Most people would agree that having white teeth makes you look younger and feel more confident. Not surprisingly, this has led to an increased demand for teeth whitening and most dental practices now offer this as a cosmetic service.  Unfortunately, it has also led to the growth of dangerous DIY home teeth whitening kits that are available to be purchased online. These kits often contain unregulated products with chemicals at concentrations that are too strong for your teeth.

What is Teeth Whitening?

Over time, teeth can become discoloured and stained. Teeth whitening is the simple process of bleaching your teeth to lighten them. To do this safely, your dentist will take moulds of your teeth and from the moulds will make customised bleaching trays which will fit your teeth and gums precisely. The trays will contain bleaching gel (containing hydrogen peroxide) which will be worn at home (usually overnight) for two to 3 weeks. Teeth Whitening is usually a very effective procedure with teeth remaining lighter for a couple of years. ‘Top up’ whitening can then be carried out as and when required by purchasing more gel from the dentist.

What are the dangers of DIY teeth whitening kits?

Buying online teeth whitening kits may seem like a good idea but it is actually very risky. These kits come in lots of different forms e.g. syringes filled with bleaching gel, gel coated whitening strips, gel pens etc. These may seem harmless but the gel can contain dangerous levels of hydrogen peroxide (the bleaching agent). A recent report by Which? looked into the contents of 36 teeth whitening kits readily available from popular online sites such as Amazon and eBay. The results are truly shocking.

  • 21 out of 36 kits contained more than the legal amount of hydrogen peroxide allowed for home use
  • 11 out of 36 contained more hydrogen peroxide than dentists are legally permitted to use
  • 20 products contained more than 10 times too much hydrogen peroxide
  • 6 products contained more than 100 times the legal limit

Teeth whitening gels with high levels of hydrogen peroxide are breaking legal limits and are very dangerous because they can burn your gums and cause painful tooth sensitivity. In some cases, they can permanently damage teeth, resulting in you needing expensive root canal treatment.

Safe Teeth Whitening

Using a DIY tooth whitening kit is taking a chance with your teeth and gums. For this reason, we would always recommend that the safest place to go to for teeth whitening is your dentist. They will be able to get you the results you desire without compromising the health of your teeth, which after all, need to last you a lifetime.

  • They will carry out a full examination of your teeth and gums before treatment starts, checking for signs of gum disease or tooth decay
  • They will only use products that are regulated and safe
  • They will be there to help if you have problems with tooth or gum sensitivity


If you are interested in our teeth whitening treatment please get in touch or give us a call on 0131 662 4882. We will explain the process and if you decide to go ahead, we will make you an appointment with one of our skilled dental technicians.