Move Over, Tide Pods: Dentists Warn Against TikTok Trend of Using Magic Eraser For Whitening Teeth
EDITOR’S NOTE: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DO NOT USE HOUSEHOLD CLEANING AGENTS INCLUDING THE MR. CLEAN MAGIC ERASER TO WHITEN YOUR TEETH, UNLESS YOU'RE TRYING TO BLOW YOUR ENTIRE LIFE SAVINGS ON A TRIP TO THE ER WHERE THE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS WILL ALL BE JUDGING YOU FOR YOUR TERRIBLE, TERRIBLE CHOICES. DON'T BE A DUMBASS.
On today's installment of reasons why I am deeply ashamed to be a Zoomer, it seems my generation has swapped our infamous penchant for munching on Tide Pods for yet another moronic habit involving ingesting dangerous cleaning agents -- using the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser as a terrifying guerilla teeth-whitening tool.
It all started last month when TikTok-er @theheatherdunn took to the video-sharing app to disclose her incredibly alarming oral health care routine, namely, blatantly ignoring the advice of her dentist and employing the Procter & Gamble cleaning apparatus as the ultimate forbidden white strip, scrubbing her teeth with its absolutely delicious ingredients including carcinogenic formaldehyde, and fertilizer/flame retardent staple, melamine. Yum.
“Step number one, I don't use any fluoride at all. When the dentist says, 'use your fluoride, don't rinse,' umm... no, I don't do that,” she says in the clip, which has garnered more than 255,000 likes and a text warning label, informing users that “the action in this video could result in serious injury." “Number two, I do something called 'oil pulling,' I look it up on YouTube and I use coconut oil,” she continued. “Number three, and here is where we all gasp. This is a Magic Eraser. Yeah, that's what I said. I take a little, tiny piece of it and wet it, don't touch your gums... I've been doing it for, like, two years."
Although in anticipation of the backlash to her video @theheatherdunn boldly claims her dentists are fine with these gut-wrenching techniques, allegedly telling her that despite putting toxic chemicals inside of her mouth, she, by some miraculous stroke of dumb luck, has the 'healthiest, strongest, cleanest teeth,'" not everyone is on board with Magic Eraser teeth whitening. Since the video took off, several dentists – perhaps more than 9 out of 10 -- along with anyone with a few functioning brain cells, evidently have some choice words regarding her horrifying methods, most of which can be summed up by four words: Don't f------ do this.
“Excuse me is that a Magic Eraser?” said YouTuber The Bentist, who reviewed the viral TikTok as a part of his “Orthodontist Reacts” series. “Like, she's afraid of fluoride but she's cool with using a Magic Eraser on her teeth. A Magic Eraser is actually made of melamine foam. It's basically foam that's hard as glass and acts as a really abrasive sandpaper, meaning, yeah, your teeth are white because you scrubbed all the enamel off. So, in fact, no, don't do this.”
However, The Bentist is far from the only dental professional concerned about the dangers of this viral trend, two of which spoke out on a recent news package surrounding the video.
"I don't think it's a good idea to put any cleaning chemical in your mouth. I think that there are chemicals that can be harmful," Dr. Sujatha Reddy told local Louisville, Kentucky news station, WHAS11 of the trend.
Later in the clip, cosmetic dentist Dr. Charlie Cooper echoed these sentiments, discussing how, exactly, these chemicals can harm your pearly whites. "Acid has a negative effect on the enamel portion of the tooth," he explained. “The enamel is the hard outer shell, and the way acid attacks enamel is by demineralizing it. When it's gone, it's gone. It sets up the teeth being a little more susceptible to attack from bacteria which then leads to decay as well as creating sensitivity.”
Yet as CBS News's Salt Lake City, Utah affiliate KUTV noted, even the product itself warns against this type of abuse. “AVOID ACCIDENTS: DO NOT USE ON SKIN OR OTHER PARTS OF THE BODY,” reads the back of the product's packaging. “USING ON SKIN WILL LIKELY CAUSE ABRASIONS, KEEP OUT OF REACH OF TODDLERS AND PETS TO AVOID ACCIDENTAL INGESTION.”
So folks, please don't be stupid, there are better ways to whiten your teeth than scrubbing them with dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde. We're better than this – at least I really hope we are.