Dental Specialist sheds light on the negative influence of social media on oral health

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Dr. Adatrow, a Dual Specialist in Dentistry (Periodontist and Prosthodontist) from Memphis,TN, talks about how social media impacts mental health and the oral health of the Millennials.

Social Media affecting Oral Health

DIY dental treatment may be economical, but it should not come at the expense of your oral health

Recently, there have been trending dental hacks videos on the social media platform TikTok, which have created mayhem in the dental community. These videos are spreading false information, which can have severe consequences on an individual's oral health.

One of the dental hacks that have gone viral is a TikTok trend alleging that prosthetic teeth can be made out of Insta Morph beads. A TikTok influencer created a series of videos in which she describes how she came up with a cheaper alternative to partial dentures (also known as a flipper). The TikToker purchased a pack of InstaMorph beads, which are plastic beads that can be heated and shaped into a variety of shapes, and demonstrated how to make her own "flipper." The video series has earned over one million views.

Dr. Adatrow explains that although the hack appears to be affordable initially, the InstaMorph bead dentures might lead to additional costs in the future due to their impact on gum health. He further demonstrates that InstaMorph beads can cause costly and irreversible harm down the road, such as gum recession, tooth loss, and infection. Additionally, replacing a missing tooth without a dental expert's supervision might lead to temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems.

Another dental hack that went viral in TikTok was the use of hydrogen peroxide for teeth whitening. A TikToker who likes to share wellness tips on the social media platform made a video of placing 3% hydrogen peroxide on cotton swabs and then using the swabs to bleach her teeth. She argues that her hack is secure because 3 percent hydrogen peroxide seems to be the same ingredient in retail sold whitening strips. She also claims that this can be repeated often and is the most affordable way to do teeth whitening at home.

Dr. Adatrow totally disagrees with the claim. He explains that using 3% hydrogen peroxide is beyond the legally approved level of 0.1%. Prolonged and frequent exposure to high hydrogen peroxide concentrations can have irreversible detrimental effects on teeth like permanent teeth sensitivity and gum irritation.

With digitization, social media has become part and parcel of our daily life. Social media's influence is rated high among adolescents when compared to other age groups. Studies have shown that social media harms mental health. However, now, we are noticing that social media is impacting dental health too. Adolescents would easily fall prey to false claims on the social media platforms like TikTok, Youtube, etc. These videos are created to gain views and earn money. The video makers themselves might not be following the hacks shared. However, the individuals who watched the videos follow these practices without the information on the permanent damage these methods can cause to their dental health. Hence, Dr. Adatrow demonstrates that it is essential to spread dental awareness among the public to educate them about fraudulent practices. DIYs are economical, but they should not come at the expense of your health!

About Dr. Pradeep Adatrow

Dr. Adatrow is a Board-Certified Dual Specialist (Periodontist and Prosthodontist). He is a Professor and Director at the University of Tennessee. He also maintains a private practice -Advanced Dental Implant and TMJ Center which provides specialty care in Dental Implants, Gum disease treatments, Sedation Dentistry, TMJ/ TMD treatments for patients in around Desoto County and Memphis, TN

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