More and more teeth whitening products are hitting the market. The Internet also has a growing list of home remedies and DIY recipes that promise faster results then professional treatments. Like with most online or commercial claims, doing even cosmetic procedures on your own is rarely faster or more effective. It’s also less safe because you might:

Overuse products that can damage your gums.

Gum health is being linked to your health in general. Gingivitis has a connection with cardiovascular health. Infections in your mouth can impact your blood flow throughout your body. Weakened gums can also hurt the teeth you’re trying to whiten. Avoid over-the-counter or DIY mixtures that use hydrogen peroxide. They can weaken your gums, especially in high concentrations or frequent application.

Use the product for too long.

Getting your teeth whitened by a professional often takes longer than many commercial products offer. But that longer timeline protects your teeth. Trained professionals tightly adhere to time limits, chemical warnings, and precautions that keep your enamel and gums safe. Many commercial products and online recipes don’t take the same care. Dental professionals also remove the product from your teeth when the time is up, whereas it might be tempting to leave it on for longer at home.

Apply the product unevenly.

Overloading your teeth with the whitening chemicals can damage the enamel and lead to long-term teeth weaknesses. Applying more to some areas of your teeth over others can also bleach your teeth unevenly. This leaves your smile with blotches, and usually the yellow stain will remain near the vertical edges of your teeth where it’s hardest to apply evenly.

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