PSA: The Dangers of Cheap DIY Whitening

  • A 14 year old girl had to have a ‘DIY’ plastic mould removed  from her mouth after it became stuck to her teeth
  • Some products contain chlorine dioxide which is the same bleach used in swimming pools

These days you can buy almost anything you could ever want online; from the ordinary to the downright weird, you name it and you can probably find it on some form of online market place. But there are some things in this world that you just shouldn’t ever buy (emphasis on the EVER part) and cheap DIY whitening kits and products are just one of those things.

Ads for DIY kits and at-home remedies have popped up everywhere in recent years promising a ‘youthful white smile’ in minutes without sensitivity or damage to your enamel. There are activated charcoal pastes, pinterest posts about lemon juice and strawberries, kits for making your own bleaching trays, youtube videos for teeth whitening “hacks” and vouchers for ‘up to 70% off teeth whitening’ at local beauty salons.

If the alarm bells aren’t already going off by now then they should be.

Teeth whitening should only ever be carried out by a dental professional (or at the very least following a consultation with your dentist) because the truth is, not everyone is suitable for teeth whitening.

Fillings, crowns and veneers don’t whiten no matter how hard you try and if you have cavities in your teeth, then the bleach can come into direct contact with blood vessels, nerves and bones at the root of the tooth causing a number of serious problems that will make you wish you had of just had that check up with your dentist a few months ago. 

A 14 year old girl in the UK learnt her lesson the hard way having to go under general anesthetic to have a plastic tray removed from her mouth after it became fixed to her teeth. 

She used a thermoplastic material called ‘Thermomorph’ in an attempt to make her own bleaching trays at home but the result meant she had to make a trip to her local dentist to have them removed instead.

Fortunately, there was no significant damage to her teeth or gums but dentists warn it could have been so much worse.

If that alone wasn’t scary enough, beauty salons and DIY kits often use chlorine dioxide, which is more commonly used as pool bleach and we all know how much it burns your eyes after being in the pool too long so can you imagine what it does to your teeth and gums?

Products that are highly acidic or contain high levels of bleach strip away the enamel and can not only leave your teeth looking dull and darker than before but the damage they cause is often irreparable. 

We could go on and on about the dangers of these “cheap whitening” alternatives but if there’s one thing to take away from this it’s that it is always important to do your research and seek professional advice, because if you don’t, that cheap whitening kit may end up costing you a lot more than just a few dollars.