Warnings given on home teeth-whitening

Nov. 5, 2010 at 3:55 PM
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LONDON, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Home teeth-whitening attempts could be exposing teenage girls to risks of permanent tooth and gum damage, British dentists say.

Experts warn self-treatments using baking soda, ash and hydrogen peroxide, many of which are promoted online by people with no dental experience, can destroy tooth enamel and cause lasting damage to gums, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Do-it-yourself treatments are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to expensive professional treatment, especially among teenage girls, the newspaper said.

Professional treatment can cost as much as $2,100 for laser procedures and $1,100 for professional bleaching.

"There seems to be a growing concern among teens about their teeth, and the Internet offers many whitening recipes," said Anthony Eder, clinical director of the London Tooth Whitening Center.

"Some of these have the potential to damage healthy teeth."

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