If I'm in the office I can't yell because there are patients around, but I'm screaming inside. I'm like, 'Oh, my God, I can't believe they are doing this! This is crazy!'"

Kapadia works in Michigan, but his videos react to dental problems and hacks, showing people how to properly care for their teeth.

A quick search of DIY dental hashtags on TikTok will find videos showing everything from whitening hacks to ways to shave down your teeth, put in your own veneers, and even use dental cement to fill gaps in your teeth. Of course, there are also people with advice for at-home orthodontics. Kapadia says people don't understand how sensitive their teeth can be.

"If you move a tooth too quickly, that tooth inside can die," said Kapadia.

And for some of the abrasive whitening and filing hacks that promise to give you a perfect smile, he says they could leave you needing expensive dental surgery.

"They remove too much enamel when they are filing it down," said Kapadia. "That is irreversible because you cannot grow back enamel."

With the cost of dental care, Kapadia says he understands why people want to try these hacks, but he says ruining your teeth could cost you a lot more in the long run.

"Some people are like, 'This dentist is just upset it's going to take money out of their pocket,'" said Kapadia. "Believe it or not, it's not that big a deal to us. It's not going to make us poor. We're just trying to educate people on the negative effects of do-it-yourself hacks."

So how can you improve your smile on a budget?

If you're looking to do it at home, stick to over-the-counter products, instead of DIY solutions. Even still you should check with your dentist first because some OTC products can still be harsh on your teeth.

If you need other dental care, there are some ways to try and save. Kapadia suggests contacting dental schools to see what kind of care and treatments they offer, or looking for community clinics that offer dental care for less.

NBC 7 Responds is fighting to recover your money. If you feel you’ve been wronged or treated unfairly, reach out to our team. We want to help get you answers as well as resolutions. Call us at (619) 578-0399 or fill out our complaint form online.

Contact Us