Surrey dentist warns against TikTok whitening craze

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A dentist from Surrey is urging patients to avoid trying to copy a new TikTok craze, which involves rubbing bleach directly onto the teeth. 

One video, which has received more than 15 million views, captures a TikTok influencer using a cotton bud to apply hydrogen peroxide directly onto the tooth surface. Since the craze went viral on the platform, sales of hydrogen peroxide have soared, prompting dentists to raise concerns.

Dr Kunal Patel, from Love Teeth Dental Practice in Surrey, said that most people who watch TikTok videos will be unaware of the potential dangers of bleaching the teeth using hydrogen peroxide. In the best case scenario, Dr Patel explained, people who engage in DIY bleaching are likely to experience sensitivity. In the worst case scenario, individuals could end up with severe burns and premature tooth loss. There is also a risk of death if hydrogen peroxide is consumed. 

Dr Patel warned those who see the videos against the dangers of using hydrogen peroxide at home and stressed that tooth whitening should only be undertaken by experienced, registered dental professionals. Dentists do use hydrogen peroxide to whiten the teeth, but there are very stringent regulations related to strength and concentration, and practitioners carry out consultations before treatment to ensure that candidates are safe to undergo treatment. 

The TikTok craze comes after a spike in interest in tooth whitening linked to celebrities undergoing treatment and the growing popularity of reality TV shows and social media. Many people, particularly young adults and teenagers, want to look like their favourite TV and film stars, and a bright white smile has become synonymous with success, fame and beauty. 

Dentists are keen to encourage anyone who does want a whiter smile to seek professional advice. Dentist-approved treatments are safe and effective.

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