Harmful Teeth Whitening Risks With DIY Kits

Many of us aspire to achieve a white smile – the reality however is that few of us are blessed with particularly white teeth, and would like to achieve a brighter, whiter smile. For those of us who regularly enjoy coffee or tea, red wine, etc; it can be difficult to maintain white teeth. That’s why some people go down the route of DIY high-street teeth whitening kits. However, though home kits are easy to use, research has shown that they may not be completely teeth-friendly. In general, the results aren’t long-lasting and don’t provide much improvement in colour, and there are risks associated with some DIY kits. As a whole, a far better end result can be achieved by a dentist than by using home whitening kits.

The importance of seeing a Dentist first;

It is essential to see a dentist and ideally a hygienist before tooth whitening; not only to ensure the best results, but to prevent any complications or poor results. Issues may arise from;

  • Gum disease or inflammation; many individuals are not aware they have issues with their gums before carrying out a home whitening treatment, and risk causing more damage or discomfort to these areas.
  • Staining or tartar build-up; if your teeth are stained even a little, or have any build-up of tartar, your results are likely to be uneven and more difficult to fix after whitening.
  • Cavities or enamel deficiencies; if there are any underlying dental issues that have not been rectified prior to tooth whitening.
  • If you have fillings, crowns, or other dental restorations: Often, the materials used in restorative dental work such as bridges, bonding, crowns, or veneers don’t whiten with the use of home teeth whitening kits. This can lead to an uneven, unattractive result.
  • If you take any prescription drugs: You should discuss any prescription drugs you’re taking with your health and/or dental professional before starting a whitening program.

Most of the most popular methods of teeth whitening can be bought over-the-counter. Though these will need to have passed the UK health regulations, most do not contain enough active ingredients or a guarantee that they do actually whiten teeth. There are inherent risks to using DIY kits, particularly bought on the internet or from another country.

What are the Most Common Methods?

Whitening Strips

Teeth whitening strips are used because of their reasonable price point and fast results. However, excessive use can cause your teeth to become more sensitive. They also aren’t able to get into crevices as well as professional teeth whitening would, causing the end aesthetic to appear uneven.

UV Kits

Some of the teeth whitening risks associated with UV kits include: mouth infections, toothache, gum shrinkage and nerve damage. Using UV kits can also even lead to stomach problems. What’s more, much like teeth whitening strips, the uneven distribution of bleach can lead to patchy results.

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is one of the latest trends in teeth whitening. It involves swishing a tablespoon of oil (usually coconut oil) around the mouth for 20 minutes. This method may pull off the top layer of stains, although there is no evidence to suggest it can whiten teeth. This should not be substituted for regular visits to the dentist, it also can’t help tooth decay or extensively whiten teeth. Going to the dentist would produce a much more satisfying appearance long term.

woman biting into coconut to whiten teeth

Whitening Pens

Whitening pens are most commonly used to whiten individual teeth as opposed to the whole mouth because of the precision applicator. The effect of whitening pens may work but is often minimal because of the low levels of hydrogen peroxide present. They can also cause gum irritation and sensitivity.

Ensuring Safe Levels of Hydrogen Peroxide

Teeth whitening risks associated with DIY kits often outweigh the benefits. In general, the results aren’t long-lasting and don’t provide much improvement in colour. Furthermore, hydrogen peroxide is a common ingredient in teeth whitening products, but over-the-counter kits cannot legally contain more than 0.1% of it according to EU regulations. This is in stark contrast to your dentist, who can use up to 6% of hydrogen peroxide to whiten teeth. Therefore, a far better end result can be achieved by a dentist than using home whitening kits.

Worryingly, whitening kits purchased from overseas may still contain higher levels of hydrogen peroxide as well as other ingredients that haven’t been approved by the UK governments, as they’re coming from countries where regulations may be less strict. This can react badly with your mouth and cause major irritation, such as blistering and increased sensitivity. It is also illegal for anyone other than a dentist to prescribe effective levels of hydrogen peroxide. It is strongly advised that if you want safe and effective results, the best place to go is your dentist.

close up of smile showing teeth

Teeth Whitening at Dental Solutions

At Dental Solutions, we offer a range of teeth whitening treatments that can brighten your smile in no time. From Zoom teeth whitening to our Enlighten deep bleaching system which guarantees the whitest shade (B1), our special teeth whitening methods will ensure you leave us with a dazzling white smile.

We currently have a fantastic offer on our zoom teeth whitening with a generous 40% discount, see more here. For information on any of our teeth whitening treatments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a completely free, no obligation consultation. Let us help you achieve your dream smile by booking online through this link: https://gavinismydentist.com/booking.


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