A dentist has warned TikTok users against the latest trend about “shark teeth,” where people attempts to saw off their teeth.
In a video series that has amassed more than one million views, TikTok user Gypsy Lou, who goes by the handle @gypsytrax, shared how she made replacement teeth out of InstaMorph beads.
The beads can be heated and molded into specific shapes, so Lou used the product as an alternative to the more expensive ‘flipper’; a removable partial denture.
In her initial video, the TikTok user explained that she had a temporary flipper in place but that it would need to be replaced in the future. She pointed out that she’s ‘not rich’, and said instead she could use InstaMorph beads sold on Amazon for less than $15.
[F]or $15, I can make the whole world teeth… if you’re missing one or two teeth and you don’t have the money to go to the dentist, seriously, Morph beads from Amazon will change your life.
The TikTok user notes that the product clearly states it is not for internal use, but says she’s been wearing the alternative teeth for a year. She also stressed that she has ‘no dentistry experience whatsoever’.
In spite of the warnings, many viewers have chosen to follow in Lou’s footsteps, after she showed herself placing the beads into boiling water and then molding them into a tooth shape before inserting it into her mouth.
Commenters thanked the TikToker for changing their lives with the technique, but using the plastic beads may impact both your health and wallet in the long run.
Dr. Vanessa Creaven, dentist and co-founder of Spotlight Oral Care, told Insider that dentures are specifically designed to remain stable in the mouth while ensuring minimal gum damage. While InstaMorph beads can fill a gap, they can also cause serious damage to the mouth in the process, as well as being a choking hazard.
Using something like microbeads is not hygienic. It will result in food, bacteria, and plaque getting caught around it and around the teeth nearby.
This can result in inflammation of the gums and bone in this area which can lead to permanent recession and bone loss leaving the area very difficult to ever restore in a way that looks aesthetically pleasing.
There are different ways to replace a missing tooth and some that are more affordable than others.
It’s very important that you don’t engage with at-home treatments that will long term end up costing more financially and also result in sometimes irreversible damage.
Lou explained her missing teeth came from being raised with no running water or electricity, meaning oral hygiene ‘just wasn’t in the forefront of [her] life’. She noted that it costs more for decaying teeth to be fixed than removed, meaning ‘poor people are left with the choice of having that tooth ripped from their head versus being able to fix it’.
Poorly-fitted partial dentures such as those created with InstaMorph beads are one of the leading causes of gum recession, which in turn can lead to bad breath, painful gums and tooth loss.