Summer: The season of ice cream, popsicles, lemonade, and… frozen honey? The latter may not sound like your typical summer treat, but TikTok users have been obsessed with this DIY delicacy. Currently, TikTok videos with the hashtag #frozenhoney have collectively garnered 1.1 billion views, but is this sweet treat dangerous for your teeth? As experts tell us, it can be.
When it comes to making frozen honey, the name speaks for itself. On TikTok, users typically pour as much honey as they can into a plastic bottle with a wide opening (like a soda or water bottle) and put it in a freezer for a few hours (or overnight) prior to eating it. Basically, they squeeze the bottle until the honey comes out of the top and chomp it off bit by bit. Some creators, such as Los Angeles-based TikTok user Jori Mezuda, have even placed their own spins on the trend with additions such as bubble tea, M&Ms, Jello, and Fruit Rollups. Others, like TikTok creator Abby Berner, have tried the icy trend with corn syrup, too.
Some dentists are warning against trying out this trend — or at least advising to proceed it with extreme caution — due to its potentially teeth-breaking consistency. Atlanta-based dentist Peter Vanstrom is in both camps. When watching TikTok users squeeze frozen honey out of a bottle, he notices that it tends to have a "softened, taffy-like consistency," which he notes shouldn't cause the teeth to break. On the other hand, honey that's as hard as an ice cube heightens the potential for just that. He adds that those with periodontal disease and tooth decay from cavities are more at risk for breaking a tooth when eating frozen honey, especially since they "have compromised and weaker teeth."
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Broken teeth aren't the only problem frozen honey can cause. New York City-based dentist Sharon Huang agrees that biting into frozen honey presents the potential of breaking teeth. And furthermore, because honey has a sticky consistency, Huang says it might rip out fillings, crowns, and other forms of corrective dental work.
Eating frozen honey can also heighten the possibility for cavities. New York-based dentist Jennifer Jablow explains how biting frozen honey can make one more vulnerable to cavities. "[Honey] tends to linger longer than regular sugar on the tooth surface, and when it's frozen, the duration it's in contact with the tooth surface lengthens."
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Fortunately, the TikTok users we asked about their frozen honey experiments say the sweet treat did not cause any dental issues. For example: After taking a bite into the honey, Mezuda noticed some honey got stuck in-between her braces, but, otherwise, she didn't experience any other dental-related side effects.
Similar to Mezuda, bloggers and twin sisters, Ashley and Taylor Johnston, better known as Twin Coast to their 2.2 million followers, confirm that their teeth didn't experience any side effects after taking a few bites. However, they say if they took a few more bites, then perhaps their teeth would have encountered some side effects.
Berner shared with Allure that her teeth weren't affected by the frozen honey or corn syrup. In her frozen honey video, however, she confessed that taking a bite into the bottle containing frozen Swedish Fish "definitely almost broke my tooth."
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Indulging in TikTok's frozen honey trend may have the potential to break a tooth, disrupt existing dental work, and make teeth more prone to cavities. But, as Vanstrom points out, as long the honey is soft and not hard as a rock, you can minimize your risk of breaking a tooth. That said, if you have periodontal disease or cavities, it might not be the best thing for your teeth.
In order to avoid cavities, always make sure to brush your teeth after eating frozen honey — but not right away. Huang recommends waiting at least 30 minutes post-honey before brushing. "Do not brush immediately, as the sugar will soften tooth enamel, and brushing too soon after eating may damage the enamel while it's in its weakened state," she says.
So, before having a taste of TikTok's favorite summer sweet treat, just make sure to squeeze in some time for a cleaning session to thoroughly brush off any leftover honey.
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