TikTok continues to bring us many laughs, life hacks, and quirky dances! But the latest TikTok trend is an at-home-tooth-whitening technique that’s not so fun or safe. The video seems innocent and informative at first until you witness the final part of the woman’s oral health care routine— where she uses a magic eraser on her teeth!
Parents, if you’re wondering “are magic erasers toxic”? And what happens if your teen takes a Magic Eraser or melamine sponge to their teeth? We’re here to give you the facts so you can talk to your children about the damage caused by this dangerous trend!
Can you use a Magic Eraser on your teeth?
Please do not ever use a Magic Eraser or melamine sponge on your teeth or skin. This is a dangerous trend that can cause irreparable damage!
Although people report whiter teeth after using a Magic Eraser, there’s a reason for this—and it’s one that could lead to lifelong dental problems. Let’s dive into the mystery of the Magic Eraser and why a melamine sponge should never be used on the teeth.
Magic Eraser Ingredients
Melamine foam is the main ingredient in a Magic Eraser, and it contains a chemical called formaldehyde-melamine-sodium bisulfite copolymer. Although this chemical isn’t known to cause any serious health complications on its own, once wet, it turns into an abrasive substance.
Melamine foam also contains formaldehyde— which is labeled as a human carcinogen by 3 different agencies: Internal Agency for Research Cancer (IARC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the National Toxicology Program of the Department of Health & Human Services. So definitely not something you want to ingest or place near your gums.
The health and safety warning on a Magic Eraser box reads, “DO NOT USE ON SKIN OR OTHER PARTS OF THE BODY. USING ON SKIN WILL LIKELY CAUSE ABRASIONS. KEEP OUT OF REACH OF TODDLERS AND PETS TO AVOID ACCIDENTAL INGESTION.”
If the company itself advises you not to ingest this product, it’s a good idea to heed that warning! It’s never a good idea to place unknown ingredients and chemicals in your mouth.
Melamine Sponge and Teeth Enamel
The layer of enamel on your teeth serves the very important function of protecting the teeth from damage. Tooth enamel is actually considered the hardest mineral substance in the body, even stronger than bone.
The enamel is an excellent protector against damage caused by our regular daily functions, like eating, chewing, biting, grinding and crunching. This outer layer also helps to prevent cavities; as the enamel decays (when we do things like use a Magic Eraser on our teeth), the teeth become far more susceptible to developing cavities.
When the main ingredient in Magic Erasers, melamine foam, is mixed with water, it becomes a highly abrasive material similar to sandpaper.
Using melamine sponge and Magic Erasers on your teeth is a direct route to enamel decay. Once tooth enamel is destroyed, it can’t be brought back! While there are ways to strengthen the minerals that remain, the protective outer layer of enamel cannot be rebuilt.
Magic Eraser and Braces or Invisalign®
It goes without saying that nobody should use a Magic Eraser on their teeth, regardless of if you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. It would be pretty difficult to use a Magic Eraser with braces, and you’ll end up with bits of foam in every crevice before you can reach your teeth. But we discourage you from even trying!
If you’re wearing braces, we advise that you wait about a month after your braces are removed to whiten your teeth.
If you’re undergoing treatment with Invisalign, the health risks of melamine foam are no different. There are much safer ways to whiten your teeth, and clear aligner treatment allows you to whiten your teeth during treatment if you wish.
You need strong teeth to support your orthodontic treatment and experience beautiful results from your braces or Invisalign.
All in all, just be patient and don’t opt for the Magic Eraser on your precious smile. You only get one smile, so it’s important that you take care of it!
On the top of the “what not to use Magic Eraser on” list is your body. Using a Magic Eraser on your teeth will certainly do you more harm than good.
Have questions about caring for your teeth?
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions! We’re here to guide you through your treatment process, from your very first visit, to your last appointment.