The internet of things has blessed (or cursed) us with pimple popping videos for years, but 2017 is all about innovation. Internet users near and far have revealed that they enjoy an oral element to their gross viral videos. Tonsil stone removal videos had their time in the limelight, and now extreme teeth cleaning videos are going viral as well.
I was more than a little suspicious when I first heard about viral teeth cleaning videos. Pimple popping videos have suspense. Will the pimple pop easily or will it put up a fight? Which direction will the puss go? Will it deflate immediately or need a few more hard squeezes? Meanwhile, tonsil stone removals have a clear goal. I leave satisfied knowing the foreign object is no longer in that stranger’s mouth. (I’m not just a bystander either — I’ve popped pimples and removed tonsils stones myself.)
I’ve also gotten my teeth cleaned. Ever since I can remember, I’ve been going to the dentist twice a year for a cleaning and a check for cavities. Each year I expect to look like I stepped out of a Crest commercial, and each year I am disappointed. (I, too, want to pass the tissue test.) The change is not that dramatic. I can never really see a huge difference. But there are over 200,000 videos of folks getting their teeth cleaned at the dentist. I just didn’t understand how this would be interesting to, well, anybody. I’d have to check out these teeth cleaning videos and see what all the hype was about.
Boy, was I wrong. First of all, this video came with a warning: “Refrain from viewing this content if it is sensible, we note that the following images are shocking.” And shocking it was. The video, which has received over 1.3 million views, features a person with serious plaque build up. It takes about five and a half minutes to remove all the plaque. At the end, you’ll see an impressive before and after shot. The process is a bit longer than simply popping a pimple or removing a tonsil stone, but the reveal is well worth it. Good things come to those who wait, right?
Dr. Shawn Sadri, a cosmetic and general dentist based in New York and Los Angeles, hypothesizes why the internet loves these gross videos. "I believe a lot of people do not take good care of their teeth. People watch these gross videos because they show how beautiful and white their teeth can look after proper dental treatment," he tells Bustle.
Remember, the general public isn’t used to having a front row view into other folks’ mouths, but dentists and dental hygienists see this all the time. There are many people out there who have years of plaque buildup on their teeth.
“We do see these types of patients in our practice,” Mazen Natour, D.M.D., a Manhattan-based dentist and prosthodontist, tells SELF. "At least once or twice a week, we get a new patient that hasn't seen the dentist in 10-plus years."
It turns out my frequent dentist visits were the reason my before and after teeth cleaning reveal was as dramatic as the guy from the Visine commercials. If you take anything away from these videos, let it be that oral hygiene is so important. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends regular doctor visits. The proper interval between visits should be determined by your dentist. Between doctor visits, remember to brush twice a day and floss daily in order to avoid being the subject of the newest internet phenomenon. I have a feeling watching these videos is more comfortable than actually being in them.