TikTok trends have proven over and over again to be reckless, dangerous, and down-right insane. Despite this, they continue. The latest of these is teeth-shaving, and it is causing devastating, long-lasting effects on teen’s teeth. (1)
Teeth-Shaving: Another TikTok Trend That Has to Go
Wanting to have the perfect smile is nothing new, especially in the world of social media. The latest teeth-shaving trends have TikTok influencers flying to foreign countries to have what they say are veneers done on their teeth. (2)
Essentially, dentists in countries such as Turkey are offering a free procedure to smaller influencers in exchange for promotion on their platform. The practitioners are shaving their teeth down to stubs and putting crowns – not veneers – on. (1)
Several dentists have taken to the popular social media app to explain to users what these influencers have actually had done and highlighted the major problems these people will have in the future. The dentists’ goal is to educate users as to what veneers and crowns are and what it will mean for the future of their teeth. (2)
Veneers vs Crowns
A veneer is a thin layer of porcelain or other material that is bonded to the front of your tooth. Usually about 1mm in thickness, veneers require a very small amount of tooth enamel to be ground down, if at all. This creates a rougher surface for the veneer to bind to. (3)
Crowns, however, are much more invasive. They are about 2mm in thickness and cover the entire tooth and can be (3):
- Porcelain fused to a metal alloy
- All-metal alloy
Much more of your tooth needs to be ground down for crowns and is usually only done if a tooth has (3):
- A large filling
- Root canal
- Is extremely worn or cracked
Typically veneers are primarily for cosmetic purposes, such as minor reshaping. (3)
Teeth-Shaving is Irreversible and Dangerous
Dentists on TikTok were quick to jump on and educate users against getting veneers and especially crowns done. These are irreversible and extraordinarily costly. (3)
Even if you have dental coverage, these are still expensive. Your coverage might not cover all of it, and also crowns and veneers might not even qualify if they are for cosmetic purposes. (3)
Veneers can range from between $250 to $2500 per tooth. Crowns are even more expensive, ranging from $1000 to $3500 per tooth. (3)
Often crowns require other procedures to be done first, such as root canals or core buildup. These will drive the cost up even more. (3)
To top all of this off, the dentists on TikTok remind users that these are not a one and done deal: You will need to replace them every 10 to 15 years. (3) In many cases, these young people getting crowns will need dentures by the time they are 40. (2)
In most countries, dentists will not perform these procedures on healthy teeth at all, especially crowns. (2)
Protect Yourself and Your Kids
Talk to your kids about what they are seeing online and help them do more research. The pressure on kids, teenagers, and young people to look “social media perfect” is huge, and many of them don’t understand the full implications of what they are being told online, including the influencers promoting these things.
- “Teeth-Shaving TikTokers Will Need Dentures By Their 40s, Dentists Say.” Unilad. Emma Rosemurgey. November 26, 2020.
- “Dentists say young influencers who are filing down their teeth for the ‘perfect smile’ will need dentures by the time they’re 40.” Insider. Canela López. November 25, 2020.
- “How much do they cost?” Healthline. Marjorie Hecht. August 16, 2019.