If you’re thinking of buying an at-home teeth whitening kit, here’s what a dentist wants you to know.
By Dr Imogen Bexfield
Everyone wants a bright, pearly white smile and high street beauty chains, online stores and even supermarkets are bowing to this trend by stocking a variety of at-home teeth whitening kits. The promise of a quick-fix Hollywood smile can be pretty tempting.
However, before you purchase a kit, are at-home whitening kits effective and, more importantly, are they safe to use? Dr Imogen Bexfield, dentist and medical director ofWhite Swan Aesthetics, looks at the evidence.
Is at-home teeth whitening safe?
Legally in the UK, over the counter products cannot contain any dental bleach, so proper at-home whitening kits must be purchased from your dentist. Your dentist will take accurate moulds of your teeth, create personalised dental bleaching trays and instruct you how to use the kit safely in order to protect your gums and teeth.
Legally in the UK, over the counter products cannot contain any dental bleach
Self moulding kits containing bleach can be bought online, but these kits are not regulated so you will not know the quality of the bleach.
Another issue is that without using accurate whitening trays from your dentist, there will be no suction fit, so the bleach will not be concentrated on the teeth. This means the results will be limited and the bleach could leak out of the whitening trays and damage your gums.
Are teeth whitening kits regulated?
There are a number of teeth whitening brands that dentists stock for at-home use and some are better than others. I like products with an in-built desensitising agent to make the treatment more comfortable for patients.
Teeth whitening kits to avoid
If you buy a whitening kit online which contains bleach, then you cannot guarantee how good the quality will be. Online bleach kits are illegal in the UK and will likely contain low quality ingredients that could permanently damage your teeth and gums.
So, my advice would be to only whiten teeth at the dentist for the best results and safest procedure.