Don’t use nail polish to whiten teeth: Panda Lab Doctor


THE public was warned of dire health risks from using nail polish to whiten teeth by the widely-followed Panda Lab Doctor Facebook page today (Mar. 16), Naewna newspaper said.

Mr. Pakphum Dejhassadin, a medical technologist who runs the popular Panda Lab Doctor page, said some make-up artists still like painting nail polish on beauty contestants’ teeth as this instantly whitens them.

A video clip he saw shows a beauty contestant’s teeth being whitened this way and he felt sorry for the young woman undergoing the procedure because nail polish contains many harmful substances, including carcinogens, and one should absolutely not put it in the mouth.

The main ingredients of nail polish are nitrocellulose, formaldehyde, resin, toluene, dibutyl phthalate, and the ones to beware of as they could possibly be dangerous are as follows:

– Dibutyl phthalate is an ingredient that is commonly used in paints, insecticides and plastics. It is used in nail polish to give it a smooth, flexible application. But do not put it in your mouth because it is a carcinogen and causes birth defects. Anyone who is pregnant and breastfeeding should not use it as it may cause abnormalities in the male reproductive system;

– Formaldehyde is a carcinogen that is often used as an ingredient in nail polish. It hardens the nail varnish and sticks well to the nails. It is cheap, but toxic to the body, with its vapours, if inhaled, leading to burning nose, throat and eyes, headache, nausea and vomiting. It destroys the immune system and is also a carcinogen;

– Toluene is another solvent that is mixed in nail varnish. It has a pungent odour, burning the nose and irritating the eyes. If inhaled, it causes dizziness and if a lot is inhaled it will accumulate in the liver and kidneys, affect the functioning of the nervous system and can be harmful to the unborn child while also being a carcinogen.

Pakphum also warned that people should not eat food with their hands soon after painting one’s nails as it could lead to toxins from the nail polish going into the mouth.

But painting nail polish on the teeth leads to directly getting these toxins, he said, then advising those who want to have whiter teeth to go see a dentist.


A make-up artist painting the teeth of a Thai beauty contestant. Photos: Naewna

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TNR staff

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