Recent viral videos suggest using Mr Clean Magic Eraser to “whiten” teeth and rubber bands to “close” teeth gaps.
According to reports, the rise of the social media platform TikTok during the past year has led to an increase in do-it-yourself (DIY) dentistry that many professionals in the oral health community, including Amber Bonnaig, DDS, of DentaQuest, are warning against due to the harmful impacts it can have on one’s mouth.
Most recently, a viral TikTok video instructed viewers to use a Mr Clean Magic Eraser, a product traditionally used to clean household surfaces, to whiten teeth. Another popular video shows a teenager closing the gaps between her teeth with rubber bands.
DentaQuest noted that these DIY “dental hacks” are the latest in a series of videos that have gone viral on the platform posted by unlicensed influencers and individuals to provide oral health “advice” regarding flossing, plaque removal, dentures and more in an effort to help viewers save costs on expensive treatments or quickly enhance their appearance.
“These makeshift dental hacks are really concerning and send the exact wrong message to kids about how to care for your teeth,” said Bonnaig. “Performing your own dental treatments, particularly like some of these TikTok videos, can cause significant, long-lasting damage to your mouth and teeth, as well as your overall health. It’s important to remember that good dental hygiene can prevent many oral health problems and keep your mouth healthy. So please brush routinely, avoid bad habits like nail biting or teeth grinding, and consult your dental provider about any treatments that go beyond this kind of routine preventive care.”