If you've spent any amount of time on social media, you've probably seen your favourite TV star or influencer advertising a teeth whitening kit. Whether it be
the LED lights or a gel kit, you've probably seen it all.
But before you fall prey to that super convincing Instagram ad or Facebook post, there are a few things you should know about teeth whitening kits bought online.
Read on for seven things you should know before committing to an expensive kit.
1. No One Really Knows If the Ingredients Are Safe
If you buy something online, you might just assume everything you purchase is safe. With teeth whitening kits, unfortunately, that isn't the case.
A lot of the LED whitening kits use a combination of sodium bicarbonate (if you think that sounds familiar, it's literally the same baking soda you can buy at the grocery store) and sodium chlorite. There really isn't
a lot of research to support whether they are safe or not when used in combination, especially with
an LED light.
Most dentists will use hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide, both of which are well researched,
are safe and can actually break down stains.
When you go to the dentist for a whitening session, your dentist has to use a product and ingredient combination that has been tried and tested as safe for use.
It’s not only the ingredients you need to things about. The LED light may also not have been properly tested and have long-term safety data.
2. Teeth Whitening Kits Don't Contain
a Huge Amount of the Active Ingredient That Makes Your Teeth White
In Australia, only dentists can legally obtain and use higher concentrated bleaching agents such as carbamide peroxide.
Many of these online teeth whitening kits only contain about 18% of the active ingredient to whiten your teeth. While it can help, you definitely won't get the same results you'd get at a dentist.
3. The LED Light Doesn't Come
with the Protective Gear a Dentist Uses
Your dentist will likely use an LED lamp if you get your teeth whitened professionally. You may think that this is pretty much the same as using one of the products purchased online.
While in both cases, the LED light helps accelerate the whitening process, a dentist applies a protective barrier over your gums to prevent damage. The at-home kits don't come with those.
At the moment, there isn't much research to say concretely what long-term exposure will do to your gums, but if you're going the DIY route, you shouldn't overdo it with the light.