Social media can have many positive impacts on people’s lives, but it can also be a negative force. It can cause people to experience depression, and, in some rare cases, can contribute to someone’s suicide. 

So it’s no wonder that Instagram is trying to modify how it impacts its users’ self-image. The platform is most favored by young people, but it’s also the one that is most destructive to young people’s emotional wellbeing. It’s trying to reduce that impact a little bit when it banned certain filters last month. The ban targeted filters designed to mimic plastic surgery effects, with the goal of trying not to encourage people as seeing themselves as flawed and needing surgical improvement. While this is a positive step, it falls short in at least one major way: there’s no attempt to control cosmetic dentistry filters. 

Two friends enjoy a laugh while taking a selfie. Social media is great, but with changes to Instagram, you may now have to show off your true smile?

Instagram Face and Filters

As a platform, Instagram is all about pictures. But it’s not about pictures that convey reality, it’s about pictures that create an impressive image of a person and their life which may or may not be accurate. 

In this quest to construct the perfect image, filters play an important role. Some filters provide just fun accessories that are amusing to toy with. Others modify the image in specific ways, changing the light, applying colors, even adding makeup. People often develop a condition where they start to wish their real self looked like their Instagram self. 

Why Ban Surgery Filters

So why did Instagram decide to ban surgery-related filters specifically. The company perceived a difference in risk between this type of filter and other more generic filter types. For example, a person who puts a porpoise nose on their image is unlikely to try to get an actual porpoise nose put on their face. The same goes for the light filters. People might buy certain light bulbs or hang out at certain times of day, but there is very little risk of serious problems. Makeup filters might people wear a little more makeup, but this isn’t likely to turn out to be a serious problem. 

But with plastic surgery filters, the fear was that they were promoting a very specific type of action: namely, getting plastic surgery. Because plastic surgery comes with risks and is irreversible, the company didn’t want to have filters specifically promoting the procedures. 

Why Not Ban Smile Filters?

However, this Instagram ban does raise the question, why not ban filters designed to make people’s smiles brighter? On the one hand, there are many safe ways to brighten your smile, but many people, especially young people, choose less safe methods of teeth whitening. 

Some common choices for unsafe teeth whitening include home remedies. Home remedies have the dual danger of being ineffective and also damaging tooth enamel. This can make people try ever-stronger formulations of acidic and/or abrasive home remedies, leading to serious tooth damage. 

Another risky way to whiten teeth is to use multiple over-the-counter whiteners. Although these whiteners aren’t as strong as the ones we use in our office, when they are used in an overlapping way, they can cause tooth damage. That’s because the small amount of mineral loss from teeth related to whitening amplifies when you don’t give your teeth enough time to rest between whitening treatments. 

Giving young people an unnatural sense of how white teeth can or should be can be problematic, and we wish that Instagram would address this problem, too. 

Safe Teeth Whitening in the Chula Vista Area

Fortunately, there are safe ways to achieve beautifully white teeth. Professional teeth whitening is both safe and effective when used according to directions. In addition, treatments like veneers can dramatically whiten your teeth without being limited by the color of your natural tooth enamel. 

If you want to brighten your smile, please call (619) 656-6785 today for an appointment at Irresistible Smiles, with locations in Chula Vista and San Marcos.