TikTok Tuesday: Super-gluing fangs on teeth

As a general rule, you don't want super glue anywhere near your mouth.

Emma Jones 3 minute read October 12, 2021
boy dressed up with vampire teeth

Denture glue is a safer option if your Halloween costume includes teeth. GETTY

A TikTok trend that went viral last Halloween has no doubt entered the dental house of horrors: supergluing fake fangs to costumers’ teeth for a subtly gothic look.

The earliest video still on the platform with the tags #superglue and #fangs was posted by user @therorlax at the beginning of 2019. In the video, the user explains that after supergluing fangs to his teeth, he had spent “the last two hours trying to remove the f**king fangs,” eventually sitting with nail polish remover on his teeth for twenty minutes to finally remove the unwanted addition.

The trend continued to pick up steam into 2020, with some TikTok users sharpening acrylic nails into fangs, then gluing the newly fashioned prosthetics to their incisor teeth using either nail glue or super glue.

“They’re fake nails for one,” TikTok user @emptyecho420 explains while showing off her fangs in a clip. “And I hate to be that person, but, super glue.”

The consequences of using such a strong adhesive continue to pile up. In one video, shared more than 5,000 times, a user appears to be unable to remove fangs from her teeth. A different user was able to get the fangs off relatively easy, but complained of superglue residue left on the back of their teeth.

The risks of using superglue on delicate enamel go far beyond having trouble getting it off. The adhesive ingredients in superglue and other substances aren’t considered toxic if ingested in small amounts, according to the British Columbia Drug and Poison Information Centre, but they can cause negative side effects to the gum tissue.

“Super glue has in itself toxic additives, which when placed near the gum tissue can cause gingival inflammation,” Vanessa Creavan, a dentist and cofounder of Spotlight Oral Care, toldHealth. “Placed onto the tooth [can lead to] needing root canal treatment.”

Some types of adhesives can also reportedly harm the enamel on teeth, while attempting to yank the fangs off might cause the tooth to fracture. Saliva should dissolve the adhesive in one to two days. But still-solid chunks of glue (not to mention the fangs themselves) pose a choking hazard, according to the Queensland Health website.

For those who want to go all in this Halloween, Dr. Zainab Mackie, a U.S. dentist with a sizeable TikTok following, recommends the use of denture glue, which is safe to use on teeth and is easy to get off. Ortho wax can also be an effective tool to hold the fangs on for a short period of time — for instance, while filming a TikTok video.

Have a TikTok Challenge you think we should be talking about? Let us know at info@healthing.ca.