How safe is tooth whitening?

How safe is tooth whitening?
14/07/2015 76 Harley Street

You may be a regular brusher, but your lifestyle leaves traces on your teeth: tea, red wine and cigarettes are just three of the most classic causes of discolouration. Each year, tens of thousands of Britons embark on some form of teeth whitening treatment, hoping to regain the gleaming whites that support a confident smile. There are many teeth whitening products and treatments on the market, ranging from home whitening kits to laser whitening. One of the most frequently asked questions we hear at our London specialist dental practice is: are you sure it’s safe?

What are the risks?

Teeth whitening treatments contain hydrogen peroxide which most people will recognise as a substance that needs to be handled responsibly. Therefore, there are regulations: the only people legally allowed to perform teeth whitening are dentists, dental therapists, dental hygienists and clinical dental technicians. In the wrong hands, the enamel of the tooth could be weakened, or the bleach could seep into the gums causing irritation and pain.

Furthermore, a non-dental practitioner will spot any dental problems that may impact on treatment. There is the option of an off-the-shelf home whitening kit; these come in various forms, including strips and paint on whiteners. The results will depend on the amount of whitening agent; the law requires that they contain no more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide.

Choose an expert to achieve expert results

At our central London specialist dental practice, our teeth whitening patients have an initial consultation where their suitability for the treatment is assessed and any dental issues such as sensitive areas or cavities are identified and addressed. Many patients opt for a combination of at-home and in-clinic treatments, involving bleaching trays being fitted and worn at home for a period of time, followed by the application of a more powerful whitening gel by a dentist. We also offer in-clinic laser tooth whitening which has produced some very pleasing results.

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