If the colour of your teeth bothers you, to the point that you don’t feel confident in your smile, you might be considering your teeth whitening options. In pursuit of the pearly whites you’ve always dreamt about, you might be tempted to buy a teeth whitening kit online. This seems like the easiest and cheapest option to get the whiter teeth you desire, but as teeth whitening has its risks, you might be doing long lasting and irreversible damage to your teeth and smile.
Teeth whitening treatments come in a variety of systems, from whitening strips to gels and even pens that paint a whitening solution onto the teeth. What they have in common is that they use hydrogen peroxide to bleach the teeth. In a recent survey by Which? it was found that some of the kits, sold at popular retailers, contained up to ten times more hydrogen peroxide than is allowed.
The legal amount of peroxide permitted in home teeth whitening kits is just 0.1%. This compares to 6%, which is the maximum amount allowed in teeth whitening treatments carried out by a dentist. Many of the tested kits contained more hydrogen peroxide than even dentists are permitted to use.
Using an off the shelf teeth whitening solution that contains dangerously high levels of hydrogen peroxide could result in chemical burns, gum damage or even tooth loss. Some kits don’t come with instructions, so you are not sure how much of the solution to use, for how long and what safety precautions to take. Hydrogen peroxide is a very powerful chemical and if used in a higher concentration than recommended could result in damage to the gum tissue, which could be irreversible.
It’s important to point out that we are not saying all teeth whitening kits are dangerous, but as it is difficult to sort the good from the bad, and we know the best results come under professional guidance, it’s always best to seek this treatment from a dentist. According to The General Dental Council (GDC), only professional dentists should carry out teeth whitening treatments as they have been trained in the use of the available products and can administer them safely without any damage to your teeth and gums.
One of the main reasons why you should always speak to your dentist if you are thinking about teeth whitening is so they can assess if you are suitable for treatment. It won’t be advisable for everyone, for example if you are under the age of 16, pregnant, breastfeeding or have cavities, gum disease or mouth infections, you are advised to refrain from teeth whitening, at least until other dental issues are resolved.
If you are keen to get involved and do your bit to get whiter teeth then you might be surprised to realise that many professional teeth whitening treatments actually include an at-home element. At Dentalia we offer Enlighten Teeth Whitening, which starts at home for 2 or 3 weeks and is then completed with an hour’s treatment in surgery at a higher concentration to lock in the whitening results. It’s the only system that guarantees a Vita shade B1 for every patient - the lightest on the tooth shade guide - and it delivers results that can last indefinitely with a little simple maintenance.
If you are looking for teeth whitening in Basingstoke please get in touch with our friendly team at Dentalia for more information, prices or to book your consultation appointment.