Dental Hacks

Author: Kimberly N. Powell, DDS, MS, FAGD

In the January issue of AGD Impact, there is an article entitled The Truth BehindTodays Hottest Social Media Dental Hacks.  Certain topics or hackswere mentioned such as DIY whitening, teeth filing, DIY orthodontics, and mouth-taping.

One hack that I want to discuss is the DIY whitening. There are over-the-counter whitening products like whitening toothpastes, whitening pens, and white strips. However, the previous mentioned article reports that recent videos show people using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser to remove stains on their teeth and create brighter smiles. The sponges used in the magic eraser contains a compound, formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer.  As formaldehyde is considered a carcinogen, accidental ingestion could be dangerous and repeated use could cause enamel wear. Another hack is using undiluted hydrogen peroxide to whiten your teeth. Hydrogen peroxide can be used as an oral mouth rinse, but the user is instructed to mix at least an equal amount of water with it, thus diluting it. Due to the properties of hydrogen peroxide, swallowing undiluted amounts could cause stomach bleeding, breathing problems, and even be life-threatening. Another hack is using acid-containing fruits or vinegar to whiten teeth. The acid can erode the enamel and expose the yellow-colored dentin resulting in the opposite effect. There are tested products and in-office professional whitening procedures that can give users the results they desire. There is no need to do-it-yourself when it can be done correctly and safely by someone else.