Are DIY Whitening Treatments Safe and Effective?

We’ve never cared so much about the appearance of our smiles as we do now. Advancements in cosmetic dentistry and changes in how we live mean we all want bright, healthy teeth. Teeth whitening treatments are an excellent way to get the smiles we want. 

When demand grows for any service, products emerge that offer to do the job conveniently, for less. The same is true for teeth whitening. Despite being a dental treatment, there are solutions available in stores and online that offer to reduce the hassle. 

DIY shop-bought whitening kits have flooded the market in recent years. But just how safe and effective are they? 

Let’s explore everything you need to know about shop-bought teeth whitening. 

Why Are My Teeth Stained?

There are lots of reasons your teeth may be stained or discoloured. Although poor hygiene can cause this, it’s not always the reason. 

Possible reasons for staining and discolouration include: 

  • Exposure to stain-inducing food and drink: Your teeth have tiny pores all over the surface. Pigment from dark food and drinks like coffee, tea, red wine, dark fruit, beetroot, and chocolate can build up in these pores. 
  • Smoking: If you smoke tobacco, discolouration is very likely to occur.
  • Illness or medication: Certain illnesses can affect the colour of your teeth. Similarly, medications can also cause discolouration.
  • Dental infection: If you have had an infected tooth and needed root canal treatment, the surface may appear grey or even black. 
  • Thinning enamel: As you age, your enamel naturally thins. When this happens, the darker dentin below the surface shows through, leaving your teeth looking yellow. 

Does Shop-Bought Teeth Whitening Work?

There are several shop-bought teeth whitening treatments available. They range from whitening toothpaste to at-home kits, which may include whitening strips or trays to place over your teeth. 

Whitening toothpastes typically use an abrasive ingredient like charcoal or bicarbonate of soda. These toothpastes work to remove light surface stains. The problem is that they’re not good at removing deeper staining and shouldn’t be used too much as they could wear down your enamel. 

Shop-bought kits use hydrogen peroxide to brighten your teeth. Legally, DIY kits can only contain a very small amount of peroxide and, as such, are not as effective as professional whitening products offered by dentists. 

Whitening products containing this level of peroxide will rarely brighten your teeth very much. 

Any whitening products bought in stores or online containing more than 0.1% hydrogen peroxide are illegal. Professional whitening treatments from a dentist can contain up to 6% hydrogen peroxide. 

Is Shop-Bought Teeth Whitening Safe?

Although shop-bought teeth whitening isn’t as strong or effective as professional dentist-led whitening, you may wonder whether it’s safe. 

There are a few concerns about DIY whitening you need to know. There is no pre-treatment assessment when you buy a whitening product off a store shelf or website. If you have cavities forming or thinning enamel, you could react adversely to the treatment. 

Professional whitening treatments use custom-made trays that fit your teeth perfectly. This keeps the whitening gels close to your teeth and away from more sensitive tissue like the gums. 

With shop-bought kits, there are no custom-made trays. Despite the peroxide levels, you could still cause yourself harm if the product leaks. This could cause painful blistering and burns in or around your mouth. 

Should I get Teeth Whitening at a Beauty Salon?

Some beauticians offer teeth whitening in salons. Even if they use products with lower peroxide levels, these treatments are illegal. 

Only certain registered dental professionals are legally allowed to administer teeth whitening treatments. This means that only dental practices can be insured to offer this type of treatment too. 

Beauty salons are not licensed, insured, trained, or qualified to offer teeth whitening. 

Introducing Enlighten

Enlighten is a popular professional whitening treatment. Although we’ll provide this treatment, you can use it at home, making the whole process of whitening your teeth more convenient.

Using Enlighten, you can achieve a B1 VITA shade of white. That’s the most natural shade it’s possible to achieve. This makes Enlighten a highly effective treatment. 

Not only that, but Enlighten is safe. We’ll ensure it’s the right treatment for you by assessing the health of your teeth first. We’ll also take impressions of your teeth during your initial consultation so you get made-to-measure whitening trays.

When you’re ready to begin treatment, we’ll show you exactly what you need to do. Then, after around two to three weeks wearing your whitening trays at home, we’ll invite you back to the clinic for one final treatment to really enhance the sparkle. 

Teeth Whitening In Ipswich 

Enlighten brightens your teeth to a naturally perfect shade of white. It’s safe and effective and we’re here to support you throughout. 

Call today to book your teeth whitening consultation.

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