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Beware of Illegal and Unsafe Tooth Whitening

teeth health smile dentistTooth whitening can make a big difference in giving you a nicer smile without the need for radical changes. Tooth whitening seems like a simple procedure and that apparent simplicity attracts illegal practitioners like beauty salons and others, often at a discount to the cost of a dentist’s professional teeth whitening.

It’s important to be aware that tooth whitening is dentistry and as such can only be legally and safely carried out by qualified and registered dentists.

Here are things to look out for:

Illegal Whitening

Beauty salons offering teeth whitening means untrained individuals placing your teeth at high risk. The law stipulated and regulates who can carry out whitening (dentists only) and what chemicals they can use. Illegal whitening practitioners flout both of these regulations and are not someone you should trust your smile to.

Oil Pulling

There is no evidence to support that oil pulling is effective in whitening teeth despite the method becoming a big craze. Oil pulling is not a substitute for proper brushing of teeth and regular visits to the dentist. Oil pulling doesn’t whiten teeth or reverse tooth decay.

Whitening Strips and Pens

Whitening strips and pens are quite easy to purchase over-the-counter. However, their efficacy is not proved. Some of these products contain just a small concentration of hydrogen peroxide making them ineffective. The excessive use of whitening strips may lead to a bright streaking appearance and teeth sensitivity.

Bicarbonate of Soda

The use of bicarbonate of soda, a natural teeth whitener, will give short-term results. Caution should be exercised since it can be excessively abrasive to the teeth causing wearing down of tooth enamel. The use of bicarbonate soda should be limited to very occasional use to avoid tooth sensitivity and vulnerability to decay.

Don’t put your teeth at risk. Tooth whitening is a practice of dentistry and should be carried out by properly trained and registered dental professionals.


Dr Ashley Davenport BDS MFGDP(UK)

I qualified as a dentist in 1995 and can honestly say that I have been doing a job that I love for the past 20 plus years. Most people who know me well know that dentistry is a passion for me and that if I won the lottery I would still want to have some dentistry in my life. I get huge satisfaction from treating patients and making a difference to ...

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Dr Catherine Myatt BDS MFGDP(UK)

Cath joined the practice as a dentist in 2002.  She and Ashley met on their postgraduate Vocational Training course in Birmingham when they ended up working at the same practice in West Bromwich.  When Ashley was looking for an associate at Balsall Common Dental Practice, Cath came to take the role and she has been here ever since.  In 2017 Cath...

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Last updated: June 16th, 2024

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