23 Mar

Australian dentists issue warning over dangerous DIY tooth whitening products

Dentists in Australia have issued a warning over dangerous DIY tooth whitening products and hacks. 

Studies suggest that tooth whitening has become more prevalent, but data from the Australian Dental Association shows that fewer people are seeing their dentists for treatment. Over 20% of Australians have had their teeth whitened, but only a third have had professional treatment provided by dentists. 

The most popular whitening method was using a DIY whitening kit. Almost 40% of adults surveyed said they had purchased whitening products online or over the counter.

Dr Mark Levi, a dentist from Sydney and spokesman for the Australian Dental Association, said that the growing popularity of whitening kits and DIY products was a concern for dentists. Dr Levi said that using DIY kits poses health risks because the trays that come with the products are not custom-made, which means that they often don’t fit properly. Using whitening agents with trays that don’t fit well carries risks. The agent can come into contact with the gums and soft tissue, as well as ending up in the stomach. He added that there is a joke among dentists that the last place the products actually end up is on the teeth. 

The danger for patients is that whitening products can burn the soft tissue or contribute to even more serious problems if the chemicals are ingested, Dr Levi explained. There is also a risk of severe pain if the bleach gets into a crack or a hole in the tooth and a chance that the enamel could become worn and eroded. 

The advice from dentists is to seek professional advice. Dr Levi stressed that using DIY products was not safe and encouraged anyone who is thinking about whitening their teeth to get information from their dentist. Not all treatments are expensive and there are ways to spread the cost to make whitening more affordable. The quality of products is guaranteed and dentists have the relevant skills and training to provide safe, effective treatment.