One of the strange phenomena of the Internet age is the surprising popularity of pimple-popping videos. Some of these videos have millions of views, which is hard to fathom for those of us who can’t stand these disgusting pieces of Internet marginalia. But there are actually many reasons why these videos are so popular–and some of them point to a potentially positive value for these videos.
With some dental cleaning videos starting to rise in popularity, we can only hope that people take the right lessons from watching them. They need to learn not to avoid dental visits. Although it might be entertaining to safely trigger disgust from a distance, one doesn’t want to develop that disgusting condition in one’s own mouth.
A Question of Scale
One thing to remember about the internet is that it’s got tremendous reach. This means that it doesn’t take that many people with a particular interest to give a video a surprising amount of views.
For example, one video of someone tweezing a very large ingrown hair has about 36 million views. However, with 3.2 billion people online, that translates to only about 1 view per 100 people. And if you consider that a few people might watch it more than once, it isn’t that surprising to imagine that about 1 in 100 people might find such a video fascinating. Everybody’s a little weird, and, if you think about it, there are worse things they could be watching online.
The Enticement of Disgust
Another important factor is that disgust is a very powerful emotion. It’s one of the most basic human emotions. Because it precedes our humanity, it triggers a kind of primal excitement that people can find enjoyable. It’s not unlike the way people enjoy stimulating their fear triggers by riding a roller coaster or watching scary movies (especially at this time of year).
This can actually have a potentially protective effect. By stimulating their disgust, people are reinforcing their desire to avoid particular situations, such as having a large cyst or ingrown hair. Hopefully, then, they learn what they need to do to keep them at bay.
Extreme Dental Cleaning Results from Avoiding the Dentist
The newest category of these nausea-inducing videos is extreme dental cleaning, some of which have nearly three million views. In extreme dental cleaning videos, people have large amounts of tartar removed from their teeth. This type of deposit, known as a tartar shelf, occurs when people don’t visit the dentist for a long time.
Tartar is hardened plaque, the soft, white, sticky film that attaches to teeth. If the film isn’t properly removed, it absorbs minerals from saliva and turns into a hard deposit, similar to limestone. Brushing and flossing won’t remove tartar, but a professional cleaning will.
When people don’t get their teeth cleaned professionally for many years, tartar deposits grow into large shelves. These viral videos show people at the dentist getting large tartar shelves removed. Some of these videos have over a million views, and the number keeps growing.
Get Needed Dental Care
Why do people stay away from the dentist for so long? One common reason is anxiety. People with dental anxiety may avoid the dentist for years, even decades, despite the fact that they may experience many dental problems as a result.
Hopefully, people who are avoiding the dentist now may watch these extreme dental cleanings and realize that they need to see the dentist. Unfortunately, anxiety still remains a powerful obstacle.