If you are a social media user, chances are you have seen celebrities and influencers promoting online or over the counter DIY tooth whitening and tooth bleaching products and kits. Maybe you have heard friends or family talking about them?
At Boutique Dental Care, we know we have been inundated with patients asking us about how safe and how effective these online tooth whitening kits are.
So, it’s time to be honest and let you know what we know. And now this may come as a surprise but to be honest… we don’t know!
Because there are now so many different ones available that it is hard to keep up and know what is in each one. Kits are also being purchased from international sellers, making it even harder to know – and at this current point in time, it isn’t regulated.
But here is what we do know:
In the UK, a recent study published in the British Dental Journal investigated the safety and efficacy of over the counter bleaching products.
They found that some active ingredients could in the presence of acid reduce the tooth’s hardness and increase the likelihood of future surface abrasion, and some non-hydrogen peroxide containing products could potentially damage enamel and lighten teeth, but the effect of lightening is variable.1 They also found that two products were no more effective than salt water.1 While this is just one study the results are just shocking!
But it worries us because at Boutique Dental Care, we know that once enamel is lost or damaged it is permanent. Our other concern is also what other potential damage it could be having on your mouth, like your gums?
Anyway, that was a study out of the UK… what’s happening here in Australia?
Well, in 2019, the Australian Dental Association released numerous media releases citing their concerns regarding DIY whitening kits. These have included concerns over ‘all-natural’ alternatives containing chemicals, over the counter kits exceeding Australia’s legal limits , manufacturers providing misleading or exaggerated results and concern over users failing to follow instructions.
The Australian Dental Association has recommended that consumers consult with their dentist before using them, and they are pushing for stricter regulations and standards.
Now, I know some people may be thinking that we, as dentists and as business owners, are just trying to push our own product. However, let it be known that this is far from the case!
Instead, it is simply because as health care providers, we understand the potential risks and we also know that what we can offer you has been tested and proven effective and safe.
We also know that not everyone is a candidate for whitening.
Unfortunately, it is true!
There are risks involved with whitening and bleaching your teeth – even when it is done under the guidance of your dental professional. The other issue is that not everyone is suitable for tooth bleaching or whitening procedure and they could be putting themselves at risk by doing so.
So, if you want a whiter and brighter smile then consult your oral health and dental practitioner first.
Your oral health professional will assess your whole mouth health. This includes checking the health of your teeth and gums, around existing fillings and identifying if the colour of your teeth is related to any underlying issues.
They will also be able to advise you on your likelihood of results. As did you know results can vary between individuals and depending on your starting tooth colour?
They will discuss with you any potential risks and side effects, such as tooth sensitivity. And they will be able to tell you how best to manage them if they do occur.
Finally, they will guide you on how to achieve optimal results, as your diet, lifestyle and your oral health habits can impact your results. Plus, this includes giving you all the tips and tricks you need to maintain your new whiter and brighter smile for as long as possible too!
So if you are planning to bleach or whiten your teeth, we at Boutique Dental Care would recommend you choose to do so under the care of a dental health professional.
But before we go, we should talk about one last thing. Yes. The cost!
At Boutique Dental Care, we know that price and cost is a huge driving force for people to choose online and over the counter options, rather than seeing a dental professional for this service. And we acknowledge that our product may in some cases be more expensive. But there are a few reasons why.
Firstly, because it comes with professional advice. Our products are also proven to be safe and effective. And because if something does go wrong then we are here to help and guide you before, during and after.
If you’re considering professional whitening treatment at Boutique Dental Care, give us a call to ask about our take-home Boutique Whitening system, or our supervised in-house options.
From all the team at Boutique Dental Care, we thank you for reading this article. We hope that the information has been helpful. However, it is not intended to replace seeking professional advice tailored specifically towards your needs.
If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us on (02) 9054 5281 to arrange an appointment with one of our friendly dentists.
- Greenwall-Cohen J, Francois P, Silikas N, Greenwall L, Le Goff S & Attal J P. The safety and efficacy of ‘over the counter’ bleaching products in the UK. Br Dent J 2019;226:271-276.
BDJ study on dangers of teeth whitening products provokes significant media interest. BDJ Team 6, 7 (2019). doi:10.1038/s41407-019-0059-9. URL: ‘ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41407-019-0059-9 ’. Accessed December 2019.
BDJ study on dangers of teeth whitening products prompts large response. Br Dent J 226, 391 (2019). doi:10.1038/s41415-019-0188-8. URL: ‘ https://www.nature.com/articles/s41415-019-0188-8 ’. Accessed: December 2019.
Carey CM. Tooth whitening: what we now know. J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2014;14 Suppl:70–76. doi:10.1016/j.jebdp.2014.02.006.
Could a gleaming set of white teeth be bad for your oral health? Australian Dental Association. 7 March 2019. URL: ‘https://www.ada.org.au/News-Media/News-and-Release/Latest-News/Could-a-gleaming-set-of-white-teeth-be-bad-for-you ’. Accessed: December 2019.
Epple M, Meyer F, Enax J. A Critical Review of Modern Concepts for Teeth Whitening. Dent J (Basel). 2019;7(3):79.
Tooth whitening: surging popularity brisngs issues to resolve. Australian Dental Association. 24 May 2019. URL: ‘ https://www.ada.org.au/News-Media/News-and-Release/Latest-News/Teeth-whitening-Surging-popularity-brings-issues-t ’. Accessed: December 2019.
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission: http://accc.gov.au/
Australian Dental Association: https://www.ada.org.au/
Australian Dental Board AHPRA: https://www.dentalboard.gov.au/Codes-Guidelines/FAQ/use-of-teeth-whitening-products.aspx
Australian Dental Industry Association: https://www.adia.org.au/for-dental-professionals/teeth-whitening/whitening-product