CHROM Tooth Polish Whitens Teeth Instantly — But Is It Safe?

Find out what dentists have to say about the tooth polishing kit that's made a splash on TikTok.

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Is Tooth Polish Safe to Use?
Photo: Adobe Stock - Design: Alex Sandoval

If you've ever shelled out cash in pursuit of bright white teeth, you're far from alone. Americans spend over 1.4 billion dollars annually on over-the-counter teeth whitening solutions, according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. And since professional treatments often cost hundreds of dollars per session, it's no wonder many people stick to at-home solutions, from the tried and true (e.g. white strips) to the questionable (looking at you, magic erasers).

One of the latest DIY whitening solutions to take off is CHROM Tooth Polish (pronounced "chrome tooth polish"), an instant, temporary fix for yellowing teeth. In a TikTok post with over 13 million views as of publication, user @jaci.geo sharesa candid video of their teeth before and after using the product to hopefully combat staining due to health reasons and lifestyle choices. Plenty of other TikTok users have joined @jaci.geo in trying out the brand's products, sharing their own results— many of which seem to be positive. If you've been intrigued by CHROM Tooth Polish reviews but are wondering whether the product is safe and effective, here's what you should know. (

How does CHROM Tooth Polish brighten your smile in 'minutes?'

As the brand puts it on its website, CHROM Tooth Polish is like nail polish for your teeth. Its ingredient list includes triethyl citrate (a derivative of citric acid, which acts as a plasticizer or a substance that makes things flexible, in cosmetics), ethanol (think: alcohol), plant-based glitters, and several color additives. Together they create a liquid that can offer a temporary white coating on your teeth. Keyword being "temporary," as the results last until you remove the product up to 24 hours after applying the polish to your teeth. And while TikTok user @jaci.geo opted for a white version to mask discoloration, CHROM Tooth Polish is also available in funky colors (e.g. a glittery tooth polishing kit that can give you gold teeth) to ~spice~ up your smile.

The CHROM Tooth Polish application process is pretty simple. First, you dry your teeth with gauze since the polish can't stick properly to your chompers with saliva present.You can tuck cotton rolls between your gums and lip beforehand to keep your mouth wide open as you apply the tooth polish. Then, you apply one to three coats of the CHROM Tooth Polish to your teeth, allowing the polish to dry for at least 10 seconds between layers. When you're ready to remove the product, you should first chip away the polish with your fingernails then remove any excess tooth polish by brushing your teeth as you normally would with any toothpaste, according to the brand's website. (

Is CHROM Tooth Polish safe to use?

By now, you're probably wondering if the instant fix is too good to be true. As with any tooth-related trends on TikTok, dentists — such as Suhail Mohiuddin, D.D.S. — have been chiming in about the tooth color polish.

As mentioned above, the CHROM Tooth Polish contains triethyl citrate, which is a derivative of citric acid. When something as acidic as this ingredient "sits on your teeth all day," it can lead to enamel demineralization (aka the breakdown of tooth enamel, which is the protective outermost layer of teeth), explains Mohiuddin in a TikTok reaction video posted to his account.

Though demineralization occurs naturally throughout the day from eating and exposure to bacteria, saliva serves as an agent to help neutralize acid on your teeth, naturally remineralizing them, as Shape previously reported. When your teeth are demineralized, the weakening of your enamel can cause an increase in sensitivity and create the perfect environment for acid, bacteria, and toxins to get deep down into your teeth which can lead to issues such as tooth decay and cavities. (

In addition to contributing to the demineralization of the teeth, the acidic environment created by the polish can also cause inflammation and irritation to your gums if you use the product too often, Steven Cordoves, D.D.S., dentist and co-founder of Core Smiles, tells Shape. "I highly recommend users consult their dentist prior to using tooth polish, especially if they have sensitive teeth or existing dental issues/poor oral health," he say. "While [applying tooth polish] could serve as a quick way to temporarily add whiteness or a fun color/glitter to teeth, I wouldn't recommend everyday use. You cannot cover up or mask the decay or yellowing of teeth."

Using tooth polish to mask problems in lieu of staying proactive about your general dental health needs (e.g. brushing, flossing, and getting regular cleanings and checkups) is dangerous, says Cordoves. While occasionally applying for special events such as performances, photoshoots, etc., may not have long-term health implications (e.g. tooth decay), relying on tooth polish daily is how problems can arise, he says. If you decide to use CHROM Tooth Polish on rare occasions, the less time you leave it on your teeth, the better, says Cordoves, since that'll limit how long the barrier exists between your teeth and saliva.

Is there a better solution for how to whiten teeth?

If you want a whitening boost beyond generally taking care of your teeth, Cordoves suggests trying whitening strips as a safer way to brighten your smile. Whitening strips — e.g. Crest 3D White Professional Effects Whitestrips (Buy It, $47, amazon.com) — are typically powered by hydrogen peroxide since the ingredient has bleaching properties. While whitening agents such as hydrogen peroxide can also demineralize teeth to an extent, you're leaving them on for a shorter period of time compared to prolonged wear of tooth polish, says Cordoves. Buffering ions (which help prevent extreme changes in pH) in saliva can restore and remineralize teeth once the strips are taken off, he explains.

Additionally, compared to tooth polish, whitening strips create a weaker barrier between your teeth and saliva, so the saliva is still able to reach your teeth (and help remineralize them) to an extent while you have the strips on, says Cordoves.

If you still want to try CHROM Tooth Polish on occasion, all things considered, make sure to stay on top of your oral health and consult with your dentist to confirm that the product is safe for your individual needs.

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