The worst TikTok health trends of 2020
- TikTok has become a library of DIY tips for haircuts, self-care, and even health this year. Sadly, not all of the information circulated on the app is accurate or safe.
- Here are the top five TikTok trends of 2020 that are terrible for your health.
- DIY dentistry has taken the app by storm this year as users have filed their own teeth down to be even, superglued vampire fangs to their teeth, and replaced all of their teeth with crowns.
- Skincare was another category, as users removed their own moles with chemical peels and attempted to scrape them off.
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TikTok dances and recipes aren't the only things that have gone viral on the popular platform this year. DIY health tips on everything from skincare to dentistry have also exploded.
While many are well-intentioned, many of these quarantine boredom-induced experiments have horrified dentists, dermatologists, and doctors alike.
Here are five of the worst TikTok health trends of 2020.
Some TikTok users filed their uneven teeth down with nail files. Dentists say this could permanently damage teeth.
Uneven teeth seems to be a common complaint among people on TikTok.
Videos of people filing their uneven teeth down with nail files started popping up all over the platform, much to the dismay of dentists, who say this could lead to serious damage.
"It's not the same as filing your fingernails. If you file your fingernails today, they'll grow back tomorrow," Dr. Chad Evans, a dentist, said. "Our teeth are permanent."
Filing your teeth could lead to nerve damage, sensitivity, or even kill the tooth down the line as the file shaves down precious layers of enamel, which are crucial for the tooth's longevity.
Just in time for Halloween, people started supergluing vampire fangs to their teeth. Trying to pull the fangs out could crack the tooth.
Some TikTok users made the mistake of securing their fangs with nail glue, which has the same components as super glue. Videos of desperate users tugging at their teeth quickly circulated on the app.
Dentists warned pulling or trying to remove the fangs yourself could cause even more damage to your teeth.
Pulling could crack, shatter, or actually pull out your tooth entirely. Instead, it's best to wait until you can get to a dentist or let the fangs fall out on their own.
"Don't use nail glue. It's poisonous and won't come off," Dr. Z. Mackie, a Detroit-based dentist on TikTok, said in a video. "If you're using acrylic nails as your fangs, use a denture glue. It's going to be safe and easy to take off. You can also use ortho wax. This is not gonna stay on the whole time but it's safe and good for pictures."
Influencers have been flying abroad to get what they call "veneers." Dentists point out these are actually full sets of crowns.
A wave of young TikTok users are going abroad to get full sets of what they think are "veneers" to achieve the same smile as influencers like Jeffree Star and Tana Mongeau.
But dentists on the platform have pointed out that the shaved-down teeth that resemble pegs are not veneer preparations; they are crown preparations and there's a key difference.
While veneers are less invasive and only require half a millimeter or less of enamel to be shaved down, crowns require two millimeters or more of enamel to be shaved off, which is why the teeth resemble pegs.
According to Dr. Shaadi Manouchehri, a London dentist, this kind of aggressive preparation should only be used on decaying teeth, never on healthy young teeth.
These influencers will likely have to get dentures by the time they're 40 and spend thousands to replace their crowns throughout their lifetime.
"Once your teeth are down to stumps, there's no going back," Dr. Emi Mawson, a dentist in the English county of Cornwall, told her followers on TikTok.
Covid-19 patients who have last their sense of taste have taken shots of Everclear (grain alcohol) to see if they can taste the alcohol.
People who have had mild cases of Covid-19 are putting this to the test and taking shots of high-proof alcohol like Everclear to see if they can taste the burn.
Regardless of taste, taking consecutive shots of Everclear can lead to dangerous health consequences.
According to Vertava Health, a care centre for mental health and addiction services, "drinking Everclear can quickly cause alcohol poisoning, a condition that can lead to death."
People have tried removing moles at home by using chemicals peels and scraping at them. Dermatologists say this is dangerous.
Some users decided to use their time at home during the pandemic to try and remove moles that had bothered them.
Rather than seeking advice from a dermatologist, users took videos of themselves using vinegar or chemical peels to scrape off their moles at home.
Doctors say this is dangerous, as there is no safe way to remove a mole without medical supervision.
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