What’s the real story with teeth whitening?

For some years now, there has been a focus beyond an attractive face, so that detail – each component which constitutes the ‘ideal’ look – has become the imperative for so many.

Lip fillers, eyebrow weaving, nose ‘jobs’ – and a whiter, brighter, more confident smile have all taken centre stage.  Teeth whitening has increased hugely in popularity, in part because of the constant barrage of ‘selfies’ on social media and the raised sensitivity towards appearance.  It seems important to have teeth create a positive contrast with clothing, for example, or even lipstick!  Is this just a trend?  Perhaps not.  After all, teeth whitening has been going on for decades.

Teeth whitening has been long established, so even long-term effects have been measured, and there are none of any significance, provided the strengths of the active ingredients are not exceeded beyond what is allowed by law.

Dentists work under a professional remit to ensure that all patients hoping for teeth whitening have healthy teeth which are suitable for whitening, and that the procedure and product they use are safe.  

However, if you remove the dentist or dental professional from the scene, you are taking risks which you don’t need to do.  You are in effect removing your own safety net.  

Over the counter kits may contain acids and abrasives which will damage your teeth.  Even if you are prepared to take the risk, you can only buy strengths of a maximum of 0.1% peroxide, whereas your dentist can use 6.0%, so obviously the stronger product will be more effective.  However, the more effective product is only available in the UK by prescription.

Some ‘celebrities’ or ‘influencers’ take payment for endorsing a variety of teeth whitening products, obviously not prescribed by a dentist.  These products do not have a pre-determined risk assessment, which presents a question mark over safety as well as efficacy.

It seems that the common sense approach to teeth whitening is to use a product which a dentist has prescribed specifically for you.  Your dentist will examine your mouth before helping you to decide the best way forward.  Give your dental practice a call to find out more about achieving the brighter smile you have been thinking about.

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