Teeth Whitening

Forget the Spandex pants — if you want to look better instantly, whiten your teeth, you look younger and healthier, even if you aren’t - Anna Maxted

Teeth Whitening
Teeth Whitening

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The dark side of white teeth: DIY whiteners can be dangerously addictive

When my five-year-old son suddenly exclaimed: ‘Why are your teeth so dirty,  Mummy?’, I knew it was time to do something. Years of drinking coffee and red wine had left my teeth stained and grey. It  had bothered me — I’d started wearing only dark tops (white made my teeth look  lemon-yellow) and grimacing at friends through closed lips. But the ‘dirty teeth’ comment was the final straw. That day, I  made an appointment at a smart dental practice to have my teeth professionally whitened.

It set me off on a five-year habit that was not only bad for my teeth, but possibly for my health. Initially, I was hoping for a smile to rival Tom  Cruise’s — and for close on £1,000 for professional…

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 The dark side of white teeth: DIY whiteners can be dangerously addictive

As dentist Martin Fallowfield, a spokesman from the British Dental Association, says: ‘Some DIY teeth kits, especially those available on the internet or from salons, contain the same acid that is used to disinfect swimming pools — chlorine dioxide.

American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

While over-the-counter tooth whitening products are available, dentist-supervised tooth whitening remains the safest, most effective method for brightening your smile.

Animated Teeth

The science of carbamide and hydrogen peroxide whiteners.

Cleveland Clinic

Studies of whitening products using 10% carbamide peroxide showed little to no effect on the hardness or mineral content of a tooth’s enamel surface.


When dealing with a bleaching agent such as peroxide, it is possible to burn yourself. As a result, DIY home kits, including teeth whitening strips, cannot be sold at the same strength as professionals would use. This means they will be less effective, or require a more frequent use to achieve the same results. This, in turn, could lead to gum irritation and sensitive teeth. Incorrect use or overuse of bleach could also damage the enamel, which is why these treatments should be avoided, even if they appear cheaper than professional treatment.

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