I’m 15 and have good teeth. We go to the dentist and I’ve only ever had one cavity. There’s this thing called Toothpolish trending on TikTok and I want to try it. It’s like nailpolish but for your teeth. It comes in lots of different colors and I really want to try the white so I can get brighter teeth.
Because you can only get it online and I don’t have a credit card, I asked my mom to order it for me and told her I’d give her money from my allowance. She said no because she thinks it’ll ruin my teeth – that I’ll start getting cavities or that it will somehow cause permanent damage.
Everything I’m seeing says it’s safe and everyone I see using it says it’s fine. What can I tell my mom to get her to let me get it?
It sounds like you’re referencing CHRŌM. Your mom’s probably being overly cautious here, but you may want to hold off on placing an order. Let’s dig into it a bit.
To get others up to speed who may not be on TikTok, CHRŌM is a temporary paint-on colorant similar to nail polish that’s become popular with specific demographics, especially teens and those in their 20s. This is largely because the company has been doing a whole lot of influencer marketing. They seem to be paying people with large social media followings to demonstrate how their product is used.
Is Toothpolish Safe?
The big question you’re asking is whether toothpolish is safe. There are no long-term studies that show it, which is usually a red flag when it comes to healthcare/ cosmetic products. Very much a buyer beware type situation.
The company notes that it’s not suitable for people with certain pre-existing conditions. For example, if you wear braces, have Invisalign, have cavities, or have sensitive gums, it’s a no-go. If you have sensitive teeth, it may cause some issues during application and while drying because of the alcohol content. That should also be a red flag. If you’re constantly applying it and causing pain/ irritating your tooth, you can permanently damage the nerve, which would ultimately require a root canal and usually a crown to repair and can sometimes result in the loss of the tooth. It would be unlikely for this to happen, and even harder to trace it back to the toothpolish, but it’s something to be aware of.
With all that said, it’s probably safe for most people based on the ingredients listed, but it’s also not something you should try without talking to your dentist first.
Covering Up Issues is Not a Good Idea
The big concern dentists are reporting with it is that people may use it to cover up what they think are “cosmetic issues,” when, really, they’re covering up issues like cavities that will get worse over time if left untreated. If you’re unsatisfied with the look of your teeth, tell your dentist what’s bothering you. You’ll learn what all your options are so you can make an informed decision.
Toothpolish as a Whitening Solution Would be Expensive!
Bear in mind, toothpolish is temporary and you remove it by scratching it off or brushing. You’ll need to plan to reapply it anytime you eat something that could scrape, brush, or rub it off.
When you’re using colored varieties to accessorize or to achieve a certain look occasionally, that’s not necessarily a problem. It’s like having to reapply a colorstay lipstick throughout the day. When you’re trying to use it to make your teeth look whiter on an ongoing basis, that’s going to add up.
The company says you’ll get 10 applications per bottle if you’re applying it to all your visible teeth, and each bottle is around $20. Let’s say, conservatively, you’re only applying it twice per day—at the start of the day and after you eat lunch, since you’re probably going to chip some off or scratch it up while you eat. It’s only going to last you a week. You’d spend $80 per month just having it for school. Assuming you’re in school 10 months of the year, that’s $800 per year.
A professional whitening solution provided by your dentist would come out less expensive in the long run, would give you lasting results, and would be way way way less hassle. And, yes, you could potentially whiten your teeth at your age, but it’s something you need to discuss with your mom and dentist.
Now, if you’re just talking occasional use, like maybe you want a pop of white when you’re filming your own TikTok clips or having school pictures taken, it’s probably going to be suitable for something like that as long as your dentist and mom approve.
Bottom Line: Your Mom is NOT Wrong – Sorry!
Your mom is right. You’re young and it’s important to protect your teeth. If you take good care of them now, you’ll likely still have them when you’re 80. So, it’s just not a good idea to be trying products that could potentially cause an issue, especially when finding out if you have any of the contraindications is so easy.
You sound like a mature child—you’re able to save up and pay for your own products at this point. And, you also say your mom takes you to the dentist. Instead of jumping in with this, why bring it up with your dentist and/or hygienist next time you go in for your checkup and cleaning?
That’s not to say you should go against your mother’s wishes—you shouldn’t. But, handle this with the same maturity you‘d handle the money with. Let your mom know that you’re respecting her wishes and not using it, but that you’d like to run it past the dental team when you go in to get their feedback on the safety. That way, you’ll settle the dispute and, even if you don’t get the green light, you’ll leave knowing why and what your options are.
This blog is sponsored by Dr. Raymond Bolt, an Auburn, AL dentist providing general dentistry, pediatric, and emergency care services.