Kristen Machado is a TikTok user who detailed an at-home method for whitening her teeth. It had a huge number of views and many wondered if it was safe to try.
Kristen explained: “Let me let you in on a little secret. I get compliments on my teeth all the time. People are always like Kristen, how do you get your teeth so white? Where do you get them whitened? I don’t. Let me tell you what I do.”
Kristen demonstrated how she essentially adds ingredients to her mouthwash to boost its whitening power. She said: “I buy mouthwash, you can use any mouthwash, I use Crest. I typically use around a quarter of a bottle and then I pour in hydrogen peroxide, any hydrogen peroxide. This one is diluted to three percent.
“Sprinkle in about a teaspoon of baking soda. Swish it up and rinse with this every night after you brush your teeth. It will make your teeth sparkle.”
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She suggested using this mouthwash instead of water when brushing your teeth if you are trying to whiten them for an event. She said: “Pro tip, if you have a special event, a wedding, or something you want to look extra sparkly for, brush your teeth with this only, don’t use water, pour it over your toothbrush instead of water and your teeth will sparkle.”
The video has had a huge 2.4M views on the app and 72.9K shares. Kristen, who is a pre-med student with 52.3K followers on her TikTok account where she is sharing her “journey to becoming a doctor” on her account @kris10mac. The medical student claimed she was advised to try the hack by a professional, telling commenters: “One of my patients was a dentist and told me to do it.”
However, some shared warnings. Donna Buoncristiano said: “This does work to whiten. I used peroxide and baking soda for years…and now I have extremely sensitive teeth from ruining my enamel.”
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Some claiming to be dental experts weighed in too. One anonymous user wrote: “Dental assistant here; I support all of what she said. But watch the prolonged use of Peroxide. It can make the tongues papilla ‘fiber/hair like’.”
One said: “Omg no from a dental professional PLEASE don’t do this to your teeth!!”
Niamh Heron also said: “I’m a dental student. Please don’t rinse with anything after brushing your teeth. You’re removing the fluoride from the toothpaste!”
Is this safe?
The ingredients Kristen is using for this hack are used in many commercially available whitening products. However, experts have warned there is no way of knowing if this is safe.
One, Erinne Kennedy, D.M.D, M.P.H., M.M.S.c., American Dental Association (ADA) spokesperson, told Shape: “The simple answer is that we don’t know. Because this is a DIY recommendation, it doesn’t have the ADA seal of approval.
“And products with the ADA seal of approval have been shown to be safe for your teeth and other tissues in your mouth.” Speak to your dentist before trying out any new tooth whitening hacks you find on the internet.