Is TikTok's Newest Teeth Whitening Hack Really Worth The Hype?

One of the best things about social media is that it's full of life hacks that we wouldn't have had access to 20 or even ten years ago. There are TikTok fashion hacks to transform your closet and even TikTok hacks that will change the way you gift wrap, most of which are perfectly harmless and even massively helpful in a modern world where it's tough to know which advice to listen to. 

However, sometimes TikTok hacks go viral for all the wrong reasons. A video posted by user Audrey Victoria purported to give viewers a better way to curl their hair using rollers, simply by twisting the strands tightly at the top of your head. Respondents were split on whether it was actually a hack in the first place. "Yeah, no" wrote one succinctly, while another pointed out the move wasn't necessary.

"Guys believe me if [you] have enough tension they will be secure ... I'm a training hairdresser and this is unnecessary it's so easy," they shared, likely in direct reference to Victoria, who claimed wrapping your hair the regular way results in messier curls that don't hold their shape. Suffice to say, most of these so-called hacks should be taken with a grain of salt, including the infamous plastic-wrap makeup hack.

As Pop Sugar put it in their review, regardless of whether it's effective, breathing is an impediment to the process. With the rise of a new teeth-whitening hack, it's worth asking whether the risks outweigh the benefits. 

This hack could have damaging long-term consequences

We all want whiter teeth, so it's unsurprising the latest craze taking TikTok by storm is about doing exactly that, cheaply, at home. User Kristen Machado posted a video in which she acknowledged constantly being asked how she gets her smile so bright. In the ensuing clip, Machado revealed she uses a combination of mouthwash, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide to achieve that blindingly white glow. 

The mouthwash and hydrogen peroxide are mixed together with a teaspoon of baking soda, which Machado gurgles each night after her regular teeth-brushing routine, reportedly resulting in sparkling teeth. Byrdie consulted with two cosmetic dentists, Dr. Alex Rubinov and Dr. Daniel Rubinshtein, and, while they agreed Machado's hack might work, the experts clarified it's nothing more than "surface level teeth whitening," as Dr. Rubinov put it. 

He explained, "When a toothpaste says whitening, what they mean is it removes superficial stains." Dr. Rubinshtein agreed, acknowledging, "The combined ingredients do have a way of slightly brightening your teeth." However, he warned against doing it on a daily basis since the mixture could cause irritation. Likewise, in the long run, too much exposure to Machado's concoction could wreck your teeth, making them appear yellower. 

Moreover, per Cosmopolitan, according to dentist and TikTok user Dr. Anna Peterson, we're all using mouthwash wrong anyway. We should be rinsing before brushing our teeth rather than after. Suffice to say, though, anything that makes us think harder about our oral routine is good.