The good, the bad and the ugly

27 March 2021
3 min read

Dawn Woodward discusses the influence of TikTok on oral health.

Of all the social media platforms we have access to, TikTok has quickly become one of the most popular. There are an estimated 3.7m active TikTok users in the UK alone, with the largest share of these users aged between 18 and 24. The app enables the creation of short videos that typically involve the user singing, dancing, acting or miming audio-clips. TikTok’s ease-of-use is a key factor in what makes the app so appealing, particularly to the younger demographic. Although it has enjoyed a great deal of success since its launch, TikTok has not escaped criticism.

A quick online search shows that the app has been challenged on various issues in recent years, including the safety of its younger users. With a mission to “inspire creativity and bring joy”, TikTok is primarily used for entertainment purposes. Yet the simplistic nature of the  app enables those with even the smallest following to go viral and become online celebrities overnight, which can promote extreme attention-seeking behaviour among users. Indeed, a worrying trend has emerged whereby TikTok users are encouraged to take part in ‘challenges’.

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