Dr. Gao Jye Teh is a dentist based in Malaysia who, like many professionals over the course of quarantine, decided to join TikTok to spread dental awareness in easy, 60-second videos.
He only joined the platform in September, but one of Dr. Gao’s videos on toothpaste has gone viral already — clocking in at over 6 million views.
“Are you using the right amount of toothpaste,” Dr. Gao asks in the caption. According to the comments (and this writer’s personal experience), the answer is no.
Dr. Gao explains in the video that the amount of toothpaste shown in commercials — you know, that perfect curly toothpaste swish — is way, way too much. You actually only need a dot the size of a pea.
For young kids, particularly those around the age of 3 years old, you only need a very thin smear.
“Nah if my gums ain’t bleeding and I’m not gagging on all the toothpaste foaming in my mouth it ain’t clean enough,” one person commented.
“You not slick, you tryna make us get cavities so you can make more money with our teeth,” another user added.
Both insights — why are so many of you brushing until your gums bleed? —were common throughout the comments section of the video, but, in reality, Dr. Gao is not that diabolical.
In a previous video, he breaks down why you shouldn’t overdo it on toothpaste.
“Trust me, it doesn’t make your teeth any cleaner,” he says in the video. “It can cause dental fluorosis … a cosmetic condition that causes a change in appearance of the tooth enamel. It can range from a mild or light discoloration, yellow and brain stains, to obvious pits.”
The tooth enamel is the outermost layer of the tooth. It can be cosmetically treated, but the damage is permanent.
“I’m mad I was lied to in my younger years,” someone said in response.
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