The Dangers of Home Tooth Whitening

  in  Dental
Teeth whitening is in more demand than ever and is getting more accessible and cheaper for consumers. For people thinking about buying an at-home tooth whitening kit to achieve that brighter smile, there are a lot of things to consider. As the trend for a big, bright smile is increasing, more beauty salons are trying to sell teeth whitening as a service, which is illegal and can result in serious harm.

It's important to educate yourself before purchasing a tooth whitening kit and to help make the decision a little easier, we've answered some all-important questions.

Is tooth whitening safe?
Under the supervision of a qualified dentist, teeth whitening is completely safe. The whitening gel used by professionals includes a gentle peroxide formula as the primary ingredient to help people achieve a whiter and brighter smile.

Who can perform teeth whitening?
Teeth whitening should only be performed by a qualified dentist or a regulated dental professional, such as a dental hygienist or therapist on the prescription of a dentist. As mentioned, some beauty salons offer teeth whitening as a treatment but this is illegal. It is legal for anyone to treat themselves with an over-the-counter kit, as long as it contains less than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide.

What are the risks of salon teeth whitening kits?
Many of the home kits beauty salons provide don't contain enough of the whitening product to be effective. Dentist professionals can give patients a bespoke mouth guard, something which beauty salons can't provide which can cause some of the bleaching gel to leak into the mouth and on to the gums, which may cause blistering and sensitivity. Teeth whitening is carried out by beauty therapists who don't have any training which is not only illegal but carries a risk to your oral health too.

Dr Nigel J Hargreaves, experienced in cosmetic dentistry at The Old Spire dental practice says,

"The danger of buying home tooth whitening kits not provided by your dentist is that these kits often come with poor fitting trays, use unspecified and uncontrolled gels and you can never be sure that the concentration and advised length of time to use the product is correct. If the gel is not the appropriate concentration and left on for too long, then this can cause pain and discomfort including sensitivity and in some cases even burn your gums."