Home whitening kits containing dangerous levels of toxic hydrogen peroxide are widely available on the internet, the British Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (BACD) has warned.
EU recommendations suggest any dental products containing high levels of this bleaching substance can cause damage and burns to teeth and gums and be dangerous to consumers’ health.
The latest recommendations state that the chemicals used to whiten teeth should not exceed the 6% level for hydrogen peroxide if used at home, even when prescribed by dentists.
But the BACD warns that many websites are selling teeth-whitening kits that contain chemical levels that greatly exceed this.
The EU has also recommended that, for the safety of the patient, a consultation with a qualified dentist should take place to ensure the suitability of the procedure.
‘These websites that sell ‘professional’ whitening kits with more than 6% hydrogen peroxide are unsafe and if the government follows the EU guidance, it will soon be completely illegal,’ says the BACD.
‘They are sold as ‘safe’ but can easily harm someone, especially if a dentist has not advised the patient on whether their teeth are even suitable for whitening.
‘The public must understand that these gels, with such a high amount of chemicals, could burn people’s gums or damage teeth permanently.’