A bright, sparkling smile is often considered to be a significant element of an individual’s overall appearance. Given the importance we place on the appearance of our teeth, it’s no surprise that various unconventional, do-it-yourself teeth whitening methods have emerged.
One such trend you might have seen on social media is the use of a magic eraser to whiten teeth. While many online influencers swear by this technique, there are many reasons why it’s best avoided. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the hidden dangers of this teeth whitening “hack” and explore the importance of consulting with your dentist for safer, more effective options.
Understanding Magic Erasers
You’ve probably heard of magic erasers, and maybe you’ve even used them to tackle various household messes. But what is it that sets them apart from other cleaning tools? Why would anyone turn to them as a DIY teeth whitening solution?
These household cleaning products are designed to remove stubborn stains from various surfaces. They are typically made of a sponge-like material, along with a melamine foam that works as an abrasive agent. This makes them effective for removing scuff marks from walls or cleaning sticky countertop spills; however, using them to remove stains from teeth is another matter entirely.
The Risks of Using a Magic Eraser on Teeth
As you can imagine, magic erasers are not meant for use on teeth. Their abrasive properties and toxic components may lead to serious consequences, putting your health at risk.
The melamine foam used in magic erasers is incredibly abrasive, similar to sandpaper. Rubbing this material against your teeth is essentially sanding down the enamel. It may reveal a brighter, whiter surface underneath, but the cosmetic benefits do not outweigh the potential oral health costs.
The enamel is your teeth’s protective outer layer, shielding them from bacteria. Your tooth enamel plays an incredibly important role in your oral health, and risking its integrity for the chance of achieving a whiter smile may cause permanent damage. If you wear down the surface of the enamel through abrasion, it can lead to erosion, making your teeth more susceptible to decay, discoloration, cavities, and sensitivity.
Enamel erosion exposes the softer dentin layer of the teeth, causing heightened sensitivity. If you use a magic eraser on your teeth, you may experience pain or discomfort while consuming hot, cold, or acidic foods and beverages. Sure, your smile may look brighter, but preserving your teeth’s functionality is far more important.
Unlike professional teeth whitening treatments, magic erasers are not designed to produce even and consistent results. It’s nearly impossible to get the sponge into every little nook and cranny, which may result in some areas appearing lighter than others. This can lead to an unnatural, displeasing appearance.
Risk of Injury
The usage instructions on the back of the magic eraser package caution against using it on skin, as its abrasive nature poses a threat. Your oral tissues are especially delicate — magic erasers can easily lead to gum irritation and bleeding. Furthermore, this DIY whitening method lacks precision, further increasing the likelihood of accidental injuries to your gums and other oral tissues.
Magic erasers contain formaldehyde, which can cause irritation in the eyes, nose, and throat. They also contain sulfurous acid and sodium bisulfate, which intensify the effects of the formaldehyde. While these substances pose little risk when used for their intended purposes, it’s still not a good idea to put them in your mouth.
The Importance of Professional Teeth Whitening
Instead of resorting to dubious DIY teeth whitening methods that pose potential risks to your oral health, it’s best to seek professional teeth whitening treatments from an experienced dentist. There are many reasons professional teeth whitening is the best option, including:
- Customized treatment plans: Your dentist can assess your oral health, identify the cause of your tooth discoloration, and tailor your whitening treatments accordingly, ensuring optimal results without compromising your health.
- Controlled application: Professional teeth whitening procedures utilize carefully applied whitening agents in regulated concentrations, minimizing the risk of damage to gums, enamel, and surrounding tissues.
- Careful monitoring: To ensure the whitening process is proceeding safely and effectively, your dentist will monitor your progress.
Brighten Your Smile at Eric Felt DDS
With professional whitening treatments from Eric Felt DDS, there’s no reason to resort to magic erasers. Our take-home kits are simple yet effective, helping you achieve a dazzling smile in no time. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!