Are Teeth Whitening Kits Safe?
More and more people are choosing to lighten and brighten their smiles with different teeth whitening procedures. It’s one of the most popular practices in dentistry today, and there are many different treatments to get that perfect pearly white look available both on the market for home use and from dental health professionals at clinics.
But just how safe are these treatments?
How Teeth Whitening Treatments Work
If administered by a qualified professional, a treatment for whitening teeth will most ordinarily be laser whitening or a bleaching agent comprised of either carbamide or hydrogen peroxide. The two latter options are both high in chemical composition and must be carefully applied and advised on by a trained dentist.
A greater range of products are available for teeth whitening at home, but they are usually for treating milder stains than ones treated by qualified professionals. These products range from whitening toothpastes and rinses to over-the-counter whitening strips, gels and tray-based teeth whiteners.
Tray-based teeth whiteners can also be applied professionally, by teeth whitening dentists.
Are Home Teeth Whitening Kits Safe?
Home teeth whitening kits are generally considered safe for use, but the NHS warns that they come with some risks. As the products are manufactured to one standard, there may not be enough whitening agent in the kit to be effective. Mouthguards may also not fit properly, allowing bleaching gel to leak onto your teeth and gums, causing blistering and sensitivity.
However, the issues do not end here. Other adverse effects associated with incorrectly applied teeth whitening products include mild gingival irritation, damage to the pulp of your teeth, and tooth erosion. Damage to dental fillings can even happen as a long-term side effect.
What to Do if You Use a Home Treatment
If you do use a home teeth whitening kit, always be sure to follow the instructions carefully and never prolong your use. It won’t make your teeth whiter, but it may very well damage the enamel. You should stop once you have evened out the colour of your teeth, though many people will always have a few teeth that are slightly darker than the rest.
In order to avoid re-staining, be sure to avoid food and drinks that could potentially stain. These include things such as coffee, red wine, tomato sauce and blueberries.
You should always consult a qualified professional before attempting a home teeth whitening kit, to ensure you are using the best treatment for you and to prioritise your dental health. Home-based treatments often require more patience and must be applied correctly to keep your teeth safe.
When Shouldn’t Teeth be Whitened?
There are certain circumstances where you should either wait to whiten your teeth or avoid it until the problem is fixed.
If you have crowns or bonded teeth, teeth whitening will not be successful. However, if the teeth are at the back of your mouth, there is less of a need to worry, as these teeth are not as noticeable as the ones at the front.
If you are pregnant, it is always best to consult with your doctor before beginning a teeth whitening treatment. Although there is a debate as to whether or not these treatments are harmless to pregnant women, there is not enough conclusive evidence to suggest either way.
Where is Best for Teeth Whitening?
The NHS recommends that teeth whitening procedures are always carried out by a qualified dentist or another regulated dental professional. These include dental hygienists or dental therapists, on the prescription of trained and qualified dentists.
There are also beauty salons which offer teeth whitening treatments, but not many people are aware that this is actually illegal. If somewhere offers teeth whitening and a qualified professional is not present, your dental health might be put at risk.
A clinic or treatment centre offering teeth whitening must be registered with the General Dental Council, otherwise they are breaking the law.
The GDC suggest that you research carefully before committing to having your teeth whitened, and go prepared with questions. If the clinic you are receiving treatment from has qualified dentists performing the procedure, they should be able to sit you down and talk you through it before starting.
It is always important to discuss options before beginning a procedure, in order to minimise risks and find the best method for you.
Speak With a Dentist Today
Here at Hove Dental Clinic, your dental health and hygiene comes first. We are a fully qualified dental clinic, staffed by highly trained professionals. As such, we will never let a procedure be carried out by someone who is not qualified, and all of our equipment is state-of-the art.
If you are considering teeth whitening treatments, book an appointment with us and we can talk you through all the procedures and possibilities, before you decide which treatment you want to go through with to get that Hollywood-movie-star-smile.
We can help you get the dental look you’ve always dreamed of, safely, professionally, and with your decisions put first.