Teeth bleaching has risen in popularity in recent years as we all seek that ideal, youthful look. But there are many who opt for low-cost kits from the Internet rather than visiting their registered dentist. As a result, more and more people are experiencing injuries and life-long problems that are the result of illegal kits or poorly administered treatments.

The charity, Oral Health Foundation, found that 1 in 4 or 28% of the public would opt for this, often cheaper, way of whitening their teeth. And the Internet answers to this demand with over 21,000 Google results returned for the phrase ‘teeth whitening kits’. As a result of this interest, the foundation is focusing on educating individuals on the detrimental effects this could have on their oral health.

By the European Council directive, teeth whitening products containing or releasing more than 0.1% of hydrogen peroxide should only be sold directly to a registered dental professional. These can then be offered through registered dentist surgeries and administrated with the right medical knowledge. In contrast, there seems to be no direct regulation over the teeth whitening products sold online, where some were found to have up to 33% of hydrogen peroxide in their ingredients.

Improper application or illegally strong kits can cause a multitude of issues for the recipient. They can produce severe chemical burns to the gums and tongue while leaving behind permanent scarring. In some cases, this can lead to teeth loss, nerve damage or gum shrinking; all issues that can be properly monitored and avoided through professional programmes.

In other cases, an uneven spread of bleach across the teeth can actually lead to them looking worse, with unsightly blotches showing clearly. And, in the worst-case scenario, victims have reported significant issues when trying to eat or even breath.

Although it may be tempting to save your money and purchase a D.I.Y kit online, the risks it can cause far outweighs any benefits. According to regulations, those seeking teeth whitening services should be examined by a professional dentist to establish any risks or past oral conditions. They should be over 18 to give their legal consent and should visit a dental practitioner to have the work done.

Individuals or companies found selling illegal teeth whitening kits online are liable to prosecution. If you are considering this treatment, contact your local dental practitioner or email us here at Apex Dental. There are a number of different options you can choose from and our expert dentists will help you to make the most informed and suitable choice for your needs.

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