This TikTok Teeth Whitening 'Hack' Uses A Magic Eraser & Here's What It Really Does To You
Here's how other whitening hacks stack up. 🦷
There are a lot of different teeth-whitening hacks available online, but how many of them are not just effective, but also safe?
One hack that went viral after it was shared on TikTok is to use a magic eraser. That's right, a magic eraser, which is typically used to remove scuff marks from walls, was being used to whiten teeth.
If the hack seems shocking to you, you're certainly not alone.
Dr. Bruce Ward, who has been a dentist for over 40 years, says the magic eraser hack is one of many that can be damaging to your dental health.
"A lot of the problems with a lot of the DIY [do it yourself] stuff is people don't realize how easy it is to lose your enamel and once you do, the teeth get more sensitive," the Vancouver-based dentist told Narcity.
With all the teeth-whitening hacks blowing up on TikTok, we asked Ward about some of the most popular ones to see which hacks are safe and which ones he does not recommend.
Is it safe to whiten your teeth with a Magic Eraser?
Did she really just say she uses a magic eraser to clean her teeth… 😳 please don’t make this a trend 😂 #learnontiktok #tiktokpartner #teeth
The magic eraser teeth-whitening hack first went viral in 2021 after a TikToker shared she used the product on her teeth.
In 2022, @theheatherdunn posted a follow-up to her video saying she still gets flack for the hack a year after posting the original clip. However, even with the backlash, the TikToker is still promoting the magic eraser as a safe teeth-whitening tool.
Many dentists, on the other hand, are shutting down the woman's claims and explaining why a magic eraser should not go anywhere near your teeth.
Ward says while he uses the magic eraser on his bathtub to get it clean, it shouldn't be used on a person's teeth. The reason? A magic eraser is highly abrasive and removes the enamel from your teeth.
Enamel is a protective shield around our teeth and is "the strongest substance in the body," according to the Vancouver dentist.
"When you look at a picture of the earth and you see the atmosphere is this tiny little thing around the Earth [...] that's how enamel is around our tooth and we only get a certain amount, it doesn't come back, it doesn't grow back," he explained.
According to Daas Dentistry, a loss of enamel can lead to tooth sensitivity and eventually dental decay. Once that happens, a person's gums become more susceptible to gum disease.
Does turmeric and coconut oil whiten teeth?
let me know if you try it!!!! 😁🤝🏻 #teethwhitening #teethwhiteninghack #teeth #cleanteeth #whitenteethnaturally #turmericandcoconutoil #coconutoil #turmeric #teethhacks
Mixing turmeric with coconut oil is another teeth-whitening hack that has circled TikTok.
While there's nothing abrasive or acidic in the combination, turmeric does have the potential to stain your teeth.
"If I do a temporary crown and somebody comes in and smiles at me, and they got the big yellow temporary acrylic crown I go 'you must have had some turmeric lately' and they go 'yeah I did and this is what happened,'" Ward said.
"I don't know how well it works, but I don't think there's anything intrinsically wrong with it."
The dentist says the most important thing to keep in mind when doing teeth-whitening hacks like this one is to remember that you still need to brush and floss afterwards.
Is a mixture of mouthwash, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda safe for whitening your teeth?
TikToker @kris10mac says her teeth-whitening hack of mouthwash, hydrogen peroxide and baking soda gets her that super white smile.
While the entire combo isn't terrible, it's not entirely safe either.
Ward says the problem here is the baking soda, which can remove enamel from your teeth.
"[It's] not something that I would use every day or a lot, or instead of using any kind of toothpaste and dental floss."
Does whitening your teeth with kiwi, cucumber and baking soda work?
Whiter teeth..🦷 naturally + cheap! 🤩 #teeth #whiteteeth #lifehacks #diy #howto #selfcare #beautyhacks #beautyhack
Another interesting hack shared on TikTok is a combination of kiwi, cucumber and baking soda.
Once again Ward says he would remove the baking soda, which can destroy tooth enamel.
He also noted that kiwi is a bit acidic and that can have an impact on your teeth as well.
The Vancouver dentist explains that we all have an organic protective layer on our teeth called "dental pellicle" which is what creates that slimy-like feeling on our teeth.
"When you use stuff that is acidic on your teeth, they'll feel cleaner because [you've] gotten rid of that kind of slimy feeling," Ward explained.
However, the issue is that dental pellicle is helpful and actually protects your enamel so you don't want to get rid of it.
"You want to do whatever you can to hold on to as much enamel as you can for your whole life," Ward added.
Is charcoal toothpaste a good idea for whitening your teeth?
RUN dont walk to @Primark | Look how my Teeth are after using this charcoal toothpaste! Teeth whitening never became so easy! #primark #charcoaltoothpaste #fyp #trending #teethwhitening #relatablemum #beautyhacks #primarkhaul #primarkbeauty
Charcoal toothpaste has also been touted on TikTok as an option to get your pearly whites even whiter.
While you may think it's helping your teeth, it may be doing the opposite.
According to Milner Dentistry, charcoal toothpaste can be abrasive, depending on how big the charcoal particles are, and it can actually stain your teeth if it's used too often.
Ward agrees and says you should be careful when using charcoal toothpaste.
"I don't know how fine they make the particles or what but in some ways it'd almost be more worth it to stay away from it," Ward said.
"If you're gonna do it, do it maybe once a week and brush and floss normally conventionally the rest of the time."
What is the safest way to whiten your teeth?
When it comes to what works, Ward recommends sticking to drugstore whitening strips or bleaching kits you can get at a dental office.
While those products might make your gums or teeth more sensitive, Ward says at least they won't dissolve your tooth enamel.
"A lot of the commercial tooth whitening products are actually okay. They don't really do any damage that we know of to your enamel and to the structure of your teeth," he told Narcity.
"It'd be better to stick with something that's been designed to whiten teeth rather than the home cures that actually damage the enamel.
He also urges people to floss and brush their teeth regularly and to never assume that teeth-whitening products can act as a substitute.
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.