Parents should be aware of a dangerous fad, because their children may be tempted to use hydrogen peroxide (commonly used to lighten hair and as a component of fertiliser) in their quest for white teeth.
This is because a teenager posted a video on TikTok to show how she does it – but dentists have quite rightly warned that this could lead to tooth loss and other damage. Given that some makes of bleach have already sold out, it seems that too many youngsters are responding to this irresponsible message.
We live in a word where teenagers seem to trust anything they see online, sometimes putting cosmetic concerns above their physical and mental wellbeing.
Only professional dentists and hygienists using registered and licensed products should administer tooth whitening treatment, which – for safety purposes – uses custom-made trays which fit snugly around the patient’s teeth to ensure that there is no leak onto the gums.
Using any DIY method is risky. Dentists conduct a proper examination of the mouth to ensure there are no existing reasons why whitening should not be carried out. With self-treatment, any contact between bleach and gums could lead to irritation and on to gum recession, erosion of enamel and dentine, tooth sensitivity, damage to tooth structure and actual tooth loss. If the chemical is swallowed this could result in a variety of health problems.
With 12.4 million views of the TikTok video, it seems that the drive for a whiter smile is reducing young people to trying this method – but do they understand the dangers?
Fortunately, some who have tried this have confirmed that they could see no visible difference afterwards and that the taste was dreadful – which is good news for all those who hope to drive this message home to anyone thinking of copying the video. Be sure to contact The Mall to ask about teeth whitening. It could be easier and cheaper than you think.