The Dangers of Online Teeth Whitening Kits

While we all want our teeth to look healthy and beaming, teeth whitening kits you can buy online shouldn’t be the answer. These kits come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from brush tips to gel-filled syringes. They promise you the perfect smile, but what they don’t tell you is that they’re actually dangerous to your health. 

Consumers can often be duped by clever marketing strategies from online companies and buy a product that could endanger their health and may not even effectively whiten their teeth. To help you avoid such products, we want to highlight the dangers associated with some teeth whitening kits you can buy online and advise you on what to look out for when choosing the correct teeth whitening kit for you.

Why are some home teeth whitening kits dangerous?

A recent study by Which? found that from 36 teeth whiteners purchased through online marketplaces [AliExpress, Amazon, eBay and Wish], 21 of them contained more than the legal amount of hydrogen peroxide permitted for home use. Alarmingly, six of the most dangerous products they tested had more than 100 times the amount of hydrogen peroxide that can legally be sold. 

But isn’t hydrogen peroxide safe? In controlled doses, yes. Dental practitioners often use hydrogen peroxide to promote oral health and treat gum disease. But, it’s a disinfectant, and it needs to be used with care and precision. Swallowing too much hydrogen peroxide can cause vomiting and stomach ulcers. In extreme cases, it can lead to breathing problems and may even be life-threatening. 

For this reason alone, you must avoid quick-fix, low-cost teeth whitening kits that can be purchased via online marketplaces. With little regulation and next to no input from dental professionals, they can cause more harm than they’re worth. 

How can I avoid dangerous home teeth whitening kits? 

The key to avoiding dangerous home teeth whitening kits is knowing what to look for. Teeth whitening products are only permitted for sale over the counter if they contain 0.1% of hydrogen peroxide or less. As such, you should immediately rule out any kit that includes a higher percentage of hydrogen peroxide. 

You should equally be aware of products that don’t list hydrogen peroxide as an ingredient. After all, it’s an integral component of any teeth whitening solution. If it’s not listed on the product, they are likely to use other chemicals to whiten your teeth, which presents its own potential challenges and dangers. 

Given the worrying findings of the Which? study, we would suggest you avoid online marketplaces altogether when it comes to looking for a teeth whitening kit. While over the counter products from Boots or your local chemist will be much safer, they still won’t necessarily achieve the results you’re looking for. 

Our advice, then, is to consult with a dental professional if you want to whiten your teeth. While this puts some people off as they think it will be more costly, at the very least, a dentist can advise you on exactly what to look out for and can recommend some clinically tested products that present no dangers to your health. If you try and cut corners and go with a cheap online product, you will likely need to book a trip to see your dentist anyway to treat any sores or ulcers that have emerged from using a dangerous kit. 

Why should I buy a teeth whitening kit from a dental professional? 

You need to be really careful when it comes to your teeth and gums. Only a dental professional can advise you on precisely what is and isn’t safe to apply to your teeth. Equally, every individual patient has his or her own specific requirements, which really need to be considered before purchasing any type of teeth whitening product. 

Because there are so many teeth whitening products available, your dentist is best placed to talk you through your options. For instance, you might only need to utilise whitening toothpaste to deal with surface stains on your teeth. Alternatively, you may benefit from a custom whitening tray that your dentist has designed to help you achieve faster results. 

Your dentist will also advise you on how to improve your lifestyle choices to contribute to the better maintenance of your teeth in the future. After all, teeth whitening is a remedy taken by those who want to improve the way their teeth look, and they have most likely been damaged by things like poor diet, tobacco, or inadequate brushing/flossing. Your dentist will be happy to advise you on how to improve your oral hygiene overall.

However you look at it, involving your dentist in the process is extremely important. They will help you avoid harmful and dangerous products and provide you with expert advice about looking after your teeth going forward. 

The verdict. 

Not every teeth whitening kit that you can buy from an online marketplace is dangerous. However, as the recent Which? report highlighted, if you buy online, you’re likely to end up with a product that has a hazardous concentration of hydrogen peroxide, which is dangerous to your health. 

As such, we would advise you to avoid buying teeth whitening kits online altogether and instead schedule an appointment with your dentist. At the very least, your dentist will offer you advice on which products to avoid and will present the various options available to you. 

They’re in the best position to recommend products that are suitable for your specific needs and will also give you advice on how to take care of your teeth going forwards. So, if you want to whiten your teeth, reach out and speak to your dentist first.