Social media is consumed by billions of people around the world, with apps like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook all used on a regular basis.
But the vast use of social media has resulted in the creation of “influencers” – who are people with large followings that typically endorse or advertise certain products, and share knowledge of a certain industry.
There are influencers in many areas, and oral health is no different. But sadly, this has resulted in some people being influenced into buying products for their teeth that are actually harmful. Therefore, dentists are routinely warning patients against using supposed teeth-fixing products that influencers advertise .
As mentioned, influencers are found in every industry. Beauty is an area that has a huge number of influencers. This encompasses oral health.
Influencers will often have straight and aligned teeth, as well as very white teeth. This can result in users – especially younger ones – being easily influenced into following what the influencer says, so that they can look similar to them.
This presents a large problem, as these influencers will often try and promote teeth whitening or teeth straightening products. Such videos can be found on all major social media platforms, and companies will pay influencers for them to endorse their products on social media.
The videos that these influencers advertise with typically promise results that are not feasible, including rapid whitening or quick alignment of the teeth.
But an issue is that these products are rarely tested for safety, and do not have any evidence to back up their effectiveness. Instead, the influencer will often advertise a product due to the monetary value it provides them, rather than as an altruistic action.
Therefore, if a person does buy such a product, they run the risk of having serious problems. This has resulted in dentists warning patients about the dangers of social media influencers.
It is often teenagers or young adults that use social media the most. They are also typically the most impressionable. Self-esteem issues are common at this age – resulting in them being more vulnerable to purchasing such products.
The potential damage caused by defective or dangerous products is immense. In the worst cases, irreversible damage is possible.
Teeth whitening strips, gels or pens are among the most common products touted on social media. Their active ingredient is Hydrogen Peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a chemical that has strict regulations due to its potential damage.
Often, such products contain too much hydrogen peroxide, which can be very harmful to gums or existing cavities . Using hydrogen peroxide isn’t enough to whiten teeth properly, with professional whitening having more steps and subsequent aftercare involved.
Tooth loss, bone loss, or gum disease are potential outcomes of some products. These are all crucial things to avoid, especially when growing up – when the teeth aren’t yet fully formed.
Moreover, the collapse of SmileDirectClub – a company that had advertised their clear aligners heavily for years – has left many people with half-finished treatment . This is another example of how adverts you see on the internet won’t always provide successful treatment.
Many dentists have started to warn their patients about things they see online. Among these is Christophe Lequart – who is a dental surgeon and spokesman for the French Union for Oral Health .
Professional cosmetic treatment can cost hundreds of dollars, whereas the products advertised by influencers are normally priced around $10-$20 .
With this in mind, Lequart said that “on social networks, the target audience is relatively young and concerned about savings” . This combination results what Lequart says could be a “disaster in terms of oral health” .
Furthermore, David Couchat of the French Federation of Orthodontics has criticized influencers for promoting such products, calling it “a big scam” .
Couchat also pointed out that many influencers promoting products will have bought expensive porcelain veneers which cover their original teeth. This means that such products wouldn’t even work on their teeth anyway.
Dentists are hoping that such problems will lessen. But given the popularity of these videos on social media, it is likely that the issues will persist, with many people inadvertently doing more harm than good to their teeth.
1) This article goes to show how important the appearance of our teeth is to us all. Therefore, it is important to look after them and not resort to using any dangerous products, instead you can seek professional and safe treatment! For example, here at Taradale Dental, we offer cosmetic treatments like in-clinic and at-home teeth whitening, and Invisalign™. Therefore, at your next check-up, why not have a discussion with your dentist about your treatment options? We would love you to book an appointment with us soon, you can see more about us on our homepage https://taradaledental.ca!
2) As discussed earlier, younger people are typically the most impressionable and likely to buy the products mentioned earlier. Therefore, if you have children, it is important to inform them of the dangers of such products – including the potential long-term consequences for their oral health. You should ensure that you set a good example to them by looking after your oral health. You may consider booking a check-up alongside your child, so that you can both attend a dental clinic together. We recommend booking an appointment now!
What we offer at Taradale Dental
Taradale Dental is a Calgary dental clinic that provide its patients with a range of treatment options and advice, with the aim of improving oral health and boosting overall wellbeing!
We advise our patients to attend our Calgary-based dental clinic twice a year for a dental check-up. If any problems are detected, we have many treatments available. For instance, these include cavity fillings and root canals. To try and prevent problems, it is important to brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss regularly.
Here at Taradale Dental, we also have some cosmetic treatments available! These include dental implants, tooth whitening and Invisalign™! Our patients find that these treatments have a positive impact on their appearance, confidence and self-esteem.
In addition, the fees of our services at our Calgary dental clinic Taradale Dental are set in line with the Alberta Dental Fee Guide.
We would love you to visit our Taradale Dental clinic in Calgary! You can find out more about us by visiting our website https://taradaledental.ca.
 Mansour, J., & Pacorel, J. (2024). Beware teeth-fixing products touted by influencers, dentists warn. Available: https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-01-beware-teeth-products-touted-dentists.html. Last accessed: 24th January 2024.
 Jones, L. (2023). Smile Direct Club dentistry aligners firm shuts down. Available: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-67675431. Last accessed: 24th January 2024.