Tuesday, August 16

People Turn to Theft and Natural Alternatives as Teeth Whitening Gains Popularity

The prevalence of teeth whitening procedures has increased by over 300% in the past five years alone, but it seems it’s still hard pressed to meet demand. People are now turning to alternative ways to get teeth whitening done, including theft and…charcoal?

According to CBS Pittsburgh, authorities in Hempfield Township, PA are still on the search for a couple who allegedly stole at least $1,200 worth of teeth whitening supplies from a local Target Store.

In an interview with the local CBS Affiliate, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Steve Limani said that loss prevention at Target caught the female suspect on surveillance video placing teeth whitening products in her purse. According to Limani, the kits stolen were high-end products that are most likely in the $50 range.

The male suspect was nearby, keeping watch. When a loss prevention officer attempted to approach the couple as they were exiting, the male suspect attacked him. The officer was left with minor injuries and both suspects got away in a silver four-door sedan.

According to Limani, thefts of teeth whitening kits are becoming increasingly common, and this is the third time he’s witnessed it in the past six months. CBS 48 Hours’ Crimesider also reported on a theft of over $1,000 worth of teeth whitening strips from an Exton, PA Target.

Limani said that the stolen teeth whitening supplies are often sold to eager buyers online or in consignment shops.

There’s definitely a market for secondhand or discount teeth whitening supplies, since professional procedures tend to run a high price tag. A new fad born on YouTube even substitutes expensive teeth whitening methods with charcoal. By brushing teeth with a paste of activated charcoal, people are stripping away plaque stains and whitening their teeth that way.

The natural adhesives in activated charcoal bind with many substances that create surface stains and remove them. Teeth that are naturally darker may still need stronger whitening products, however, so some people will still need to shop around.

Anyone who has any information or comes across the products stolen by the Pennsylvanian couple is urged to contact the police.

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