Everyone wants brighter, whiter teeth.
Over the last five years, the number of teeth whitening procedures being performed has risen an astronomical 300% — and that’s not even including at-home treatments and kits.
As teeth whitening has become more popular and accessible, the use of at-home whitening kits — which are both more convenient and more affordable than getting the same procedure from a dentist — has become one of the go-to ways to do so.
But are at-home whitening kits as safe as you think they are?
Over growing concerns over these kits, the British Dental Association recently issued a warning to people, especially teenagers, to steer clear of at-home whitening kits. The BDA claims that some kits — particularly those purchased online — may contain harmful ingredients and chemicals.
According to the BBC, it’s imperative that you always thoroughly research any whitening product before trying it out on your own teeth. Dr. Mervyn Druian, who pioneered the teeth whitening procedure in the UK three decades ago, told the BBC that while at-home whitening kits can offer a boost of confidence, the procedure is safest and most effective when carried out by a dental professional.
The British Dental Association’s announcement came just a day after BBC One aired a documentary that revealed the barely-visible whitening effects of at-home whitening kits. In the documentary, Dr. Wyman Chan performed a series of trials in which patients used popular whitening kits found in many stores. Many of the patients saw no change at all in their tooth color, while others only saw a change of just half a shade.
Given these findings — and the potential safety risks of using an at-home teeth whitening kit that hasn’t been approved by dental professionals — it might be best to invest a few extra dollars on a professional whitening treatment with a qualified dentist. You’ll have a whole lot more reasons to smile when you do.