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“Stop using household bleach to whiten teeth,” warns dentist

24 August 2015

“Stop using household bleach to whiten teeth,” warns dentist

The quest for the perfect smile leads to many rash decisions to try a “quick-fix” method of gaining perfectly straight, white teeth. Last week, we brought you news of DIY-orthodontics craze gaining views and likes on social media, and now a Teesside dentist is warning of the dangerous lengths many patients have gone to in order to have white teeth, according to Gazette Live.

Dr Matthew Lloyd has witnessed many patients using household bleach – yes, that stuff you clean your toilets with – to whiten their teeth. He may no longer be shocked, but Dr Lloyd is urging those considering the practice to realise the dangers of what they are doing.

He said: “Over the last three years, the number of people I’m seeing who are using household bleach on their teeth is increasing. They’re so focused on getting whiter teeth that they don’t consider the damage which can be done.

“Household bleach is very different to the whitening products your dentist uses. It can damage the soft tissue in your gums, causing them to recede. Once that damage is done, you can’t repair it. If you have a hole in your teeth or thin tooth enamel, then it might get inside your tooth and cause the nerve to die off. The only option then will be root canal work.”

Popular whitening methods, such as swirling coconut oil in your mouth which is advocated by celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow, may help but there’s no substitute for healthy teeth and gums, according to Dr Lloyd.

He added: “Over-bleaching can cause lasting damage. The only clinically safe way to whiten your teeth is with a hydrogen peroxide solution prescribed by your dentist. But whitening is only part of having healthy teeth. While many people religiously carry out a night time routine of cleansing, toning and moisturising their skin, we want to encourage them to always floss, wash and brush their teeth.”

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