Health Warning: DIY Teeth Whitening Techniques Can Put Your Teeth and Your Mouth At Risk

Whiter teeth may be a fad, but it’s a fad that isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Thousands of people are hunting for a solution to dull, stained teeth which are partly due to the irresistible coffees and teas we consume every single day.

There are many techniques available to get a brighter, whiter smile. The real question is to what lengths are you willing to go for that smile you’ve always wanted?

A wave of do it yourself solutions has begun to spring up across the web. The ones who have the most to lose are the ones who are using these unsafe techniques.

The new DIY solutions are a combination of chemicals that have been readily available for many years. When used together and on an area as sensitive as our teeth, it can have dangerous consequences. The main two ingredients of this combination are baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Unfortunately, the ones who are using this treatment dangerously are teenagers.

Some safe teeth whitening tips

You may be wondering how two seemingly harmless, natural household cleaners can be hazardous to your health.

The dangers arise in the combination percentages.

Using a simple combination of baking soda and 3% hydrogen peroxide makes a safe whitening toothpaste for adults. Unfortunately, some teens are taking this to the extreme.

The results with the recommended, 3% ratio of hydrogen peroxide will not be as brilliantly white as a professional teeth whitening. For this reason, teens are upping the ante and using a higher concentration of hydrogen peroxide, one that can have dangerous results.

When they mix up higher quantities of chemicals, they risk eroding the delicate tooth enamel, damaging their gums and increasing their chances for infection.

Oddly enough, the DIY tooth whitener can also expose the yellow-colored dentin that lies beneath your enamel. When this happens, more harm than good is done because they will usually use more solution, thinking it will make them whiter.

According to Dr. Theodore Davantzis of Bayside NY, if whitening your teeth with DIY treatments was that easy and effective, then there would be no need for professional whitening. The dangers associated with accidentally swallowing the solution can be severe.

Ingesting hydrogen peroxide, even in small amounts, can cause severe stomach problems and even burns in your throat and stomach.

Unfortunately, just the fact that this teeth whitening solution can be mixed up so easily means that anyone can mix it and go into business offering teeth whitening, most likely at a fraction of the cost that a professional charges.

Even worse is that these DIY solutions are springing up all across the country. They can be found in beauty salons, specialty salons and even malls. Unsuspecting consumers are seeing that they can get whiter teeth at a low cost and they are jumping at the opportunity.

More times than not, these teeth whitening retailers are using a much higher solution than is safely recommended to be used at home.

Teeth whitening agents (the approved, over the counter ones) already have the potential to cause tooth sensitivity and irritation – imagine the effects when the solution is at a higher than normal level.

The safest and most successful option when looking at whitening your teeth is to rely on a professional. Even though it will cost you a bit more, in the long run you may actually save money by doing it right the first time.

About Mark C. Marchbanks, D.D.S.

Dr. Mark Marchbanks has practiced dentistry in Arlington Texas since 1983. He enjoys caring for patients young and old. You can find Dr. Marchbanks on
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