The BBC recently reported some alarming DIY beauty trends found online. One of these urged people to use bleach to whiten your teeth! The BBC reports “TikTok videos with the hashtag “teethwhitening” have amassed about 284 million views. Some recommend applying bleach to teeth, to avoid “expensive” over-the-counter treatments.”

In-office bleaching materials contain high hydrogen peroxide concentrations (typically 15-38%), while the hydrogen peroxide content in at-home bleaching products usually ranges from 3% to 10%; however, there have been home-use products containing up to 15% hydrogen peroxide.

The American Dental Association states that while tooth bleaching is one of the most conservative and cost-effective dental treatments to improve or enhance a person’s smile, it is not risk-free
The ADA also recommends that tooth bleaching or whitening should be performed under professional supervision and following a dental examination and diagnosis. Often, the most appropriate bleaching treatment should  be selected and recommended based on the patient’s lifestyle, financial considerations, and oral health. Patients considering OTC products should have a dental examination and should understand these products may have little or no beneficial effect on the color of their teeth and may also have the potential to cause harm.

Household bleaches may also contain other bleaching compounds and administering the wrong products at home could cause permanent damage. Using higher concentrations of over the counter whitening products unsupervised, or straight bleach, as some videos advocate, raises the risk of damage to teeth and gums. These would include burns to the mouth, tooth and gum sensitivity, as well as irritated or inflamed gums (British Dental Association).

It is safe to say, the best way to go about whitening your teeth, is to first contact your dental professional for the safest and most effective tooth whitening product for you!

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