Here's Why Everyone On TikTok Is Putting Toothpaste On Their Nails

TikTok trends get people to do the craziest things, from dancing in grocery store aisles to triggering their pets into hilarious reactions to certain sounds. Now, the latest trend has to do with a strange beauty ritual: putting toothpaste on your hails to help them grow faster and stronger. TikTokers and YouTubers insist this works, and a quick search will yield videos with titles like "Just 3 Minutes Grow Strong Beautiful Nails With Toothpaste." These tutorials suggest dabbing toothpaste onto each nail, massaging it in gently with a soft, dry toothbrush, and then letting it sit for a few minutes to do its work. Afterwards, we are supposed to rinse off the toothpaste and apply a moisturizer to the nails like vaseline or another heavy cream. 

Influencers say you'll be able to notice your nails look shinier, clearer, and healthier right away, and that if you do this a few days in a row, you'll notice stronger nails that grow faster and longer. But does it work? 

What toothpaste actually does to your nails

To put it simply? Yes and no. Marisa Garshick, MD, a cosmetic and medical dermatologist in New York City, told Byrdie that while she doesn't recommend using toothpaste on your nails to help them grow (because there's no evidence suggesting any ingredient in toothpaste could actually have that outcome), she does believe this routine can help nails look brighter and clearer and therefore appear healthier.

"Whitening toothpaste may help to whiten nails and eliminate surface stains," says Garshick. She says formulas with baking soda are particularly able to this. "Baking soda has natural whitening properties," she says. "When a toothpaste containing baking-soda is used on the nails it may help to whiten them the way it can whiten teeth." For this reason, toothpaste is also a good way to remove linger stains from nail polish. Southern Living recommends letting the toothpaste sit for ten-fifteen minutes and then using a soft toothbrush to buff it off and rinse in order to leave your nails free of stains.

But what if you actually want longer, stronger nails? Your best bet is actually adjusting what you eat, not what you use topically. Your nails benefit from nutrient-dense food high in antioxidants and vitamins like biotin and iron. "Many vitamins and minerals are important for nail health. To improve your nail health from the inside, maintaining a well-balanced diet is critical," says Blair Murphy-Rose, MD, a New York board-certified cosmetic and medical dermatologist (via Byrdie).