I have a friend who bleaches her teeth with Clorox. I was worried when I heard about this. Is she going to damage her health from this, or is it okay?
A worried friend
You sound like a good friend who is trying to do everything you can to keep your friend safe. The good news is, unless she’s swallowing it, she’s not likely to die. I have a cosmetic dentist friend who had a patient who did this too. He joked that, although he couldn’t recommend it, for reasons I’ll elucidate in a moment, he wasn’t that concerned.
Here are some of the issues to consider when it comes to using something like Clorox bleach. This chemical is a base, which makes it very corrosive and can burn living tissue. Additionally, if it mixes with certain other types of chemicals it can react and turn into toxic chlorine gas. But if she is swishing with it quickly, she may be avoiding any tissue damage.
When is it Safe?
Almost all dentists were taught in dental school to use bleach to dissolve the dead organic debris and disinfect the canals in a root canal treatment.
According to PubMed, it is also safe to do periodically as an oral rinse, but only diluted. They recommend a 1:20 ratio in the dilution.
Get Teeth Whitened in One Appointment
The Clorox is a slow process that has to be repeated over and over. While it may get her teeth a bit whiter, it is also likely causing tissue damage. Instead, she can get her teeth as white as they can get in just one appointment with Zoom Whitening. It’s fast and safe. That may appeal to her.
Avoid the Bleaching Police with Professional Teeth Whitening
According to a label on Clorox Bleach, “It is a violation of federal law to use this product in a manner inconsistent with its labeling.” If she doesn’t listen to the fact that it can burn the tissue in her mouth, maybe you can tell her about the bleaching police.
Suggesting she get her teeth whitened safely with a dentist is a good thing. Maybe she’ll listen. Then again, she may live on the wild side and already be a federal fugitive by ripping off the tag on her mattress.
I’m sure she’ll appreciate how much you care about her.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.