Are Teeth Whitening Kits Safe?
Teeth whitening kits have grown in popularity over the last few years, offering a cheaper alternative to professional means of increasing the brightness and whiteness of teeth. However, with this reduced price also comes a whole host of issues that have the potential to harm your oral health.
So, the answer to the question “are teeth whitening kits safe” is quite simple in our opinion; no! We’re going to explore the reasons for this, to show the importance of always going to your dentist for professional teeth whitening rather than ordering kits online.
No pre-treatment checks or aftercare
The first reason why teeth whitening kits aren’t safe is that there aren’t any pre-treatment checks to make sure that you are suited to the treatment. There are multiple reasons why people may not be good candidates for teeth whitening, such as someone pregnant, people who have dental implants, fillings, crowns or bridges, people with sensitivity issues or people with particular medical allergies. When you order kits online, the provider isn’t going to be concerned about these things, so you could end up harming your oral health, physical health or both, by taking the risk.
Another reason why the answer to “are teeth whitening kits safe” will always be no for us, is that you also don’t have any aftercare. If you do experience any complications, such as sensitivity, irritation, pain or inflammation (which are more common with unregulated online kits), the provider will not be on hand to help you. Even if you do visit a dentist for help after ordering kits online, it will be more difficult for them to treat as the kit may contain unregulated ingredients.
When you go to your dentist for teeth whitening, they will conduct full pre-treatment checks and thorough aftercare, so they can first make sure you are the right candidate but also keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible both during and after treatment.
Experiencing sensitivity after having your teeth whitened is common, as it is a bleaching solution that is used to whiten the teeth, however the risk when you order kits online is higher. Many kits are unregulated, meaning that they contain far higher doses of particular ingredients than is safe. So, this increases the chance of experiencing sensitivity considerably, as opposed to if you visited your dentist where only safe doses will ever be used. Because of this, the best way to minimise sensitivity is to have your teeth whitened with your dentist.
Lack of regulation
Another significant issue which is why no is always the answer to “are teeth whitening kits safe” is that when you order online, there are very few regulations in place, so you may find you end up with a kit containing illegally high levels of hydrogen peroxide that can lead to all kinds of complications. To put this into context, legal teeth whitening products for use at home can contain up to 0.1% hydrogen peroxide, with dentists being able to use products containing up to 6%. In a study carried out by Which, 21 of the 36 kits tested contained over the legal amount of hydrogen peroxide, with one containing over 300 times too much of the ingredient, with the whitening gel containing 30.7% hydrogen peroxide. These kits are readily available to order to the UK, showing the dangers of ordering online.
Even if you are based in the UK, when you order kits online, you will be accessing them from countries all over the world where there are very few, if any, regulations in place. These kits won’t be signed off as safe most of the time, as highlighted in the example above, so you are taking a huge risk.
Professional dentists are trained carefully in the usage and dosage of products like hydrogen peroxide, as when left in the wrong hands, it can cause serious damage and even tooth loss in some cases. The lack of regulation is a major component of why we will always say no to the question “are teeth whitening kits safe”.
So, are teeth whitening kits safe?
To summarise, to the question “are teeth whitening kits safe”, we will always say no. There are just far too many unknowns involved, from whether you are a good candidate in the first place to what you would do if you experienced issues, as well as the increased sensitivity and lack of regulation. The savings, for us, are simply not worth the risk of everything that can go wrong. We only get one set of teeth, so it is vital that we look after them. In order to do so, go to your dentist for any whitening.
At Beyond Dental, we offer free teeth whitening for life when you sign up for our subscription plans, so you can maintain a bright smile in the safest possible environment.