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Jul 11, 2016 01:36 PM EDT

Teeth Whitening at Home: The Dangers of Teeth-Whitening Kits, as Told by Rochester Dental Expert

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You may have read DIY whitening teeth somewhere on the web but according to dental experts, the self-prescribed treatment might have negative impacts.

Whitening teeth at home using lemon juice and baking soda mixture

Dr. Hans Malmstrom, a dental expert at University of Rochester, said that baking soda has a benefit to minimize acidic effect on teeth. However, it is the lemon juice that can erode enamel - the outer layer of a tooth - due to its acidic property. Erosion of tooth surface can be caused by  acidic contents such as highly acidic foods, WebMD reported. In fact, the acid levels in lemon juice can be compared to the one in cola.

Whitening teeth at home using a mix of mouth guard, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide

The UR professor also warns DIY teeth whitening paste that uses hydrogen peroxide as one of the ingredients. It is often part of ingredient in teeth whitening kits. Not only that it cause gums irritation, a wrong amount might lead to a worse tooth condition.

FDA suggests only 3.5% of hydrogen peroxide used for bleaching teeth material but since whitening teeth at home is often unsupervised, people could actually use more than the regulated amount, American Dental Association claimed.

The danger of using mouth guard for teeth whitening at home

Mouth guard is one of the tool often used in teeth whitening procedure but experts concern on the lack of knowledge of individuals when using unfitted mouth guard. When it causes receding gums, the hydrogen peroxide could reach the root and irritate it, resulting chemical burns. Mouth guards should fit accurately to avoid gum injuries

Are teeth whitening kits safe?

Experts are adamant that teeth whitening procedure must be done by health professionals. In UK, BBC noted some of the teeth whitening kits contained banned chemical, sodium perborate, which can cause fetal abnormalities. As per British Dental Association statement, teeth whitening kits from online or shops are often fail to list the chemical properties - which is a clear sign of unsafe DIY method.

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